Flamenco Guitar Method
The world-wide successful Flamenco guitar method is finally available in English.
Flamenco guitar method by Gerhard Graf-Martinez. Volume 1 + 2 (plus CD-Audio). A complete Flamenco guitar course for teaching and private study - standard notation and tablature / tabs.
Complete explanation and exposition of all techniques of the Flamenco guitar like rasgueados, pulgar ayudado, picado, arpegio, tremolo, alzapúa. Special chapter about the Bulerías. All styles, compositions and studies are recorded on CD in original tempo and slow version.
Ref. No.: Vol. 1 - ED 9394 (incl. Audio-CD) - Vol. 2 - ED 9395
About the author
Gerhard Graf-Martinez is a passionate Flamenco guitarist and teacher. This two-volume method contains both his extensive inside-knowledge - acquired from his intense and friendly co-operation with "gitanos" and "maestros" - and the valuable experience of his long-standing teaching activitiy at national and international seminars and workshops.
This guitar method is for everyone who is interested in the Flamenco guitar and its techniques. The logically structured method may serve as a guideline for everyone who has not found the right teacher or teaching materials yet, for everyone who plays Flamenco guitar, but still has questions about right hand techniques, and for everyone who teaches Flamenco guitar. At the same time, it is a reference book on questions about Flamenco in general. The two volumes contain all aspects I consider important to Flamenco guitar playing: instrumentology, the history of Flamenco, a description of the different styles and their complicated rhythms, and a comprehensive glossary. Notation and tablature are not explained in this book because I assume that everyone knows these facts, as well as the basic techniques of the classical guitar. The tablature includes note values because I think that even tablature readers use them to orient themselves, even if it´s not done consciously.
My many sojourns to Andalusia and my work in Madrid, as well as my friendship and acquaintance with greater and lesser Maestros, have influenced my knowledge and experience collected in this method - not forgetting my first inspiration by my long- standing friend and guitarist, Manolo Lohnes, who has contributed considerably to the development of Flamenco in Germany. During 15 years of teaching, I have repeatedly been challenged to think about and analyse what my fingers and, above all, the fingers of the great "Maestros" were doing, and how I could pass on my experience and the things I had learned. As everyone else who teaches Flamenco, whether guitar or dance, I was "made" a teacher by my students. Moreover, I learned a lot from countless per- formances which took place without rehearsals; in these cases, I was introduced to the dancers and singers in the dressing-room only shortly before the performance. As a man and musician, working together and being on the road, especially with "Gitanos," has given me, being a foreign flamenco, a lot. Thanks to all this and to working with my partner and bailaora graciosa Lela de Fuenteprado, Flamenco has become what it is for me now: la vida.
Flamenco is not only guitar music. Although Flamenco gained world-wide popula- rity because of the guitar or guitarists such as Carlos Montoya and Manitas del Plata in the 1960s and Paco de Lucía in the recent past, its cornerstones still consist of singing, dancing, the guitar, and the "jaleos."
Flamenco is a very emotional, yet rigid form of art and an attitude about life. Flamenco means spontaneity and improvisation in music and in life: to live now, not to give oneself up, despite desperate straits, to overcome mental and physical distress without aggression, by using music and dance as an outlet, to
accept ones fate, to make the best of every situation, however little that may be - and to do all this with an enormous zest for life and a strong will to live.
This might be the reason why Flamenco is one of the most elemental forms of music making and dancing which exists strongly from listening to oneself.
However, this method can at best serve only as the grammar and vocabulary of the Flamenco language. You should learn the subtleties and wealth of this language where it is spoken. Since this is not always possible, you should at least have a good look at Flamenco music, i.e. listen to records, go to concerts and try to come into contact with Flamenco artists, especially Flamenco dancing schools which can be found in every major city now.
As there have been virtually no pedagogically trained Flamenco teachers to this day, the music has always only been passed on orally. Only recently have people begun to transcribe it. Moreover, Flamenco was never composed, either. If there are arrangements, they leave much room for improvisation, i.e. free access to the countless drawers of a large chest of drawers. But someone did create the contents of the drawer, the falseta, some time and did learn and practise the form of the "chest of drawers," i.e. the genre with its fixed rhythms and rules.
