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  1. #1

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    Two questions regarding flamenco guitar:

    a) I am a pick player wanting to add 'a little flamenco' to my style useing the flat pick. I understand that playing rasguedos is out of the question but could you recommend any tutor books that would show flamenco scales / runs / 'licks' etc to get the flamenco effect into my playing?

    b) Is flamenco a bit like jazz? That is you play the 'head'--improvise on the chord sequence (or not at all--do your own 'thing')?---back to the head?

    Many thanks.

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  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by swingtoneman
    Two questions regarding flamenco guitar:

    a) I am a pick player wanting to add 'a little flamenco' to my style useing the flat pick. I understand that playing rasguedos is out of the question but could you recommend any tutor books that would show flamenco scales / runs / 'licks' etc to get the flamenco effect into my playing?

    b) Is flamenco a bit like jazz? That is you play the 'head'--improvise on the chord sequence (or not at all--do your own 'thing')?---back to the head?

    Many thanks.
    You could get a "little flamenco" by just playing he phrygian mode and learning the Andalusian cadence and doing a Tommy Tedesco kinda thing. But that's like telling someone they can play Blues by just noodling around with the pentatonic minor.

    Flamenco is a whole other world. There are no heads in Flamenco because there are no "songs" as we understand songs. Each verse that's sung is a stand alone short poem that does't link to the others and tell a story. There's no repeated chorus. There is a form that tells a story called a "Romance," but it's not typical.

    You'll find song titles on records, but that's not how flamencos identitify songs. The form of the song is what's important - soleas, siguiriyas, alegrias, etc.

    Solo Flamenco guitar is playing by linking "falsetas" together over the form. Falsetas are short musical phrases kinda like licks. There's no real melody as in a typical song. The chord progression and rhythm is what holds it together and identifies it.

    This is probably way more than what you wanted to hear and I'm probably not explaining it very well. You can play something that sounds flamencoish, but it won't be Flamenco.

    I've got a little street cred on this subject. I used to play Flamenco and lived in southern Spain near Jerez (the epicenter of Flamenco) for over 20 years.

  4. #3
    Hi Jack E Blue
    Many thanks for your reply to my question regarding Flemenco guitar style. Very helpfull and knowledgable. I play gypsy jazz style and want to add a bit of flemenco'ish style into the mix 'at odd moments'.
    I believe there are two types of Flemenco-- the tourist style and the real gypsys who play.

  5. #4

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    Take a look at Troy Grady's youtube stuff about Strunz and Farah; they use some flamenco-styled material for their improvisations. Flamencos don't play over changes, but their "falsettos", or composed licks, may well fit into some of the tunes you play. It's about attitude and attack, for your purposes. Like Jack E Blue, I played and studied flamenco in Spain and here is he USA as well, and I found that absorbing the "aire" gave a certain attitude to my jazz playing that elicits comments on my "flamenco" influences. I do play on nylon strings mostly, which also helps the illusion.

  6. #5

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  7. #6

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  8. #7

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    Swingstoneman,

    I hope I didn't come across as some kind of pedantic know-it-all. I'm not a purist. I've run across many of them over the years. Ironically they were mostly foreigners (non-spaniards) on Flamenco forums.

    Re-reading my post I sound like I'm putting down Tommy Tedesco. My reference to him was regarding his ability to play any style by capturing the essence and sounding good to anybody who wasn't fully immersed in whatever style he was trying mimic.

    If you're not familiar with him look him up. He was a real character. Jimmy Bruno has a several funny anecdotes about Tommy.

    Anyway, if I wanted to do what you're trying to do I'd listen to the Gypsy Kings. They're playing mostly Flamenco Rumba. However, they capture that Flamenco-ish sound just fine for anybody who's not really into or knows "pure" Flamenco. Plus, their lead guitarist plays with a pick.

    The Gypsy Jazz Bossa rhythm is essentially the Flamenco Rumba rhythm. You shouldn't have any problem incorporating some Flamenco sounding ideas into your playing. So, my recommendations is listen to the Gypsy Kings and pick up some ideas.

  9. #8
    Once again everybody for taking the time to educate me regarding my topic--very much appreciated.

  10. #9

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    Do Gipsy Kings have a new lead guitarist? Tonino payed picado, I never saw him use a pick. Or maybe he switched because of injury or focal dystonia?

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack E Blue
    You could get a "little flamenco" by just playing he phrygian mode and learning the Andalusian cadence and doing a Tommy Tedesco kinda thing. But that's like telling someone they can play Blues by just noodling around with the pentatonic minor.

    Flamenco is a whole other world. There are no heads in Flamenco because there are no "songs" as we understand songs. Each verse that's sung is a stand alone short poem that does't link to the others and tell a story. There's no repeated chorus. There is a form that tells a story called a "Romance," but it's not typical.

    You'll find song titles on records, but that's not how flamencos identitify songs. The form of the song is what's important - soleas, siguiriyas, alegrias, etc.

    Solo Flamenco guitar is playing by linking "falsetas" together over the form. Falsetas are short musical phrases kinda like licks. There's no real melody as in a typical song. The chord progression and rhythm is what holds it together and identifies it.

    This is probably way more than what you wanted to hear and I'm probably not explaining it very well. You can play something that sounds flamencoish, but it won't be Flamenco.

    I've got a little street cred on this subject. I used to play Flamenco and lived in southern Spain near Jerez (the epicenter of Flamenco) for over 20 years.
    Now That is a great description of Flamenco Style Music. Alot of my work has a Flamenco Style Both in Rhythm and Lead. Not saying I'm Great at it But I like how it changes things up.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronjazz
    Do Gipsy Kings have a new lead guitarist? Tonino payed picado, I never saw him use a pick. Or maybe he switched because of injury or focal dystonia?
    You might have me there, Ron. I could swear that Tonino played with a pick. Maybe my memory is not as good I thought it was. But, you gotta cut me some slack. I'm old, so I have a lot more stuff to remember.

  13. #12

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    Yeah, Ron, you are definitely correct. I just watched several GK videos. I haven't listened to those guys in years. Tonino Baliardo plays picado, not with a pick.

    Now I'll be racking my brain trying to figure out who I have him confused with.

  14. #13

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    Listen to these guys for flamenco and jazz: Chicuelo & Mezquida.



    The guitarist, Chicuelo, is very well known (played with Enrique Morente and Miguel Poveda, if I’m not wrong) and the vibe is close to what Michel Camilo did with Tomatito, only with more originals.

    No pick, though.

    These other guys (Biel Ballester Trio, plus Stochelo Rosenberg) are more in your alley, I think. Picks all over the place and rhumba:

    Last edited by xavierbarcelo; 12-27-2019 at 01:12 PM.

  15. #14

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  16. #15
    Thanks everybody for your input to my question. Excellent replies and videos.

    swingtoneman.