Easy Flamenco guitar – pt 2
If you haven’t read part I – here it is – Easy Flamenco guitar – pt 1
A 3rd concept that I used on that gig is to play many E and F chords – in as many inversions (positions) that I could think of . You can also play E minor instead of the E major chord, but I think the E major chord works better for the sound we’re looking for. For the F chord, you also have the option of keeping the E and B strings open – see the tab.
Since E Phrygian is a mode of the C major scale, we can use any of the chords in C major. So, that gives us some other options to play with – C, Dm, Em, F, G, Am. Some of you may have noticed that I left the B diminished chord off of the list. The reason why is that the B diminished chord is so tense that it may
pull you away from the E phrygian sound.
So, to sum up up this concept, you can play any of these chords – C, Dm, G, Am, but you’ll want to frequently come back to the F – E progression to maintain the sound that we’re looking for.
Basic fingerpicking/flamenco strums
You can certainly play most of this material with a pick, but the music will definitely sound more authentic if you finger pick it. If you need help with basic fingerpicking technique – click here.
There are many techniques that are specific to flamenco guitar. One that is fairly easy to implement is the “rasqueado” technique.
This technique is a way of strumming a whole chord, or as little as 2 notes at a time. What you do is basically flick downwards with the back of your fingernails on the right hand.
Another way to think of it is to close your hand into a fist, then with an explosive movement, open your hand as fast as you can. Now, do that to your strings while holding an E chord. Try to lightly hit the strings with the back of your nails for the best sound. If you hit the strings too heavy, you may hurt your hand a bit, and you won’t be able to develop the proper speed.
Here’s a sample piece using these different techniques. The squiggly lines on the E and F mean that you should use the rasqueado technique.
I hope you’ve had fun with this lesson. Once you understand the basic ideas that I’ve presented, there’s a lot that you can do with it. I’d recommend that you take your time with each concept, learn the licks/ideas that I’ve presented, then try to develop it on your own – that’s ultimately the most important step. Let me know what you think!
Video coming soon!