Group 2

Join us this week for an exhilarating journey into the heart of Flamenco guitar with the Alexander Gil! In this special Two Week Intensive, Alex will dive deep into the captivating world of Flamenco, sharing his insights and techniques that make this style so unique and expressive.

What's On The Agenda?

  • Rasgueados Technique: Unleash the rhythmic power of your strumming with the dynamic Rasgueados technique, a quintessential element in Flamenco music.
  • Alzapúa Technique: Explore the Alzapúa, a thumb-led playing style that adds depth and richness to your Flamenco repertoire.
  • Tangos Compas & Basic Falseta: Feel the beat of Tangos Compas and learn a basic Falseta to bring your Flamenco compositions to life.

Why You Can't Miss This:

  • Expert Guidance: Alex Gil, with his profound experience and passion for Flamenco, will guide you through each technique, ensuring you grasp the essence of these styles.
  • Interactive Learning: Engage in a lively session where you can ask questions, receive personalized tips, and truly connect with the Flamenco spirit.
  • Community Connection: Join fellow guitar enthusiasts in discovering new aspects of guitar playing, sharing experiences, and growing together.

Timeline:

  • Sign-Up : until Sunday, Nov 19th
  • Course Period: Nov 20th - Dec 1st
  • Optional check-In via Zoom: Nov 28, 10am PST

Assignments

  • Practice the three exercises, record yourself, and upload an unlisted video to YouTube or Vimeo.
  • Share the link for Alexander to review.
  • If you have any questions, post them below!

More exercise and rhythms in the 2nd week!

NEW ASSIGNMENTS

LAST VIDEO

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    • John
    • John.12
    • 7 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    Hi - I'm John. I'm looking forward to this. I've never really attempted to play Flamenco although I have been playing guitar in a range of styles since I was 18. In October, I went to see one of the performances at the Flamenco Museum in Seville. I wasn't expecting that much to be honest as it all seemed very touristy, but the guitar player was absolutely astonishing, inspiring me to have a little go myself.

    Like 1
    • John great to have you here! I am looking forward to hearing your progress and feedback ok how well you felt discovering the Flamenco techniques

      Like
    • Stephen
    • Stephen.3
    • 7 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    Hello everyone - I'm Steve, and when I saw this opportunity to learn a bit about Flamenco I was excited.  I love the music, but I don't really know anything about it.  I have been playing guitar for a total of about 30 years, I started as an acoustic steel-string finger style player, using open tunings, starting playing John Fahey compositions, I then went through a Hawaiian Slack-Key and then a Celtic phase.  Just a couple of years ago I switched over to a nylon string guitar and started studying Classical.  I'm always tryin to broaden my scope, and that's why I'm here.

    Like 1
    • Stephen great to have you here! I hope that this exercises can help you to discover a new music style and expand your (already very wide) musical knowledge even a bit more! 

      Like
  • Hello! I'm Johan and live in Sweden, work as a guitar teacher at the high school in Örebro. I have played some flamenco over the years, not at any advanced level but I understand the basics. Should be 2 interesting weeks. Can be found on Instagram @flamencojohan

    Like 1
    • Johan Dahlberg great to have you here Johan! Hope that this basic exercises can help you a little bit even if they are probably not very demanding for you! Let me know if you need more material and I will see if I can upload the other exercises a bit earlier than expected.

      Like 1
    • Alexander Gil 

      Hello! Thanks for the answer and exercises, if you can post more material, it would be appreciated. Something I've learned over the years is not to underestimate basic exercises, so thanks for the exercises.

      The most frustrating part of flamenco is the high technical level, something that has made me lose interest several times. Tips for picking up the speed in Alzapúa and Picados are welcome.

      Here is the link to my video; https://youtu.be/IMSribFsisw

      Best regard, Johan

      Like 1
    • Johan Dahlberg great video Johan, I have also seen your Instagram Posts and you are definately already on an advanced level! I have some suggestions, that might maybe help a little bit but on your level it is really difficult to see the small details on one short video. 