This guitar method is structured according to these principles. There are no complex compositions. I deliberately refrained from combining the exercises, rhythms and va- riations, but rather adapted them to the technical requirements and levels. My aim is to motivate the student to learn those individual parts, or drawers, by heart in order to combine them freely, but without exchanging the drawers for those of a different "chest of drawers," or to apply the form of a different "chest of drawers."
It is essential to follow the explanations of the techniques and the pictures which go with them very carefully, to achieve the typical sound of the Flamenco stroke, which is the main point in this book. If the practice pieces on the CD sound better than your own playing, it is not because of my guitar or the recording technique, but solely because of the stroke and the tone production. Listen to the examples on the CD as often as possible to get a feeling for phrasing, articulation and tone production.
I hope you enjoy this book and I wish you every success with the Flamenco guitar.
Table of Contents
TOC of Flamenco Guitar Method I
The Sound of the Flamenco Guitar
Pulgar and ima-Downstroke
Pulgar and Rasgueo
i- and p-Downstroke with Golpe
m-Golpe with Downstroke
La Guitarra Flamenca
Modo Dórico - Harmony and chords
List of Compositions and Music Examples
Sencillos I (Tangos)
Sencillos I (simplified notation)
Estudio por Soleá
Sencillos II (Tangos)
Naino I (Tangos)
Naino II (Tangos)
Naino III (Tangos)
Naino IV (Tangos)
Mantón I (Soleá)
Caí I (Alegrías en Do)
Ayudado Exercise I
Ayudado Exercise II
Mantón II (Soleá)
i-Downstroke with Golpe (Garrotín)
p-Downstroke with Golpe and p-Upstroke (Garrotín)
Naino IV (Tangos)
Quejío I (Taranto)
Rumba-Compás I - VI
Tresillo I - IV
Tangos-Compás with Tresillos
Soleá-Compás with Tresillos I
Soleá-Compás with Tresillos II
Soleá-Compás with Tresillos III
Soleá-Compás with Tresillos IV
Fandango de Huelva (Intro)
Fandango de Huelva (Copla)
Paso Lento (Alegría)
TOC of Flamenco guitar Method II
Development of Flamenco
Flamenco in the 50s and Today
El Cante - El Baile - El Toque
List of Music Examples and Compositions
Arpegio Exercise I -IV
Quejío II (Taranto)
Mantón IV (Soleá)
Mantón V (Soleá)
Mantón VI (Soleá)
Rumbita II (Rumba)
Tremolo Exercise I
Tremolo Exercise II
Quejío III (Taranto)
Picado Exercise I - III
Compás Exercise I-IV (Bulerías)
Bulerías-Compás I - XVIII
Columpio I - III(Bulerías)
Mantón VIII (Soleá)
Mantón IX (Soleá)
Mantón X (Soleá)
Mantón XI (Soleá)
Alegría en Mi I (Compás Exercise)
Alegría en Mi II (Compás Exercise)
Alegría en Mi III (Intro)
Alegría en Mi IV (Escobilla)
Alegría en Mi V (Puente)
Caí II (Alegría en Do)
Caí III - V (Alegría en Do)
Columpio IV (Bulerías Intro)
Columpio V (Bulerías)
Quejío IV (Taranto)
Naino VI (Tangos)
Naino VII (Tangos)
Naino VIII (Tangos
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, ....
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
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 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 ...
La Guitarra Flamenca
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 ...
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.
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
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 va- riations, you will find the rhythms of the other estilos, played according to the 12-beat 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 ...
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
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 ...
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 ...
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.)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.
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 ...
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 (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 ...
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)
Testimonials from guitarists around the world. Read what people are saying about the Flamenco guitar publications by Gerhard Graf-Martinez.
Mis palabras de agradecimiento serían insuficientes para expresar toda la alegría y satisfacción de mis lectores y estudiantes que gracias a su generosidad pueden aprovechar el mejor método de guitarra flamenca. Mil gracias. Asimismo, me permito dar las gracias al Sr. D. Prof. Gerhard Graf-Martínez y enviarle mis mejores deseos.
Un atento saludo,
Jefe de Biblioteca
My words of gratefulness would be insufficient to express all the joy and satisfaction of my readers and students who thanks to their generosity can take advantage of the best method of flamenco guitar. Thousand thanks. Also, I allow myself to thank to Mr. D. Prof. Gerhard Graf-Martinez and to send my best desires to him.
My name is Miguel L. Nañawa from Manila, Philippines. thank you very very much!
