Group 1

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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  • Hello Martin and Alexander: Thank you for having me in this group. I've played classical guitar for a while, and now I'd like to take this opportunity to try a new and exotic genre: Flamenco! Starting to practice now! Cheers.

    Like 1
    • Giao Pham great to have you here! Looking forward to hearing your results!

      Like
  • Thankyou for accepting me. I am an instrumental music teacher and looking forward to improving my guitar skills. Hoping it will also get me practising again.

    Like 1
    • Lynda Irvine great to have you here, please let me know if you have any questions of doubts! 

      Like
    • Peter
    • Peterargondizza
    • 4 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    The first lesson explaining the starting position for the three finger rasqueado clearly explained and demonstrated how to get securely prepared for the fast finger reflex  action and it prepared the hand for the subsequent rhythmic action of the fingers perfectly. Thank you.

    Like 1
    • Peter thanks a lot for your comment. Great to have you here, looking forward to seeing your results! 

      Like 1
  • Thank you for the very clear instruction.   I found that I tense up my hand in exercise 3, probably due to holding back the m finger and avoiding it hitting strings.  I felt my wrist getting tired easily.   Any suggestions?   Thank you.

    Like 1
    • Vincent Tam great to have you here and thanks for your question! I normally like to keep me m finger outside the hand (which is always healthier than keeping it inside the palm of your hand). Maybe it would help if you practice the Abanico with a little stretch on your m finger (it doesn‘t have to be completely streched, just a little so that it doesn‘t desturb the ring and index fingers).

      Also try to let your hand loose when the index finger comes down. You should feel that when doing it slowly (ex.3!) your wrist is completely relaxed in the movement going down.

      please let me know if it helps you a little bit!

      Like 1
    • Alexander Gil  Thank you for your reply.  That helps.  The tension is less, but I guess this will get better with time.  Below is the video of the three exercises.  I still have problem with exercise 3 as you will see.   Will continue to work on it.    Appreicate your comments and feedback on my effort.

       

      https://youtu.be/EYm-xP18u4A

      Like 1
    • Vincent Tam thank you very much for the video! It is already looking great! I like the sound on your Rasgueados (exercise 1) very much!

      Be careful that you still count on 3 in the Abanico (exercise 3) and play the triplets. It sounds a little bit as if you would wait (or take a short break) between the movement of the thumb going upwards and the ringfinger going downwards, as if the ringfinger would be too late. I would suggest to practice it very slowly with metronome and for every beat one movement at a time (feel that you always have the same „time-space“ between every movement and that no finger is coming too early or too late). Let me know if this helps a little bit. Keep up the good work! 

      Like
    • Steve Pederson
    • The Journey is My Destination!
    • Steve_Pederson
    • 4 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    Excited and grateful to be a part of this challenge! My questions are addressed in my video...

    Like 1
    • Steve Pederson great to have you here! Everything looked already very good, I can see that you already have some experience doing these techniques.

       

      here are some suggestions that might help you a bit.

       

      1. in the Rasgueado you could try to position your hand a little closer to the strings especially the right part of your hand. This would allow the ring finger to be closer to the strings and get a better attack on them. 
       

      2. alzapúa already looking great. I always recommend to do the golpe (the slap) with the middle and ringfinger (both curved) and to slightly go underneath the first string. Maybe this could help you to stay in a more relaxed position while speeding up the technique. Of course when it gets faster you won‘t be able to let your hand fall down, it‘s just the feeling of letting your hand completely loose that has to be trained in a slow tempo.

       

      3. Abanico, try to stretch a little bit your m finger so that it doesn‘t get in your way. Other than the normal rasgueado where we start in a hand-closed position, we want the hand to be a little more open when playing the abanico because most part of the work comes more from the wrist than from the fingers itself.

       

      i hope this helps a little bit, keep up the good work, as I said earlier it looks great already. Please let me know how it feels with this small adjustements

      Like 2
    • Barney
    • Barney
    • 4 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    Hi Alex,  since I don't have protection on my Ramirez Classical guitar, is this Kling-on product good to protect it from tapping, etc?

    https://www.stringsbymail.com/kling-on-clear-non-permanent-removable-top-protector-ultra-ut-3p-c-2579.html

    Like 1
    • Barney great to have you here and thanks for your question! 
      I have made some bad experiences with removable protectors, since they are normally not thick enough. Altough this one in particular sounds thick enough I would be very carefull by trying out for the Alzapúa, since it is the movement were we slap on top the most. In any case it is great to have a protection (even a thin one) for the Rasgueados and the Abanico so for sure it will be worth trying it out. Please let me know if it works!

