Flamenco Finger style
Does anyone know how does flamenco players get those super-fast licks on their guitars ? I can do it, but only with a pick. I don't understand what finger technique they are using ( I can't afford a teacher at the moment ). From what I've heard, flamenco guitarists don't use picks, but then i don't understand how they get those ridiculously fast falsetas going without bending their fingernails or straining the muscles. Any ideas ?
Good question and Welcome to GN.
I see that you have actually registered here to pose this question , which shows that you are much interested in flamenco.
Flamenco is a totally different style of music.It comes with lots of concerntrated practice of playing fingerstyle.
This link will help you -
Normally when such leads are to be played , the guitarist uses his index and middle finger simultaneously on a single string to play the notes.
As you do it with the pick - An upstroke and downstroke , similarly the flamenco guitarist will use his two or even three fingers to play those blistering super fast leads.
You may also note that flamenco is played on a nylon string guitar.And generally a player won't like to use pick on such a guitar.Hence the only way remaining (and the correct and very efficient one) is to play with bare hands.Then its all practice.
And don't worry about fingers or nails.They don't bend.You don't need to have big nails for getting the sound.Normal ones are enough.With a pick you use your fingers to control its movement.But when you are using your fingers , you only have to control their motion and velocity.
You will have to learn to not to use the pick and get a nylon string guitar (if you don't have one).Start now.
There is an amazing flamenco website that I use called Sal's Flamenco Soapbox ( http://herso.freeservers.com/index.html ). Here are some great video demonstrations of how to pick/strum flamenco. What your looking for is probably the tremolo, arpeggio, or possibly picado sections on the bottom. If you have any questions about the technique you see, don't be afraid to e-mail the host of the site, Sal of course, he is very helpful!
It's not easy being green.... good thing I'm purple.
Thanks gus, You have been extermely helpful.
I have been studying flamenco theory for a while, but just that. I never have had the opportunity ( except for videos ) to see the actual finger-picking. Also, I had been looking for the link to that site for a while!!! I had lost it and I really missed it! Thanks!!!
Rahul, when you say that they alternate index and middle fingers to emulate a pick, are the strings being hit on down-strokes as well, or only on the up-strokes ? Once again, thanks a lot. I have been on this forum for a while, but I wasn't able to reply for a while, and so my user-name was removed. Standard procedure.
The strings are hit only on the up stroke of the fingers.No downstrokes allowed.
I read somewhere that Flamenco guitarists do not really learn "formally" that they will travel to spain and they learn by ear, other players (watching what they do or trading licks), and by performing in festivals regardless of their skill level.
Just something I heard and have always wondered if it was true or not.
No its not true.
Flamenco can be learned everywhere by everyone , provided if the correct techniques are adopted.
Lets not forget the hours of practice too.