How to Play Bulerias Compas

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

Transcript

Hi, I'm Dan Garcia and today we're going to learn how to play buleria. Buleria is a part of flamenco. It's a style of flamenco. It's actually really popular, very sought out because it's very challenging more than anything. It's fast. The meter is complicated, so if you can play bulerias you can be accepted at any kind of flamenco circle. So it's a good style to learn, but it is a bit challenging, but I'm going to explain it in a way that you're going to catch it very quickly.

So bulerias is played pretty fast, but it follows the same twelve note cycle as soleares does. A couple of differences though. Okay, the accents are in the same places, so in soleares we were doing one, two, three; four, five, six, seven eight, nine ten, one two, one two three. Okay, also notice that I'm counting beats eleven twelve as one and two, just because this is too long to say the syllables, so one two is eleven twelve, just so you know.

Now in buleria we count it much faster, so one, two, three; four, five, six; seven eight, nine ten; one two; one, two, three; four, five, six, seven eight, okay so on and so on. So that's how you count bulerias and there are many theories on how to count there. What's the best way, what's the right way, okay? I think what gets confusing about playing bulerias and trying to follow bulerias when you're listening to them, and when you're learning them is, where exactly is beat one?

In soleares we count one, two, three and that one is actually beat one. That's actually where you start playing. That's where the falseta's usually begin, but in bulerias it's not, and I think that's what gets a lot of people confused. Our beat one in bulerias is really beat twelve. That's what we feel is beat one in our music. That's where the falseta's start, the singer starts, it's where everything starts. The only thing is, it's done as beat twelve, but that's where everything begins.

So let's try to put the bulerias compas together in a very basic way, okay? Let me start by just playing our A chord position on beat twelve. I'm going to go all through the cycle and we're going to start adding elements that you're going to build into the cycle until we kind of get something similar to buleria sound. Then all you have to do is embellish it and you're good to go. So let's start.

So again, the count is instead of starting the count on one, two, three; I'm going to start it on the eleven twelve, and that's how it's usually counted, okay? Remember eleven and twelve I'm going to count as one two. This is how we start counting, one two, one, two, three; four, five, six; seven eight, nine ten, one two; one, two, three; four, five, six; seven eight, nine ten, one two. Okay, we're going to go a lot slower in the beginning and then we'll speed it up. So remember twelve beat it's our real one.

So we're going to strum an A chord on beat twelve, so one two; one, two, three; four, five, six; seven eight, nine ten, one two; one, two, three; four, five, six; seven eight, nine ten, one two. So I encourage you to do that for a while until you get comfortable just counting those beats. The next element we're going to add is the closing of the cycle, which is on beat ten. So on beat ten I'm going to do a rasgueardo, followed by a mute, and every time on beat ten, we're going to close the cycle.

It's going to sound like this, one two; one, two, three; four, five, six; seven eight, nine ten, one two; one, two, three; four, five six; seven eight, nine ten. So on beat ten we do ba-ba-ba and mute the guitar. Okay, one more time, one two; one, two, three; four, five, six; seven eight, nine ten, one two; one, two, three; four, five, six; seven eight, nine ten. Okay, so again I encourage you to do this for a good while until it feels natural to you, okay?

The next big point in bulerias is beat three. Beat three is where the harmony changes to the Phrygian mode. So we're on beat one, which is beat twelve. We go one two; one, two, three, this is where we go to the B Flat chord, okay, on three? So let's include that in our cycle. One two; one, two, three; four, five, six; seven eight, nine ten, one two; one, two, three; four, five, six; seven eight, nine ten, one two; one, two, three; four, five, six; seven eight, nine ten.
Okay, notice also that on beat ten when we close I go back to the timing chord. Okay, the A position.

Okay, so now we've got a couple of good spots on the buleria cycle, let's keep adding elements. I'm going to add a bolpe on accents six and eight. Just a regular bolpe and then we'll spice it up. So again, one two; one, two, three; four, five, six; seven eight, nine ten, one two; one, two, three; four, five, six; seven eight, nine ten. So do that for a while until it feels natural.
Now besides the bolpe, after the bolpe I'm going to add a couple of indexes up with this rhythm, like a dotted sixteenth note. That's going to come after my bolpe's on beat six and beat eight. Let's go for it, one two; one, two, three; four, five, six; one two; one, two, three; four, five and one two; one, two, three; four, five, six.

Okay, so the next step would be to actually play beat six and eight with the bolpe, one two; one, two, three; four, five, six; seven eight, nine ten, one two; one, two, three; four, five, six; seven eight, nine ten, one two; one, two, three; four, five, six; seven eight, nine ten. At this point, basically you're playing a buleria. Those are the basic elements of buleria. Everything else is just adding little embellishments and just grooving with it. So one two; one, two, three; four, five, six; seven eight, nine ten, one two; one, two, three; four, five, six; seven eight, nine ten, one two. So have fun playing bulerias.

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