Posts from ‘Guitar Lessons’
While some of the material on the Flamenco Explained site features material and tutorials on playing pieces or falsetas, in some of the videos I do my best to explain some of the concepts that I know from experience can really confuse students. Here’s an example of a video where I do a fair bit of talking in an attempt to explain the concept of compás. Compás is a somewhat slippery topic because the word itself is used in so many different ways in flamenco – I’d even argue that it has a few different meanings – so I try to break down the more important aspects of what it is and how it works. If you’re new to flamenco, or have had a hard time grasping what exactly compás is, then this might be a useful lesson. I also break down how compás works in my book, Flamenco Explained, which I co-wrote with Dr. Scott Wolf.
As an example of the kind of lessons we have over on the Flamenco Explained website, I’ve recorded a few lessons on some the great flamenco guitars that are in stock right now. The first video deals with a bit of Moraito Buleria and explores how Moraito would string together small elements of Buleria to create an amazing bit of grooviness, and I get to play a stunning 1962 Miguel Rodriguez blanca; The next video is about feeling your distance from 10 in Bulerias – I consider this an essential element of good compás – and uses picado and alzapua, making it both a compás and a technique workout, played on a 2003 Antonio Marin blanca; And the third video is another compás and technique workout, this time with three Tangos falsetas that focus on bursts of picado, arpeggio and alzapua, played on a Stephen Hill 2A blanca. Just click on the links below each video for notation and TABS of each lesson.
Kai Narezo here – those of you who read this blog may know me as the guy who records the videos for GSI, who writes a lot of the blog posts and who makes the occasional video. While I’ve been doing this for GSI over the last eight or so years I’ve also had a career as a flamenco guitarist and teacher, gigging all over the place and teaching privately. I’ve taught at Pasadena City College, CSU Summer Arts and currently am faculty at Cal State Dominguez Hills. This year I’m honored to be a part of developing what should be the first flamenco program in the country where music majors can concentrate in flamenco guitar. In a few days I take off for Granada Spain, where I will again be teaching flamenco for CSU Summer Arts. All this to say that I’ve been on something of a mission to teach flamenco to the world!
There seems to be no shortage of options when it comes to online classical guitar lessons, but when we heard about Tavi Jinariu’s new project we became very excited. Over the past several years GSI and Tavi Jinariu have collaborated on a number of projects. Most visibly Tavi has done numerous performance videos on our guitars, which have been among our most popular. We are therefore very pleased to recommend to you the classical guitar lessons and repertoire tutorials site EliteGuitarist provided by Tavi Jinariu and other great instructors.
EliteGuitarist’s approach is aimed to help get busy people playing great pieces of music quickly and easily. The repertoire tutorials bypass hours of drills and exercises and instead gets students playing actual classical guitar pieces quickly. Each of these lessons is taught note-for-note. You can learn how to play studies by Fernando Sor, Tarrega’s ‘Capricho Arabe,’ Myers’ ‘Cavatina,’ and many other classics from the standard repertoire. Additionally, the instructors at EliteGuitarist generously share performance pointers, phrasing options, tonal variation suggestions and other practical aspects of guitar playing. The repertoire tutorial library is quickly expanding and, for the price of roughly 3 or 4 in-person lessons, students can get full access to the entire library for the year. Elite Guitarist also offers separate technique packages in addition to the repertoire tutorials.
EliteGuitarist’s direct approach to teaching the repertoire in this way has already helped many people get playing who were previously admiring the classical guitar repertoire from the sidelines. Tavi’s vision to enlarge the number of enthusiasts playing the classical guitar in the community is aligned with our mission here at GSI. GSI has agreed to support EliteGuitarist by providing concert-level instruments to be used for the performances and repertoire tutorials.
Here is the first lesson highlighting this collaboration. The piece is the second movement from Agustin Barrios Mangore’s famous ‘La Catedral’. The Andante Religioso is somber and reverent in character resembling a religious procession. It is generally believed that Barrios’ ‘La Catedral’ is a tribute to J.S. Bach. Classical guitarist Ines Thome, effectively teaches the mechanics of this piece and provides useful performance insights that will help you understand the inner workings of the piece and increase your interpretive vocabulary for the Andante Religioso.
Drop us a comment and let us know how these lessons are helping you in your guitar pursuits.
We have another lesson from Scott Morris – this time addressing the second half of Carcassi’s popular Etude No. 3., as discussed in his book Classical Guitar Complete. Scott’s lesson on the first half of this etude, below, is his most popular lesson to date, so now we have the whole etude covered. Scott plays a beautiful 1999 Antonio Raya Pardo spruce and CSA rosewood guitar.
Here’s Scott Morris with a slur study he wrote called Petite Permutations – it’s all in first position and addresses slurs with open strings and those that involve fixed fingers. This is one of the new pieces that you’ll find in the new edition of Volume 1 of Scott’s Classical Guitar Complete method. Scott’s playing a Loriente ‘Marieta’ spruce.
Jack Sanders gives us the final installment of a lesson on scales as the foundation of your overall technique. In Part 3 Jack gives us some exercises for putting the right and left hands together and for controlling dynamics and articulation. Be sure to check out Part 1 and Part 2 if you haven’t already.
Here’s Part 2 (of three) of Jack Sanders‘ lesson on using scales as the foundation of a comprehensive technique. In Part 2 Jack wraps up his discussion of the left hand and gets into right-hand technique, evenness of tone and some great exercises for relaxing the right hand. Jack is playing a 2013 Richard Reynoso cedar-top.