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How to Play Soleares Compas

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


We're going to talk about soleares or solea, it's also called which is a flamenco palos, which features a 12 beat cycle. Yeah, there's a couple of palos in flamenco that feature this cycle. Okay, so 12 beats is a long ways from our usual four beats. So how do we count 12 beats in a cycle? This is how they count it in Spain. You divide the 12 beats into two parts, the first six beats are going to be two groups of three notes, okay? We are kind of one, two, three; four, five, six.

What's unusual about these three beats is that the accent, instead of being on the one, it's on the last beat of the group. So the accent is going to be on three and on six. So you're going to count it, one, two, three; four, five, six. That's your first group. Now the other six beats you group them in three groups of two, just the opposite, but you are always going to put the accent on the second beat of each group. So the accent is going to be on seven, eight; nine, ten; eleven, twelve.

So it's one, two, three, four, five six, seven eight, nine ten, eleven twelve. Okay, and you start all over, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven eight, nine ten, eleven twelve. All right, so how do we play this. Well, let's see. We're going to learn a very basic soleares compas. First we're going to do a super, super basic, and then we'll start doing some embellishments. So for the first three beats of the compas we're going to play and F with an added second there.

Second three beats is a C Major chord, second half of the compas we're going to alternate between F and and E chord, F and then E chord. It's going to give us a really Phrygian flamenco sound. So let's see how we put this together. Also soleares is in a Phrygian mode, which means its usually in a minor key and very slow tempo. One, two, three; one, two, three; one two, one two, one two. This is very, very basic.

Let me count it with all twelve numbers. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven eight, nine ten, eleven twelve. On twelve I do golpe. All right, so let's throw some flamenco elements into this compas and see how we can spice it up. Over F I'm going to do two rasgueardos. On the first two beats I'm going to do a three finger rasgueardo with my index coming back, which is going to be four notes per beat. Yeah, so it's going to be one beat. So one, beat two, and beat three since it's an accented beat, I'm going to do index done with golpe.

So let's do the first three beats, one, two, three. Again, one, two, three. I'm going to do the same thing on the next three beats, but with a C chord. Let me do those six beats again. Second part of the compas, I'm going to play an F chord, but I'm going to arpeggiate it. I'm going to play it F and then I'm going to throw this little arpeggio roll, middle index middle, A, just like an embellishment. Same thing over E, so it will be seven eight, nine ten, one, two, so eleven twelve. Let's do the whole thing. So that's basically your soleares compas.

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