       

      when you do the Alzapúa, try to do the golpe (slap on the top of the guitar) with curved fingers as if they would try to go a little more underneath the first string. You will see that the sound changes a bit and that your hand is more in a relaxed position and the whole movement is looking smaller. After a while this might help you to speed up a little bit the Alzapúa. Of course a metronome is always helpful to practice it and also different falsetas from Paco de Lucía, where you learn different types of Alzapúa.

       

      with the Abanico I would recommend you to have a little more distance between your wrist and the strings (like a little twist that the classical guitarists often do) in this case you are able to dig deeper into the strings from the front (you can clearly see it on your thumb that the contact point with the string changes). 

      Please let me know if this helps a bit :-)
       

      Like 1
    • Alexander Gil Thanks so much! Tried it out briefly and you may have hit the nail on the head. I'll look into it more, practice and consider the result.

      Like 1
    • Alexander Gil

      Here is the link to exercises 4 & 5; https://youtu.be/6Rjq5x6hKnw

      I am grateful for any advice I can get, feels like your previous tips help me forward. Have a nice weekend!

      Best regard, Johan

      Like 1
    • Alexander Gil

      Here is the link to exercises 6; https://youtu.be/ftB0nUMTZ0E

      Thanks for the nice introduction!

      Best regard, Johan

      Like 1
    • Johan Dahlberg great work!! Make sure to give more accent on the beats 2,3 and 4. the Rasgueados and the Alzapúa always need some kind of direction and in this case they are always going for the beat 2,3,4 from the first bar. 
       

      Please keep up the good work, you are already on a high level :-)

      Like 1
  • Hi everyone, great to be with you in group 2. I have been an amateur classical guitar player for over 30 years. Flamenco as a music is a passion for me though I never got the nerves to learn and practice it thoroughly.

    Anyway, looking forward to sharing this experience with you and going on to the next level in my playing.

    Like 1
    • Bogac Ozgen great to have you here! I hope that this few basic exercises might help you to get to the next level with the right hand technique. Please feel free to ask me anything if you have any doubts.

      Like
    • Rodney
    • Sommelier
    • Rodney
    • 7 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    Hi, I'm Rodney from Los Angeles. I have been studying Flamenco for about four years. Flamenco is technically demanding and there is always room for improvement. I am looking forward to learning from Alexander.

    Like 1
    • Rodney great to have you here Rodney! You are totally right, we can all always try to improve. The basic exercises won‘t be very difficult for you. Maybe you can try to practice version 1 and 2 for the abanico (video three) and then decide which one works better for you. Just let me know in case you have any questions!

      Like
      • Rodney
      • Sommelier
      • Rodney
      • 7 mths ago
      • Reported - view
    • Rodney great work thanks for the video! I have a suggestion regarding the Alzapúa technique.

       

      in the Alzapúa I usually like to do the golpe with a and m (both fingers a little bit curved) and going a little bit underneath the first string. This will change a bit the sound of the golpe but your hand will be more relaxed so that you can speed it a little bit up! 

      of course metronome is always a great idea because we really want to make sure that the we are rhythmically as precise as possible.

      Let me know if this helps a little bit! 

      Like
  • Hi, I'm Michel.  all i have learned is the 4 fingers rasgueado and i learned a few basic flamenco pieces.  Looking forward to learn Flamenco and terminology.  It would be interesting to have some notes to at least learn the terms and know how to write these. I watched the first 3 videos ,  i could not seize the names of the techniques we are learning.  The only name i know is Rasgueado  because i read and learned the four fingers one already.   I could not seize the names of the techniques from video 2 and 3.

     

    following is the link for the first 3 exercises.  I was not sure how long we had to practice and put them online.  Please be specific when you give assignments on when we should post them.

    It would also be interesting to have an agenda that you have planned for this training.

     

    https://youtu.be/SbsOvefcT3g

     

    thanks

    Like 1
    • Michel Giroux great to have you here Michel and thanks a lot for your questions! The main focus for the first week is to get to know the basic techniques through the first three videos, which is only for the right hand… of course since you already have some experience playing Flamenco, the first week won‘t be too challenging for you. 

       

      however I do have some tipps that might help you maybe:

       

      1. try to do the three finger Rasgueado more crispy, you are doing it very relaxed but you should still feel that the fingers have some resistance and kind of „pop out“ of your hand with speed. Of course while being careful that you are not exaggerating and hurting your hand.
       