      Like
      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Alexander Gil Thank you Alex.  I will try the Protector with care.

       

      Will you have time to discuss playing fast scales (Picados) with particular attention to the position and angle of hand, fingers, and joints moving from string to string; and how to achieve the "small" quick reflex movements of attack to achieve the type of speed and sound ( more percussive for Flamenco and less for Classical scales) like  Grisha, Sabicas, etc. ?  Any exercises that would help to attain this skill?

      Does the fact I'm using a Classical guitar affect it much, since it has a higher bridge than a flamenco guitar ?  and would using a capo on the Classical instrument help this problem?

      Any help on this would be much appreciated.   Thanks!!

      Like 1
    • Barney thanks a lot for your question! As you might know, Flamenco is a very wide topic that has many different musical and technical aspects. That‘s why unfortunately I had to decide on what types of techniques and exercises I wanted to focus on for this challenge. I haven‘t planned goint into detail regarding the „piccados“ (fast scales). However I would love to give you some suggestions that might help you a little bit…

       

      the classical guitar has in fact a higher bridge thats why I would highly recommend you to try out different string-tensions. You will clearly feel the difference between high, medium and low-tension.

      I really like the Savarez, Knobloch or Luthier Strings medium tension (these are my favourites).

       

      regarding the attack I like to place my hand a little bit closer to the bridge and turn my hand a little more to the right so that I get a more „naily“ sound. However there is no right or wrong, I have seen many different handpositions over the years…Paco de Lucía, Sabicas, and Vicente Amigo f.ex. They all have quite different ways of playing the piccados and they all sound great. so you really have to experiment different positions to find the one you feel comfortable.

       

      in my opinion the most important thing is that the attack is as short as possible and that you have the same sound on your index- and middlefinger. Also try to play with shorter nails, since you don‘t want any resistance while sliding thought the string.

       

      Make sure to check out the piccado exercises that maestro Andrés Batista has, I did many of them and his former student Javier Conde has one of the best Piccados on the planet…so they can‘t be bad ;-)

       

      Please let me know if any of this tips helped you a little bit! 

      Like
      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Alexander Gil Thank you Alex!  Do you have  tabs copies of the picado exercises of maestro Andrés Batista that you refer to, that you can share?

      Please give me a link to a Youtube video showing the exercise(s) you are talking about.

      Thanks for your help on this;  much appreciated!

      Best,

      Barney

      Like 1
    • Barney 

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      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Alexander Gil Thank you very much Alex!!  Is there a Youtube video of this performed anywhere?

      Like 1
    • Barney I haven‘t found any youtube video, but Javier Conde plays a lot of Batistas repertory. Maybe you can find some videos on his Instagram or Facebook account! 

      Like
      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 4 mths ago
      • Reported - view

      Alexander Gil Okay, thanks.   I will look for the Javier Conde videos.

      Like
    • Nima
    • Nima
    • 4 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    Hi, how should I sing up?

    Like
    • Debbie
    • Debbie
    • 4 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    Hello Alexander! Here is my first video on the three techniques for this first week. Question: why is flamenco played on the right leg instead of on the left like classical guitar? Is it just tradition or is there a reason, as in the techniques are easier to play that way? 

    Like 2
    • Debbie great to have you here and thanks a lot for your video! It is already looking good however I have a few tipps that might help you to improve a little more ;-)

       

      1. Rasgueado, try to position your thumb on the 6th string so that your hand stays in a stable position. We want the fingers to work alone without any further help of your wrist coming down. This will make it harder for the fingers but after a while you will see that it sounds more crispy once your fingers get to a certain speed. 
       

      2. Alzapúa

      make sure that your m and a finger are doing the slap together if it is possible. I see that your m finger is staying stretched and your a finger is going underneath the first string. I would do the same, but instead of just going underneath with the ringfinger I would do it with both at the same time. Remember, they are connected anyways since they have the same tendon!

       

      3. already looking great! Remember to always accentuate on the movement upwards so that we get the accent on the first triplet.

       

      please let me know if this helped you a little bit :-) looking forward to hearing your results!

      Like 2
    • Deb Covellnull
    • Long term hobby guitar player and one time guitar builder
    • Deb
    • 4 mths ago
    • Reported - view

    Hi, don’t think my last message sent, just need clarification on R hand position when striking strings, ie. angle of hand , distance of hand placement over strings etc, as  i don’t seem to getting the motion correct, nor the individual finger independence, thanks Alexander, cheers Deb

    Like 1
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