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Flamenco Guitar Method

Flamenco - Gitarre - Schule - Haltung

Volume 1


The traditional posture of the Flamenco guitarist is ideal for your back and spine (see picture 1.7). The guitar rests against the upper part of the body and is held tightly between thigh and upper arm. Do not support the guitar at any other points. Certainly not with your left hand (picture 1.6). Your thighs should be horizontal, your seat at knee level or, better, below your knee. Unfortunately, ....

Flamenco - Gitarre - Schule - Haltung

One-Finger Rasgueado - Punteado

The reason for the percussive tone of a good sounding rasgueo is not the extremely low action of the strings, but because the strings are struck towards the tapa ( top of the guitar). The face of the index fingernail should strike the strings ... (read more in the Flamenco Guitar Method)

.... Only the index finger is pressed against the thumb to build up tension. The remaining fingers may join in the movement but should never be pressed against the thumb. This gives the impression that a lot of guitarists execute the downstroke with all fingers ...



The downstroke and upstroke with the fingers can be combined in countless ways, and there are two different kinds of rasgueos: the finger rasgueo and the hand rasgueo. The most important thing about the finger rasgueo is building up a short tension in the fingers and then flicking them off immediately. In the past, the 5-finger rasgueo was still in use (q-a-m-i or q-a-m-i-p) whereas today, the 3-finger rasgueo is most commonly used. The less fingers are involved in playing a rasgueo, the more difficult it gets to keep the intervals between the fingers. The result should always be a definable and transparent rasgueo. ?Strumming? is frowned upon nowadays. Again, the thumb is placed, or rather anchored, on 6 and is bent. The basic position is the same as that of the one-finger ....

See also the techniques of the great flamenco guitar players


Flamenco Guitar - Technique - 3-Finger-Rasgueado


Golpe - Golpeador

Flamenco Guitar Method - Lesson 3

To avoid damaging the tapa, a golpeador (pickguard) is glued on between the puente (bridge) and the boca (soundhole). Self-adhesive films are available from specialist shops if you want to retro-fit a pickguard. But always carefully consider ...

i-downstroke and golpe i- and p-Downstroke with Golpe

At the beginning, it is very difficult to perform a golpe at the same time as a downstroke with the index finger, because a and i have to move in opposite directions, which is quite unfamiliar. While i plays the strings, i.e.


Flamenco Lehrer - Golpeador - i-Abschlag und golpe


Flamenco guitar method: Lesson 4

All 3-finger rasgueos are called tresillos (triplets) in Flamenco, erroneously including rasgueos which are not notated as triplets. One of these tresillos, the rasgueo ...

... No rasgueo is played in so many different ways as the tresillos. On closer examination, all of them are consistent and justified. On the one hand, they were created for reasons of sound or lack of velocity and on the other hand because of physical disabilities. Many tocaors - some of them famous people - who were missing one or even two fingers of the right hand or who were paralysed, created a new rasgueo out of necessity. Also, some guitarists invented different rasgueos or fingerings to ...

Tresillos (triads)

La Guitarra Flamenca

Guitar maker

Flamenco guitar method - lesson 5:

Before DON ANTONIO TORRES (1817-1892) started building guitars at the time of the café cantante, the so-called guitarras de tablao were used in Flamenco. They were made of local wood which was cheaper than the precious woods from "America Latina". Not only did TORRES invent the modern guitar, but he was also the first guitar maker who began to differentiate between the Flamenco and the classical guitar.

The Flamenco guitar is much lighter than the classical guitar. That is not only because it is made of cypress wood, but also, as mentioned in Lesson 1, because the walls ...


Guitarra flamenca

Volume 2

Arpegio (arpeggio)

Flamenco Guitar Method Vol 2, Lesson 6:

When playing arpegio (arpeggio) the thumb is always played apoyando, unless the ...
Arpegio Exercises Iand II should also be practised with p-m-i-a, p-m-a-i, p-a-i-m and p-i-a-mas well as with i-p-m-a and a-p-m-i.

Arpegio (arpeggio)


Flamenco Guitar Method: Lesson 6

The traditional Flamenco tremolo is played in a quintuplet. The sequence is p-i-am-i, the thumb is again placed on the string (apoyando). All finger combinations of Tremolo Exercise I should be practised for a while to make the tremolo sound nice and round.



PACO DE LUCÍA'S picado technique has become a standard technique of the young tocaores. The old master SABICAS used it as well, but PACO DE LUCIA´s picado was even more sparkling and brilliant, and he played it with incredible velocity. The brilliance and velocity are achieved merely by the postion of the hand. In this technique, the thumb is always ...

This stroke creates the typical Flamenco picado which has become a standard.

See also the techniques of great guitar players



Die Bulerías zählen, vor allem bei den jungen Gitarristen, zu den beliebtesten toques, da Compás-Sicherheit und Virtuosität voll zur Geltung kommen können. Die Erfahrung zeigt, wenn der compás der Bulerías mit seinen Varianten begriffen wurde, fallen die Rhythmen der anderen estilos, die im 12er-Compás ablaufen, leichter. Wenn auch manche Gitarristen die Bulerías sehr zart, oder »akademisch« spielen, so ist und bleibt sie der Stil im Flamenco, der mit »full-power«, vor allem von den gitanos, vorgetragen wird. Nicht nur im toque, sondern auch im cante und baile. Während im Solospiel hauptsächlich in »La-Dórico« gespielt wird, sind im acompañamiento alle Modi zu finden. Für einen guten tocaor heißt dies, dass er die Bulerías ...


