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Flamenco Guitar Techniques: How to Play Golpe

Learn how to play golpe in this flamenco guitar lesson video from Howcast.


Hi, I'm Dan Garcia. I'm going to show you a flamenco technique called golpe. Golpe means strike or hit. It can mean many things in Spanish, but in this case it's when we hit the guitar, usually in this area here, with our fingers to create some kind of an accent or percussion effect. I warn if you don't have a flamenco guitar or a guitar that has a plastic protection, don't do this technique because you'll make a hole in your guitar eventually. Believe me you will. So make sure you have protection before you do the golpe technique.

Golpe technique is basically, it's usually our annular finger hitting on the protection above the wood. Usually, to produce an accent that's in the music as a percussion or to emphasize a particular that we're playing. This technique is very peculiar, because you have to be ready to do a golpe just about any time. It comes with a lot of different other techniques and you have to learn how to do it at the same time as other things.

The best way to start though is just by doing it by itself. That's not too hard. Okay, so your thumb is leaning on the sixth string and this kind of curvy movement helps. Next step we're going to take, we're going to combine the golpe with our index playing upward. So golpe-index, golpe-index, golpe-index, golpe-index. This is a good way to get you acquainted with the golpe.

Another common rhythmic technique is doing golpe and index twice, but with this rhythm, kind of like a dotted sixteenth note rhythm. Next step is to do the golpe while we're playing our index down. This at first might feel like rubbing your belly and tapping your head. One of those things where you have to do two things at the same time, but with plenty of practice, it happens. So let's try it. We're going to go index down, and at the same time we strike the strings down, we hit the golpe.

Okay, once you've accomplished this, next step would be to have our index come up and down as we do the golpe. So golpe-index down and then index up. So golpe is a technique you need to practice slowly and in steps, okay? Don't try to do it all at the same time, just little by little and make sure you have protection.

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