      2. Alzapúa technique.

      I would try to accentuate the movement while you are going down with the thumb, because I could not clearly hear the second movement. The Apoyando was good and the movement going upwards aswell.

       

      3. Abanico 

      when your ringfinger is going down, I see that your index finger is also almost coming down. Make sure that your index finger is staying on the top side of the strings and it won‘t come down while the ringfinger is playing.

       

      As I mentioned previously you have time the entire week to get to know this techniques because we want to make sure that everybody feels comfortable using them. I will talk to Martin and see if we can upload the next videos a bit sooner so that the ones that are learning them faster can move on to the part where we play more.

       

      Please let me know if this feedback helped you a little bit.

      Like
    • Alexander Gil Great feedback and thanks for naming and spelling the techniques (i.e.: Abanico and Alzapua).  I will pay attention to your suggestions and resubmit later.  Now, i feel that you missed some of the basics sitting position and holding of the guitar.  When i learned the simple flamenco pieces (long long time ago), my teacher did not teach me how flamenco players hold the guitar and i was holding the guitar as i was playing classical guitar.  Nothing wrong with that, but i since learned the traditional sitting position and the crossed leg position.  I am still not totally understanding the traditional position and i don't feel that the guitar hold its position well.  Could you go over this ?

       

      N.B.:  i bought Juan Martin's "El Arte Flamenco de la guitar", the english version last year.  I just did not find the time to seriously dig into the book and was looking for someone who could start me in this journey.  There is so much to learn, understand and feel.  Oh,  one of my biggest issue is how to count the Compas and the falsettas.   I am guessing that the issue comes from classical guitar playing using sheet music all the time and not being used to improvise over chord changes. I usually end-up being too early or late, hence i have stopped trying to improvise because i easily get lost in the chord progression.

      Like 1
    • Michel Giroux great that you mentioned the sitting position. I normally like to play with crossed legs (as Paco de Lucía and others) since I have a slightly more edgy attack on the string than when I play in the classical position. Also as you correctly mentioned before, I have never felt very comfortable playing the Alzapúa and other techniques having the guitar neck as high as in the classical sitting position. What I also do for Practising, instead of crossing the leg, is to put my right leg on the footstool and get a quite similar position to the one with crossed legs. Another option could be to simply copy the sitting position of Grisha Goryashev who plays with the ergoyplay on his right leg…

       

      there are many different options. Just make sure that whatever position you choose, it enables you to create the sound you are looking for. Maybe we can have a quick look at it in the meeting on Zoom next week.

       

      regarding the Juan Martin Book. I really like all of his works and I also have a few of them at home. They are great! What helps me a lot for keeping the rhythm steady and precise is to use a app called „Dr. compás“. It has a price of approximately 20 USD but is definitely worth a try since it has many different Palos (Flamenco-styles) and you can choose your tempo for practising.

       

      Please let me know if any of this tipps helped you a bit :-)

      Like
    • Alexander Gil Michel Giroux

      As a complement to a flamenco metronome is to play to backgrounds. I often play to an album by Nasrine Rahmani, Tu Compás Flamenco - Bases y Loops. You find it on Spotify.
      https://open.spotify.com/playlist/4F1qJBaDbOoNiqtM2MspHk?si=a51f75a6ce294ab4
      She has also posted them on YouTube.

      Good practice time, Johan

      Like 1
    • Johan Dahlberg great idea thank you very much for sharing! I will have a look at it for sure!

      Like 1
    • Alexander Gil 

      Yeah, I really like them. She has put the bass drum at the start of each compás, which makes it easy to follow compás and get the feel for it.

      Like in Tango when I think most flamenco metronomes count to 4 instead of 8 beats, with Nasrine’s examples it becomes easy to feel the compás of tango with the kick every 8 beats.

      Seguiriyas, which used to be hard to feel, become very clear with the bass drum on beat 8. You can easily get a feel for the compás of 2, 2, 3, 3, 2 (8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7).

      And the fact that she shares them with everyone for free is not wrong either.

      Have a nice weekend! Johan

      Like 1
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