Tangos is a binary flamenco style, it’s in 4/4, but it’s the most influenced one by other ternary flamenco styles (palos) with African roots. The repeating segment (or one bar) has the accented beats on 1, 2e, and 4, (2e is the second quaver of the second crochet), while the “remate” or the cadencing bar has 1e, 2e, and the finishing 3rd beat accented. In Tangos the first beat is rarely physically accented, it is taken into consideration but often skipped completely. Despite its simple binary structure, to play tangos quite an extensive knowledge of flamenco techniques is required. The most important probably being the rasqueado technique, since the right hand always involves parts of strumming techniques, combined with different “golpes” into a circular rhythmical pattern. Tangos is always in 4/4, but it became a “simple” binary rhythmical structure with special accents that actually evolved into quite complex right-hand patterns. When in major mode, the most used consonances are the 1st, the 4th, and 5th-degree chord, but the harmonic center is usually the tonic-alized harmonic minor dominant chord with the minor 9th. While the most used consonances are the minor tonic, the subdominant, and also from natural minor, the 7th and the 6th-degree chords.
From the beginning of the 19th century in Spain, with the classical guitar coming to the world music stage and being played more and more in the elite society, the Gypsies rapidly adopted this new 6 string instrument as their own. Started populating western Europe from the Punjab province in India during the Moz-Arabs ruled Iberia in the 12th century, many of the Gypsy “guests” remained after the 15th and 16th-century Christian conquests, that started in 1492. Castilla and Toledo’s alliance expelled (almost) all Jews and Arabs, and the Gypsies. Besides that fact, the Gypsies were the ones that were the carrier and the catalyst for all right-hand techniques because they were too poor to buy metal strings, like normal citizens. They were making the strings from animal intestines and were playing the guitar without any bone pick, using the fingers and fingernails. They were now traveling nomads again just under Christian rule, and as the second order citizens, Gypsies continued to spread the spirit of freedom over the Iberian peninsula. Their nomadic freedom ideology, under years of repression – created the very essence of the Flamenco spirit and culture we have today…!
Flamenco guitar playing style came from their different approach to this newly emerged and perfected 6 string instrument. Instead of performing it plucking the strings by pulling and releasing them with the fingers (like classical guitarists, which would require a certain level of precision and fingernails hygiene); their approach to it was much cruder. They started using the whole body of the guitar as a percussion instrument, hitting the front board to create sound and playing the “golpe” hit. Therefore paving the way for the “golpe” protection plate to appear. But the most important is that they invented a whole new technique from scratch, hitting the strings with the top of the fingernails with circular repetitive motion; using as a pivot base both the wrist and the finger base joint with the anchored thumb. Therefore creating the base of the “Rasqueada”, as opposed to “Punteada” guitar, (today being the flamenco and the classical guitar).
Flamenco Guitar Lessons reveals secrets, tips, and tricks for mastering flamenco guitar, through a set of very comprehensive video tutorials on Harmony, Techniques, Styles (“Palos”) and Nails. The technically rich Iberian legacy brought every single classical guitar technique into the world of flamenco. That’s why the flamenco guitarists today are on the technical front lines, widening flamenco language and achieving the impossible. On the other hand, the strict classical guitar world, waiting for some piece to be written to embed the technique into the classical guitar heritage, is still late to adopt many fantastic flamenco techniques. Therefore Flamenco Guitar Lessons explores the most important from both worlds.
A special sample player software called Flamenco Loop Player, will enable you to effectively learn flamenco rhythm (compás) by playing along the highest quality flamenco percussion samples of: cajón (hand drum), palmas (claps), shaker, djembe, congas, bongos, maracas…and all the most used percussion instruments in flamenco. Every beat is marked with a yellow vertical line, and every group of beats to consider while counting is highlighted with green, so you can easily understand the accents seeing exactly what is where, and develop an inner feeling for the rhythm…