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How to Play Tango Compas

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


So right now we're going to talk about tangos, flamenco tangos, not to be confused with Argentian tangos. It's a totally different thing. Flamenco tangos is a style of flamenco that is in the meter 4/4, that means four beats per measure, and it features a 2 measure cycle. Okay, the first measure we're going to play our B Flat chord from B Flat position and on the second measure we're going to play our tonic position, which is A.

We're going to go one measure at a time and we're going to figure out how to play compas. Just remember compas is a part of the song that defines the style by key, by tempo, and by time signature. Measure one we're in B Flat, beat one is silent. It's one of the features of flamenco time, and we're usually going to do golpe.

Beat two, we're going to do a rasgueado. This is going to be a three finger rasgueado starting with A, M, I. So be careful, because I is the one playing the downbeat of beat two. These two are doing pickup notes, pickup sixteenth notes. That's a downbeat. It goes one, two, okay? So be aware. So we're going to do two of those, so one... From beat two and beat three, we do the same rasgueado, one. And one more time, beat one, golpe, beat two. Beat three and on beat three we're going to come back with our index.

Okay, one more time, so the end of beat three we come back with our index. One more time, one. Now on beat four we're going to play our G note with our thumb. We'll play G here. One more time. Then I'm going to do one of the techniques we learned in one of the videos, which is pulgar indifeco. Here's the pulgar and indife on the first string. That completes measure one. And the time. Now measure two I do another pulgar indife, but I'm over the A chord, A major chord.

So with that, one. Beat two I'm going to do our rasgueado again, three finger rasgueado. Now remember the downbeat falls on the index and now I'm playing small variations of A, which is A with a Flat 9, so it's going to be flat there. Okay, so see how far we've got, so one, two. So on measure two we begin with thumb down on beat one and we're going to do an index up.

Okay, one, index technique and I'm going to hold those notes over beat two, and for beat three I'm going to do a rasgueado with thumb up. I'm also not going to play on beat four. So here we go. So there are many variations you can do with the tango compas. This is the one I wanted to play for you today, but the main characteristics are silent one, and this little lick is G to the A. It's a very characteristic sound of the flamenco tango, so have fun playing flamenco tango.

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