Flamenco-Gitarre: Bulerías-Übungen

Flamenco harmony and chords

Flamenco guitar method - lesson 5: Modo Dórico, chords and harmony.

The first four chords make up the harmonies of the modo dórico, with E major (Mi-major) as the basic chord. In descending order, the chords are: A minor (la-menor) - G major (Sol-major) - F major (Fa-major) - E major (Mi-major). Applied to the major/minor system, we are in the key of ...

Modo dorico

Flamenco scales

Here are the four most important scales in the Flamenco mode. This mode is called modo dórico. The notes with an accidental in parentheses are only played on the basic chord (the dominant). See Volume I, Modo Dórico.

PYTHAGORAS (about 580 to 500 BC) created the first complete diatonic scale (e1, d1, c1, h, a, g, f, e). It is made up of two similar, unconnected tetrachords (four-tone rows: whole tone-, whole tone-, half tone step) and constitutes the Dorian scale. The highest ...



Flamenco Guitar Method Volume 2: Lesson 8

The Bulerías belong to the most popular toques, especially for the young guitarists, because compás security and virtuosity can be shown to their best advantage. Experience shows that if you fully understand the compás of the Bulerías and its variations, you will find the rhythms of the other estilos, played according to the 12beat compás, easier. Even though some guitarists play them very gently or

"academically," the Bulería is and will always be the Flamenco style which is played very powerfully, especially by the gitanos. Not only in toque, but also in cante and baile. Whereas solos are mostly played in "La-dórico," you will find all kinds of modes in the acompañamiento. To a good tocaor that means he should also be able to play the Bulerías in the major and minor modes, as well as por arriba (Mi-dórico). Often, other estilos are sung in the compás of the Bulerías. In this case they are called ...


Alzapúa - Technik der Flamenco-Gitarre


Flamenco Guitar Method, Vol 2:

The alzapúa is probably one of the most interesting Flamenco guitar techniques. Since it doesn't exist in any other kind of guitar music, colleagues from other genres often ask me how it works. And since it is mostly played very fast, it is absolutely impossible to see the sequence of strokes.

"Púa" is the plectrum and "alzar" means "to lift" or "to raise." Since the alzapúa is only played with the thumb, this means that p plays downstrokes and upstrokes across one or more strings.

More often than not, the alzapúa is played across three strings. The best way of describing the sequence of strokes is as a threefold movement, which doesn't mean, however, that it has to be a triad.

Movement 1: p begins with a ...

See also the techniques of treat flamenco guitar players


Flamenco History


The development of this musical phenomenon is based on a variety of cultural influences, social tensions and the exlusion of ethnic groups such as gipsies, Jews and Moors in southern Spain. Finding the origins of Flamenco is difficult, since there are only very few written records from past centuries. To investigate its early roots it is necessary to explore the cultural history of Andalusia and the different musical elements in Flamenco which point to its varied origins. Thanks to this blend of different musical origins, Flamenco has become what it is today: fascinating and at the same time eluding detailed analysis. Even flamencologists often disagree and have no choice but to rely on guesswork. Often, the only way to form your own opinion is to decide whether to believe more in the works of one author than in those of another. There is no standard theory about Flamenco, only descriptions of different opinions ...


The Bronze Age cave paintings in Andalusia, such as "La Pileta" near Ronda (25,000 to 30,000 years old), or the "Cultura Almeriense" (ceramic and copper art) from "Los Miralles" near Almería, prove that works of art have been created ...

Middle Ages

After the decline of power of the West-Roman Empire (from about 400 A.D.) the Vandals (an East-Germanic tribe) passed through and looted Spain. However, after a short time they were driven to North Africa by the Visigoths where they established ...

The Moors

In 711 A.D. seven thousand Berbers led by the Arab commander and governor of Tanger, TARIK IBU ZAYAD, crossed the Strait of Gibraltar. The moros were allegedly ...

The Reconquest (Reconquista)

The Reconquest, i.e. the reconquering of Spain from the Moors, and the Conquista, i.e. the conquest of America, began in 1492 and are still celebrated as national events today. The Reconquest began as early ... (read more in: Flamenco Guitar Method by Gerhard Graf-Martinez, Vol 2, lesson 10.)

flamenco history

The Jews

As mentioned before, the Jewish epoch began long before the Christian era. This allegation is substantiated by the fact that, in Christ's day, Jewish pilgrims called sephardim came from Spain to Jerusalem. Sepharad (the biblical term) denoted ...

The Inquisition

When FERDINAND and ISABELLA, Kings of Castile, decided to clean Spain of minorities in an endeavour for racial purity and religious unity (Catholicism being the only religion), a sad process began, depriving Spain of some of the important representatives of its cultural, economic and ...

