Flamenco Guitar Lessons
What is flamenco
Flamenco is a contemporary form of musical expression with origins in Southern Spain.
Solea, Bulerias, Alegrias, Fandango, Guajiras are some of the popular styles in flamenco. Each style is categorised by specific harmonic progressions and consequent melodic embellishments.
What to learn
Left and right hand technique is only one of the tools needed to be an efficient player. Students must also master the rhythm and variations needed to create intensity. Students must understand the principles of harmonic progression and how to embellish or modify them in accordance to a specific style. Students must demonstrate fluency in melodic and harmonic transcription skills.
Flamenco guitar is a discipline that requires patience in the learning process. It is great fun and an extremely satisfying social experience when played with others.
Prices Flamenco Guitar Lessons
Prices for flamenco courses differ from the generic price structure. All other conditions remain the same.
- Private lessons: $95 per hour
- 10 week course ( 10 hours private): $595 per level
Students are required to have a practical understanding of scales, chords and harmony to be effective in the course objectives. All students are required to pass an entrance exam or have completed level 3 in the Creative Guitar School general program. Please email me for details.
How to create the flamenco sound
Let’s assume with are in the key of E. The tonal centre is defined by the E7 and all available tensions and chords are those of the relative C scale.
In order to start familiarising yourself with the flamenco sound, play the tonic on the Spanish guitar without the third and add the following passing tones: tensions 7- b9 – # 5- sus 4 . Keep them short and make sure you resolve quickly to the corresponding note of major tonic with the third.
Now move away for a beat or two to a subdominant type of sound. One which creates contrast by creating structures from these root notes:
- and V diminished .
Experiment with them on weak beats and make sure they are short in duration. Do not only play block chords, arpeggiate them to achieve further contrast with the tonic sound
Melodic flamenco passing tones
Experiment as melodic passing tones the following tensions:
- bII: Tensions b7- 7- b5- #11- 9- b9-13
- bV11m: Tensions 7- b5- 9-11- 13
- V diminished : Tensions 7- 9- 11- #11
Create your now chords
Also experiment with vertical structures that have a lesser degree of tension than the previous chords Please note that the following chordal structures have some similar notes to the tonic chord.
- IVm: Tensions 7-9-sus4-6-9-11- 13
- VI : Tensions 7- Maj7- #5- 9- 11- 13
- III: Tensions 7- 9- sus4- #5 – 6-11-#11-13
Try creating melodic ideas by arpeggiating them and resolving either on the tonic chord or on the following:
- and V diminished
What makes the flamenco sound?
The flamenco sound primarily defines a major key that is modal in character. The flamenco mode must constantly be reminded to the listener by the guitarist. If the mode is not constantly reminded to the listener then our subjective perception will quickly drift to the Ionian sound (pop-music sound).
Contrast between major and minor
Let’s say you are in the relative key of C. The flamenco tonal centre will be the E, but instead of a diatonic minor chord as a tonal center we alter it and make it sound major. The E7 will now be our resting point of all cadences.
All cadences must clearly sound like they will to resolve to a C tonal center but if instead you resolve to the E7 and you will then create by contrast the flamenco sound.
You will only understand the sound of flamenco once you have memorised a series of 12 bar phrase that will give you the vocabulary of the style.
Flamenco = Modal music
In all modal music we create vertical structures to produce tension in relation to the home chord we move towards or away from. As guitar players, we need not to think of chords as structures of consecutive thirds but rather as clusters of notes we select to create degrees of tension when we move to and away from the home sound.
We will learn in our flamenco guitar lessons that the use of chordal vertical structures or harmonic movements that relate to our major sound must be played wisely to maintain the flamenco environment and not to have our perception drift away from the modal sound to its relative major .
Flamenco encompasses over 100 different styles classified by time signature, geographical origin, folk music origin and the structure of the lyrics.
Here are a list of 35 common styles classifies in alphabetical order:
- Copla andaluza
- Jota flamenca
- Media Granaína
- Seguiriya o Siguiriya
- Taranta o Taranto
AMEB Classical Guitar Examinations
Students at the Creative Guitar School may follow the Australian Music Examinations Board (AMEB ) syllabus for Levels 1 to 3.
- Level 1 – Preliminary to Grade 4
- Level 2 – Grade 5 to Certificate of Performance
- Level 3 – Associate Diploma (AMusA) and Licentiate Diploma
More resources for flamenco
If you would like to hear a variety of flamenco style please go to my you tube and select recommenced listening in flamenco to enjoy a variety targeted selection of flamenco artists in guitar music.