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Flamenco Guitar for Beginners

Welcome to Flamenco Explained! This is a flamenco guitar for beginners course designed to teach you everything you need to learn flamenco guitar the traditional way, even if you’ve never picked up a guitar before. From how to hold a guitar and other basics to playing your first flamenco guitar solo, we’ve got you covered. Along the way you will learn all of the flamenco guitar techniques you need to know as well as a deep understanding of how flamenco guitar works. If you’ve always wanted to learn flamenco guitar but weren’t sure how to begin, this course is for you!

If you already play the guitar or even play some flamenco guitar already, we encourage to take this course before moving on to the rest of the site. Some of it may be review for you, but chances are there will be new material, technique lessons and other topics that will form the foundation of your flamenco guitar studies. If you really want to learn flamenco guitar properly, this will be time well spent. 

Introduction to Learn Flamenco Guitar: The Ultimate Guide

Introduction

Welcome!! Click on the thumbnail images to the left and it will open the video. Download the course materials and .pdf here!

Lesson 1 – Intro to Guitar

Lesson 1 includes four videos covering: Guitar Anatomy, String Names, Tuning and Capos.

Lesson 1 – Part 1 – Guitar Anatomy

How does a guitar work and what are the parts all called? In this video we look at the guitar itself – how it works, what we call all of the parts of it, and how we talk about where you put your fingers. Everything you need to know to get started!

Lesson 1 – Part 2 – String Names

The names of the strings and a little bit about note names (not much!) In this video we look at the strings themselves and their names. We also look a little bit at whole steps and half steps. This is a good video to watch if this is all new to you. You don’t need to memorize any of this just yet, but it can’t hurt to know.

Lesson 1 – Part 3 – Tuning

Everything sounds better when you’re in tune, so don’t skip this video! We look at tuning your guitar. You’ll probably want to use a tuner, so w take a look at some of those, too. Being in tune will make everything sounds better – we promise!

Lesson 1 – Part 4 – Capos

How the capo (Cejilla in Spanish) works and some of the different kinds there are. Though we don’t use a capo in this course, the capo is used all the time in flamenco. So here we take a look a how some of the different kinds of capos work, and what you need to know to use one.

Lesson 2 – Note & Chord Playing

Lesson 1 includes three videos covering: Holding the Guitar, Playing A Note and Chords.

Lesson 2 – Part 1 – Holding the Guitar

Seems obvious, but how you hold the guitar will affect how – and how well – you play. There are lots of ways to hold the guitar. Here we look at some of the options and how to choose which one might be best for you. You may want to try more than one option to see which is best for you, and you don’t necessarily have to always use the same way.

Lesson 2 – Part 2 – Playing A Note

We look at how to actually produce a sound with a guitar. As you can imagine, this one’s important! In this video we look at how both hands come together to play a note on the guitar. There is some very important information about the mechanics of both the left and right hands. This is hugely important not only for your sound, but for learning to play with ease and without hurting yourself.

Lesson 2 – Part 3 – Chords

We learn our first chords and how to play them. Once we’ve learned to play a note we have to learn how to play chords. Again, learning the proper mechanics of it will help you sound better and also play with less effort.

Lesson 3 – Time

Lesson 1 includes three videos covering: Time, Feeling Compás with Palmas and Feeling Compás Intro to Chords

Lesson 3 – Part 1 – Time

In this video we look at some abstract, but very important, concepts of time and rhythm. First we look at how measures and compass are organized, then we look at how beats are subdivided.

Lesson 3 – Part 2 – Feeling Compás with Palmas

We look at how to feel the compás of Soleá before even picking up a guitar learning some palmas (handclap) patterns. Palmas are the original percussion instrument in flamenco and an essential part of the music and the culture.

Lesson 3 – Part 3 – Feeling Compás Intro to Chords

We learn some of the chords that we’ll need to start playing flamenco!

Lesson 3 – Part 4 – Feeling Compás with Chords

Now that we’ve learned some chords and we’ve learned the basic compás of Soleá we start putting it all together on the guitar!

Lesson 4 – Soleá, Technique and Falsetas

Lesson 4 includes 14 videos covering: Important Reminder, Soleá, Syncopation, Escobilla and Rasgueado, Escobilla Arpeggio, Falsetas, Thumb Technique, Picado Exercises, Picado Falseta, Arpeggio Falseta, Alzapua Falseta, Bar Chords, Advanced Falseta and Ending A Soleá.