P.S. My guitar ensemble plays 'La Morita' all the time. Its one of our favorite rumbas.
Guten tag. Es tut mir leid, aber ich spricht nicht viel Deutsch.
I am a flamenco guitarist in the United States, and I'm always looking for new ideas.I have a lot of flamenco books, but I noticed that yours seem to have more detail, more history, and more background information than most.
De todos modos, buenos días de los Estados Unidos, que todo le vaya bien,
I am a flamenco student here in Kansas, USA, and recently I bought the Flamenco Guitar Method 1 and 2 and Rumba Guitar with Cds, videos and score player and I have been studying your method and I am amazed that I have learned more in 01 month than in 06 months of Flamenco Guitar lessons with a teacher.
I am so pleased with your method. I have bought so many materials about Flamenco guitar and they are so boring, and you showed in your video what we really want to learn. Not just rhythms and Palos however the soloing and phrases, falsetas that is not easy to see in many Flamenco guitar videos.
I would like to thank you for this work and my technique has increased a lot. Please, don’t stop creating good methods like these.
Keep me updated about new DVDs.
My name is Litsa,
and I have been studying Flamenco for two years...I currently a copy of Gipsy Guitar, book and CD!!!! I love it. I was wondering if your Flamenco Guitar Method Book, Volume 1 & 2 will ever be available in English.
I arose recently your Flamenco book. Really very madly made. You made yourself a quantity of work and are well understandable the examples also for beginners. The pieces on that CD sound also genuinly beautiful. You are really a full blood musician with heart.
Piet - Germany
... and thought the books very useful indeed.
Huseyin Sipahioglu - Turkey
I really like the concept of being able to watch you because this will help me make sure I am performing something correctly.
I also wanted to express to you my sincerest gratitude.Vol. I have made me a much better guitarist! With other methods I have always been left unsatified and found the material to be too "dry".
I love to practice and play your material. I have even developed the ability to play with a little "aire". People that hear me think I have been playing much longer than I actually have. Your method has been the biggest help and motivation. Thank you.
All the best,
La Falseta Classical & Flamenco Guitars
I am a fan of the Flamenco and I have all your Flamenco books. Your instructional method impressed me very much.
I'm brazillian and bought the FLAMENCO - GITARRENSHULE Band I and Band II, 3 years ago in Zurich.
The method is fantastic and the informations inside the both volumes are very very clear.
Hasta la vista...
Robson Esteves (Brasil)
First of all - large praise for the two Flamenco books.
Marek Tinz - Germany
From Foro Flamenco
I just have a comment to make regarding that interactive CD mentioned. After viewing the QuickTime online showing the music playback with score and speed adjustment, I just have to say that it is very well done. If Gerhard is still following this thread, Gerhard, I've been building interactive multimedia applications for 10 years and that CD displayed on your website is a truly brilliantly designed application! Particularly since it's been built with Director (which is notoriously finicky, flakey and often plain unruly). That's quite an undertaking. Nice work. It's like the TablEdit application but with actual audio AND video (?). Very cool.
B. James Keown
Rich Media Applications Developer (and amateur guitarist)
Blend Media Group Inc., Canada
I have purchased your Flamenco Guitar Method I and II and would like to congatulate. You on excelent work you have done.
quisiera informacion de como poder tener ese estupendo curso de guitarra flamenca soy de peru
Quisiera informacion de como poder tener ese estupendo curso de guitarra flamenca soy de peru Carlos Inga
hi my name is sebastien Jubelin, I just bouht flamenco guitar method volume one. I really like it. I live in the united states now, in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Thanx
Thank you for your useful book "Flamenco Guitar Method Volume 1". Thanks very much,
I wanted to complement you on all your study books and media. They are the most detailed and easy to use. I thought your work on the DVD was brilliant. Are you considering creating one for Bulerias, Alegrias, etc... Once again thank you for the masterpieces you have created.
Victor Torres - duendeflamenco.com
Last week, i've go down to montreal. I've read and article in the windows of STEEVE'S Music in montreal. I enter to the store. I'll pick up one of your volume FLAMENCO GUITAR METHOD VOLUME I. And it's more than the paper said. I've learn so many tricks it's vera good written. I'll decide to buy your two next volume. (volume two and the one about rumba) thank a lot
Long live to your work - it's marvelous
Dearly, Maxime Poulin
Thank's a lot for these explanations. Jean Louis Allain - France
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Hi, i really admire ur work so much, i have all of ur work. i wish u all success in your career, and have a nice day. kamalh - arabic emirates.
