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How to Play Flamenco in Fingerstyle Guitar

Learn how to play flamenco from guitarist Adam Smale in this online fingerstyle guitar lesson from Howcast.


I'm going to show you some more advanced techniques that come from the flamenco world that maybe, possibly, some of you might not know about. The first one is called Rasgeuado, and what it is, is a raking of the strings or a fast flourish of notes coming from your hand. Basically like that. You can curl your hand up, and what you want to think about is having each finger explode out of your hand. [playing guitar] And when you speed it up, [playing guitar] it gives you this very thick sort of sound.

Now, once again, the flamenco guys group things in five. So what they do is you let your pinky explode first, your third finger, middle finger, first finger and then you come back up on an upstroke with your index finger. [playing guitar] Great little technique.

This next technique is spelled Alzapua in flamenco, but you pronounce it 'Alfapua.' And basically it's using the whole thumb. Now, mind you flamenco players wouldn't be using a thumb pick like I have. I've studied flamenco guitar and I've just incorporated this into my bag of tricks, so I'm gonna show you this. This is really cool. What you do is it's in a triplet form, so three notes. You play the first note that you want to play, and you rest on the next string below that, and then you come on a downward direction on those strings, and then your thumb hits the strings again on the way up. [playing guitar]

It's a great little technique. It's actually not as hard as it sounds. It sounds very impressive but not really that hard to pull off with a little bit of practice.

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