The Conquista

The Conquista (conquest) was the epoch in which Spain rose to world power because of its conquest of the New World and other countries. The famous conquistadores, CORTEZ and PIZARRO, conquered ...

The Gipsies

India is the presumed country of origin of the gipsies. However, to date, researchers have not been able to prove whether they came from the valleys of the Indus (more than three thousand kilometres long) or Rajasthan (a state bordering Pakistan) or the Hindukusch mountains. And it is not quite clear, either, why they left their ... (read more in: Flamenco Guitar Method by Gerhard Graf-Martinez, Vol 2, lesson 10)


CD Tracks

Flamenco Guitar Method, Vol 1 + 2:

01 Sencillos I (Tangos) 0:14
02 3-Finger-Rasgueo 0:08
03 Estudio por Soleá 0:25
04 4-Finger-Rasgueo 0:10
05 Sencillos II (Tangos) 1:10
06 Naino I (Tangos) 0:37
07 Naino II (Tangos) 1:12
08 Naino III (Tangos) 0:38
09 Naino IV (Tangos) 0:55
10 Mantón I (Soleá) 0:41
11 Caí I (Alegrías en Do) 0:36
12 Ayudado Exercise I 0:36
13 Ayudado Exercise II 0:16
14 Rumbita I (Rumba) 0:45
15 Mantón II (Soleá) 1:14
16 i-downstroke with Golpe 0:22
17 p-downstroke with Golpe 0:23
18 Naino V (Tangos) 3:06
19 Quejío (Taranto) 2:27
20 Rumba-Compás I 0:28
21 Rumba-Compás II 0:27
22 Rumba-Compás III 0:28
23 Rumba-Compás IV 0:28
24 Rumba-Compás V 0:30
25 Rumba-Compás VI 0:28
26 Tangos-Compás with Tresillos I 0:46
27 Soleá-Compás with Tresillos I 0:20
28 Soleá-Compás with Tresillos II 0:20
29 Soleá-Compás with Tresillos III 0:21
30 Soleá-Compás with Tresillos IV 0:20
31 Fandango de Huelva 0:43
32 Sevillanas 0:57
33 Paso Lento (Alegría) 1:00
34 Mantón III (Soleá) 1:50
35 Quejío II (Taranto) 1:46
36 Mantón IV (Soleá) 0:42
37 Mantón V (Soleá) 1:03
38 Mantón VI (Soleá) 1:07
39 Rumbita II (Rumba) 1:31
40 Tremolo Exercise I 0:27
41 Tremolo Exercise II 0:25
42 Quejío III (Taranto) 2:09
43 Lérida (Garrotín) 2:49
44 Palo Seco I (Bulerías Exercise) 0:08
45 Palo Seco II (Bulerías Exercise) 0:08
46 Palo Seco III (Bulerías Exercise) 0:08
47 Palo Seco IV (Bulerías Exercise) 0:08
48 Bulerías-Compás I 0:19
49 Bulerías-Compás II 0:18
50 Bulerías-Compás III 0:19
51 Bulerías-Compás IV 0:19
52 Bulerías-Compás V 0:19
53 Bulerías-Compás VI 0:19
54 Bulerías-Compás VII 0:19
55 Bulerías-Compás VIII 0:19
56 Bulerías-Compás IX 0:19
57 Bulerías-Compás X 0:19
58 Bulerías-Compás XI 0:19
59 Bulerías-Compás XII 0:20
60 Bulerías-Compás XIII 0:20
61 Bulerías-Compás XIV 0:19
62 Bulerías-Compás XV 0:20
63 Bulerías-Compás XVI 0:19
64 Bulerías-Compás XVII 0:19
65 Bulerías-Compás XVIII 0:28
66 Columpio I (Bulerías) 0:57
67 Columpio II (Bulerías) 0:58
68 Columpio III (Bulerías) 0:58
69 Alzapúa I (Exercise) 0:28
70 Alzapúa II (Exercise) 0:17
71 Alzapúa III (Exercise) 0:17
72 Alzapúa IV (Exercise) 1:33
73 Alzapúa V (Exercise) 0:32
74 Alzapúa VI (Exercise) 0:32
75 Mantón VII (Soleá) 0:25
76 Mantón VIII (Soleá) 0:36
77 Mantón IX (Soleá) 0:44
78 Mantón X (Soleá) 0:49
79 Alegría en Mi I (Compás Exercise) 0:59
80 Alegría en Mi II (Compás Exercise) 1:00
81 Alegría en Mi III (Intro) 1:02
82 Alegría en Mi IV (Escobilla) 1:02
83 Alegría en Mi V (Puente) 0:59
84 Caí II (Alegría en Do) 0:56
85 Caí III (Alegría en Do) 1:26
86 Caí IV (Alegría en Do) 1:00
87 Caí V (Alegría en Do) 1:05
88 Columpio IV (Bulerías) 4:02
89 Columpio V (Bulerías) 0:58
90 Quejío IV (Taranto) 2:40
91 Naino VI (Tangos) 2:13
92 Naino VII (Tangos) 0:54
93 Naino VIII (Tangos) 0:38

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