Lesson 4 – Part 1 – Important Reminder

A word from Kai about what we’re about to do, and how to proceed if you’re a little overwhelmed at this point. Also how to proceed if you’re working from the Flamenco Explained book and aren’t sure how to incorporate these videos.

Lesson 4 – Part 2 – Soleá

We start playing flamenco! First we talk about Soleá, the Palo (style) that we’ll be using to learn flamenco throughout this course, and then we dive in to playing compás.

Lesson 4 – Part 3 – Syncopation

We look at syncopation – or playing off the beat. We take the material from lesson 13 but we change the time a bit to make things more interesting and give us more options when playing compás.

Lesson 4 – Part 4 – Escobilla and Rasgueado

We look at a very important element of the Soleá compás called the Escobilla and we dive into one of the most distinctive and fun techniques in flamenco – the rasgueado. By the end of this lesson we’ll really sound like flamenco guitarists!

Lesson 4 – Part 5 – Escobilla  and Arpeggio Technique

We look at another one of the main Escobilla melodies used in Soleá and we introduce arpeggio technique, which is the basis for much of our right-hand technique on the guitar. Then we recap the Escobilla material we have learned so far, and we look at how we can use some of the new material to make our compás more interesting.

Lesson 4 – Part 6 – Falsetas, Introductions and Slur Technique (Hammon-ons and Pull-offs)

In this video we look at a great traditional falseta that’s often used as an introduction for Soleá and we use this as an opportunity to look at the technique of slurs, which are more commonly known as hammer-ons and pull-offs. We also include a slightly advanced version of this falseta for those already comfortable with this technique.

Lesson 4 – Part 7 – Thumb Technique

We learn another traditional falseta involving rest-strokes in the thumb, and we get into the finer points of using our thumb for flamenco. Proper thumb technique is essential to sounding flamenco, so this is a really important lesson!

Lesson 4 – Part 8 – Picado Exercises

In our third falseta we look at Picado technique. These are the rest-stroke scales you’ve heard played at blinding speeds, and as with all technique we ned to learn some good fundamentals before we get going too fast, so we look at the mechanics and a few exercises before getting to our picado falseta.

Lesson 4 – Part 9 – Picado Falseta

In this lesson we apply our new picado technique to a new falseta that uses nothing but picado.

Lesson 4 – Part 10 – Arpeggio Falseta

In this lesson we review arpeggio technique and add a new arpeggio exercise. Then we learn a great traditional intro falseta that really let’s us use our arpeggio to full effect.

Lesson 4 – Part 11 – Alzapua Falseta

In this lesson we look at another of the techniques unique to flamenco – Alzapua. We break down the technique and then look at a falseta so that we can apply this great new sound to our Soleá.

Lesson 4 – Part 12 – Bar Chords

In this lesson we look at how to make bar chords without stressing out your left hand. If you’re new to bar chords or if you’ve ever had any tension or pain from playing bar chords you’ll want to check this out. Plus it’s an important preparation for the falseta in the next lesson.

Lesson 4 – Part 13 – Advanced Falseta

We look at a falseta that combines arpeggio and picado and ends in a long scale run that will make you apply all of the good habits you’ve picked up in previous lessons. This one might be a bit challenging at first, but with time you’ll nail it!

Lesson 4 – Part 14 – Ending A Soleá

You’ll need a good way to end your Soleá, so we take a look at a few options you have for doing that.

Lesson 5 – Putting it Together

Lesson 5 includes two videos covering: Important Note and Putting it Together.

Lesson 5 – Part 1 – Important Note

Some advice for anyone who might be feeling a bit overwhelmed, or like progress isn’t happening as fast as you’d like.

Lesson 5 – Part 2 – Putting it Together

This lesson gets to the heart of how flamenco works, which should make much more sense now that you have all the material necessary to put together your first solo. As we discuss how to arrange your own solo, we’ll learn the essence of how the flamenco mind thinks. This will help you make sense of all of your future flamenco studies. In a very real sense, this is the missing link for most flamenco students – the lesson that will make you a real flamenco guitarist!

Congratulations!

If you’ve finished this course you should now have a solid understanding of all of the flamenco guitar techniques as well as a firm understanding of how flamenco works. If you’re ready to move on to more, we highly recommend you take our Tangos Explained course, which will introduce a new Palo and will really work on your time and your technique.

And if you’re not ready for another course or you’re feeling adventurous, check out our Aficionados page to learn how to get the most out of this site and the hundreds of flamenco guitar lessons we have.

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