Tremolo is the most powerful and beautiful finger technique, deriving from arpegio.Tremolo is the best way to perform any melody including both bass and harmony notes, and it is the technique that accentuates the most all the characteristics of the guitar as a harmonic instrument. As soon as the world of classical guitar started establishing itself in the early 19th century, and the right hand techniques started evolving, guitarists saw an option to further advance, and make a big step regarding the right hand technique. Playing arpegio more and more precise, they saw the opportunity to play the notes of the melody repetitively with “a”, “m” and “i” fingers. Keeping the bass notes played with the thumb, and instead of arpeggiating the harmony notes over various strings, all 3 fingers were now playing the melody on just one string. The speed increased, the thumb took the role of arpeggiating the bass and harmony notes, and the whole new technique was born from scratch.
Classical guitarists adopted the most logical, and more simple version of tremolo, with a thumb playing the bass, and 3 notes/fingers playing the melody, p, a, m, i / p, a, m, i / p, a, m, i … But flamenco guitarists took the matter even more serious, and conceived a technique that looks like an anatomist made it. Aware of the fact that the index finger has more neural connections to the brain, flamenco technique involves two strokes with the “i” finger, p, i, a, m, i / p, i, a, m, i, / p, i, a, m, i … It might not seem logical, but you’ll see that after holding the guitar a few decades, and after you realize that from the most relaxed state you get the most power, it really is the technique that offers the most from this “anatomically correct” way to do it. Modern flamenco tremolo compositions are a whole universe, Gerardo Nuñez reached unbelievable levels at it, (Paco told me that he can’t do it either, feels better…)
Francisco Tarrega is one of the most important figures in the history of the classical guitar. His tremolo piece “Recuerdos De La Alhambra” is dedicated to the sorrow that stayed to this day, because of the eviction of the Moz-Arabs from the Granada’s “architecture mountain”, Alhambra fortress. The Christian alliance from the second half of the 15th century starts from 1470’s, but the discovery of the Americas in 1492nd is considered as the true date of the “reconquista”. This tremolo piece will set the standard in the world of classical guitar. Appart from one of the most beautiful melodies written ever, when performed flawlessly, it is often misheard as two musicians, because the classical tremolo (p, a, m, i) can be played quite fast.
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 for mastering flamenco guitar, through a set of very comprehensive video tutorials on: Harmony, Techniques and Styles (Palos). 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 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 highest 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 the highest quality “organic” samples of cajon, palmas, shaker, djembe, congas, bongos, maracas, and all the most used percussion instruments in flamenco. The 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 is done via any video conference software (Skype, WhatsUp, Hangouts, Viber…) and any webcam you might have will do, since there is no need to see you in high definition. 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. We can do it before you start practicing, but having in mind that your perception will get better after you start entering the matter, it would be best to do it in approximately 2 weeks after you subscribe. Of course, please talk to me for personalized instructions on how to start…
Now is the perfect time!
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!