I would like to inform you that I am delighted with the metronome, also gipsy guitar book an CD-rom. Many thanks Wladek.
hola soy jeronimo, Un saludo, he estado mirando tus metodos y son cojonudos.
Llevo 2 años con la guitarra y mi profesor es Rafael Cañizares y tengo muchas ganas de aprender.
Jeronimo - España
Dear sir, For three years now i've been learning how to play flamenco guitar. My teacher showed me the importance of the compas-feeling, as he describes it.
I just saw the demo of the software version of the compas metronome. While this is a very interesting tool
Bert Corten (Belgium)
My name is Ricardo...
I like your products very much and I recently purchase both Guitar 1 & 2 DVD plus the metronome which I download and paid for via de internet.. I have enjoyed the DVD very much and my progress is coming along.. Sincerely
Hi. What shall i say I am really glad for this free lessons I always been a big fan of flamenco but never get down and really try to learn it. this is my chance.
Thanks Sam Karlsson, Sweden
Frequently Asked Questions
Flamenco Guitar Method Vol 1 - Track 10, page 29 - Ligado (hammer on - pull off)
Quicktime Video-Clip von Track 10
Many people have questions concerning your picado section?
Quick question regarding beginnning instruction: I'm interested in learning to play Flamenco guitar. It has been suggested more than once that I begin by learning classical fundementals first and then bring that foundation to Flamenco playing. Is this 'sound' advise?
For beginners it's hard to hear the difference of a 'tocaor' (Flamenco guitar player) and a 'guitarrista' (i.e. classic guitar player). But if you are more involved in Flamenco you'll hear the difference of the tone production of the right hand. Every guitarist in Spain, who will play (learn) Flamenco start with Flamenco. Most of the guitarrists outside of spain have played many years classic or other styles before they started with Flamenco guitar playing and have muchas problemas with the right hand.
I've been practising your flamenco guitar method for a couple of months now and ive realized that my rasgueo fells and sounds more natural if i play it, for example, i - m - a, instead of a - m - i. Is it possible for me to keep playing it that way or should i train harder on getting my a - m - i better?
Some day you will change it to the right one:
I am a jazz and classical guitarist who has fallen head over heels in love with Flamenco guitar. My question relates to the five note rasqueado that evenly divides a beat as opposed to the one that ornaments a beat. How does one get the strokes to be so even that they sound like a waterfall of sound? when playing them fast does one just roll them and trust that the finger habits established when practising them slowly, fall into place? or does one CONCIOUSLY play each finger...oh by the way the pattern is c-a-m-i-i- secondly about pulgar... does one anchor the hand when doing it? does one also use the back of the nail for certain single note pulgar runs?
thank you...God bless the day i found flamenco!
The educational objective is that your Rasgueo sounds like beady raindrops and not like a noisy waterfall. See or hear what a flamenco dancer is doing. If his taconeos sound like a waterfall you will hear no rhythm, no accents and nobody is capable to accompany him.
See description on page 15 ff in my Flamenco Guitar Method or chapter 1 on my Flamenco Guitar DVD.
Does anybody know what is the best method for getting strong, hard fingernails? thank you,
Chapter 5 (Uñas) in my Flamenco Guitar Method Vol 1: When playing rasgueo, the strings are struck with the back of the nail which is worn down in the course of time because the strings act like files. To avoid this, a coating is applied to the nail, protecting the back of the nail from wear. Otherwise your nail will gradually get thinner and break. There are countless cosmetic products to coat the nail, but choose a type of nail polish or base coat which lets the nail breathe and doesnít seal it; otherwise it will get brittle. Super Glue and most other substances that harden quickly are unhealthy and will cause nail diseases if applied over a longer period of time. These may be permitted for a quick repair, but not for permanent protection. The ring fingernail is particularly susceptible because it is strained very much by performing the golpes. It may well be coated with three or four layers of nail polish, but make sure it is still flexible enough for the beats on the golpeador. Nail hardener makes the nails inflexible.
What kind of guitar (guitarra flamenca) you are playing?
© Copyright 1995 - · Gerhard Graf-Martinez