Picado is one of the principal and the most natural ways to play both flamenco and classical guitar. Mastering it is absolutely necessary to play a proper Spanish guitar finger technique. Picado is the way to play any melody, but parts of it are also incorporated into many other playing techniques. To perform it “como el Dios manda” (like the God commands), or the way it should be played, a proper set of nails is also a must.
The natural right hand position on Spanish guitar (both flamenco and classical) maintains the wrist some 10 cm away from the front board, because of the constant interchanging of the techniques; therefore making it difficult to assess the exact positions of the strings. This is especially notable when playing fast passages and scales. If the strings have lower tension, they take too long to back to the initial position. So you have to “chase them” over the guitar, which is a crazy thing to do while playing close to 10 notes per second. But the higher tension strings have other disadvantages, especially if you are a beginner. Also, the index and the medium fingers are unequal in many ways, so that disbalance must be overpowered by practicing in a certain way.
The scales in flamenco are primarily played picado apoyando, and forte too. It can also be performed tirando, but just when a strong apoyando tone would brake up the arpeggiated tirando text, and a much quieter passage is needed. Paco De Lucia achieved incredible speeds in picado, showing us that the technique is a state of mind, not the state of your muscles, or the amount you practiced. Don’t get me wrong, Paco also spent his childhood playing 14 hours per day, but many of us have, and not many have achieved it.
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 east during the Moz-Arabs ruled in the 12th century, these gypsy “guests” that remained after the 15th century Christian conquistadors in 1492. (Castilla and Toledo alliance expelled (almost) all Jews, Arabs, and Gypsies), were still traveling nomads that were now spreading their spirit of freedom over just the Iberian peninsula. Their nomadic freedom ideology under years of repression created the very essence of the Flamenco culture.
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 more crude. 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, 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).
– Choosing The Flamenco Guitar –
Flamenco Guitar Lessons reveal secrets, tips and tricks of mastering the Art of Flamenco guitar, through a set of very comprehensive video tutorials about Flamenco Harmony, Techniques and Styles (Palos). The technically rich Iberian heritage brought all classical guitar techniques in the world of flamenco, but the strict classical guitar world is still late to adopt many flamenco techniques. Therefore we explore the most important from both worlds. A special software called The Loop Player, will enable you to effectively learn Flamenco Rhythm (Compás) by playing along the high quality flamenco percussion samples…
The Flamenco Percussion Samples Database will help you get the clearest picture about the compás, but you an also play along and practice with highest quality “organic” samples of cajon, palmas, shaker, djembe, congas, bongos, maracas, and all the most used percussion instruments in flamenco. The flamenco samples library is designed for understanding the compás, but also that you can practice over the rhythm, directly feeling it, and immediately playing flamenco. Every beat is marked with a yellow vertical line, and a group of beats to consider while counting is highlighted with green, so you can easily see what is where, and develop a feeling for the rhythm.
All the videos are in Full HD resolution with option to choose the language, between English and Spanish audio.
Considering the fact that many guitarists have a lack of understanding of the importance of nails, there is a full chapter of video tutorials that will teach you how to properly form and maintain your nails, in order to achieve the rich flamenco tone and properly play the true Spanish guitar finger technique.
Thousands of satisfied customers..!
A live online video lesson for more personalized guidance through the tutorials, is done via any video conference software; and any webcam would do, since i don’t need to see you in high definition. Or now before you start practicing, or later, whenever you prefer. With two video cameras and a high quality pre-amplifier with paired HQ condenser microphones, I can send You the highest quality audio & video, so you can record the whole lesson.
Now is the perfect time!
What the students are saying about Flamenco Guitar Lessons
New Delhi, India
Needing clear and healthy comparison between Indian Sitar, and Spanish Guitar, this course is exactly what i wanted. The nails tutorials are a true wonder! But the personalized approach from Nicolas is the best thing ever. There are fantastic video links, and extremely helpful information on the Nicolas BLOG pages, thank you!
Nicolas has an unique experience and unique approach as a teacher of flamenco guitar. The lessons are very deep and profound and almost idealistic, and although i am a professional player, Nicolas’s style and unique approach tingles me in a deep sense. Here you will find everything essential for flamenco.
Although I enjoy playing a completely different style, I’ve stumbled upon this school on YouTube and was quickly entangled in it by it’s great approach and attractive style. I use Spanish techniques now in my Bluegrass and Country guitar playing and it’s a wonder to everyone!
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
I am taking private online lessons with Nicolas, so I am perhaps to subjective. However, I learned harmony, in like a few days, and we often laugh on a subject, I got the best teacher on the planet! Honestly, not just because of his educational background, but because of his high spirit, and especially the site; armed with such quality videos, and the Loop Player software, Nicolas is probably the best teacher you can find online.
In Bahrain we love flamenco a lot, it is harmonically very similar to our national music. The flamenco samples loop player is fantastic for playing in the compas, I love it! Maestro Nicolas is the best!