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flamenco tone 

want to ask you advanced players..what is the secret to flamenco tone? is it your nails?(shaped a certain way) cause if u hear classical guitarists playing the same guitar as flamenco plyer, the tone is always different. can someone please tell me. I am an advanced classical guitar player that just wants to sound flamenco(tone).
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 3 2005 4:05:49
Guest

RE: flamenco tone (in reply to Guest

I'm not an advanced player, but I think flamenco sound must be very percusive and strong, if you play near the neck you'll have the total opposite of that, which is good for classical but poop for any flamenco, so you must play near the bridge.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 3 2005 4:16:53
 
carlos soto

 

Posts: 126
Joined: Oct. 22 2005
 

RE: flamenco tone (in reply to Guest

that was me, I forgot to log. Anyway the nails are not to long, but never short, I guess 1.5mm of nail will do with the fingers(at least for me) and the thumb has to be twice that, and with the shape of a pick, you must have in mind that you must be able to do alzapua so it's really important to have a well shaped thumb.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 3 2005 4:22:38
Guest

RE: flamenco tone (in reply to Guest

The direction of attack is everything, since you already have the nails. Most of the time, you'll be playing nearer to the bridge but that doesn't mean that you should overdo it. I play classical mainly and quite a bit of flamenco so it's not the nail shape that's different since I switch between both styles often.

It's the way you play that counts. I figured out how to get a more flamenco tone by listening to recordings and experimenting. But what I mainly do it, attack the string a little harder than classical and push it more towards the soundboard. I also play slightly nearer to the bridge and these 2 factors give a different tone as compared to classical.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 3 2005 6:33:52
 
Skai

 

Posts: 317
Joined: Sep. 12 2004
 

RE: flamenco tone (in reply to Guest

Now I forgot to log in too

As for nail length, flamenco has a sharper tone and slightly longer nails might help.
But remember, longs nails help in rasgueados but slow down your picado so you'll have to find the optimal length.

The sharper tone doesn't mean that you should use only your nails or else it'll sound thin instead. What you want is a springy tight tone, not Pepe Romero's nail tone. Pepe is an amazing player that I admire greatly but somewhat mechanical, so no offense to any fans.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 3 2005 6:39:15
 
XXX

Posts: 4400
Joined: Apr. 14 2005
 

RE: flamenco tone (in reply to Guest

In my opinion its useless to talk about nail length. My length is always 1mm for example, measured from the fingertip. I used to have much longer nails. A friend of mine told me if he had the shortness of my nails he wouldnt able to play because his nails arent growing 100% straight. Also the way your nails are curved is important.

The flamenco tone is not hard to describe imho: Imagine classical apoyando. Now add aggressivenes and a 10times faster movement, call it attack or smth. Try to play as "hard" as possible to train it. Try imagining that you were playing against your guitar.

There is no secret. If you dont have the mental attitude you will not sound as you want.
If you want to play classic pieces with flamenco tone plz plz plz: dont!
(Depends on what you would call flamenco tone)

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 3 2005 15:46:05
 
Ron.M

Posts: 7051
Joined: Jul. 7 2003
From: Scotland

RE: flamenco tone (in reply to Guest

What sort of Flamenco tone do you like?
For example (only naming only the famous ones) Tomatito and Paco does it for me, whereas that sort of "Vincente" sound doesn't...
I've never really been an Artist man, but more of a Track man myself...
Some players do an astonishingly great track and the rest of the album is pretty boring.
Still, I'm always happy I got the album because of that single track!.
Some unknown (and supposedly) medicore players have a great "flamenco" sound.

cheers

Ron
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 3 2005 20:14:10
 
Skai

 

Posts: 317
Joined: Sep. 12 2004
 

RE: flamenco tone (in reply to Guest

As I've mentioned, playing and even just listening to flamenco helps alot in interpretion of Spanish classical masterpieces. It makes them sound well, Spanish, istead of being too tame. These are a few cases where I'd use a liitle flamenco tone at some portions in my classical playing. Aranjuez, Sevilla, Gran Jota etc. Well you get my point. I don't mean very aggressive playing, just only a slightly springy tone associated with flamenco.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 3 2005 22:24:46
 
gshaviv

Posts: 272
Joined: Mar. 22 2005
From: Israel

RE: flamenco tone (in reply to Skai

quote:

Now I forgot to log in too


In the login page, there is a remember me option, why don't you use it? It places a cookie in your browser so you are always automatically logged in.

As for what makes the flamenco tone, its not the nails. Its the attack on the strings, its the stacato that is commonly used, its techniques that are used in flamenco but not in classical, e.g. alzapua has a very distinctive sound.

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Guy
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 4 2005 3:09:19

ToddK

 

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RE: flamenco tone (in reply to Guest

A sharp or more agressive attack does not produce flamenco tone.
Though that might be a small facet of it.

Playing flamenco techniques, with a sharp attack does not produce
flamenco tone.

Playing flamenco pieces with a flamenco guitar, using a sharp attack
does not produce flamenco tone. I've heard plenty of people do all these
things, and still have no flamenco tone. Somebody mentioned
Pepe Romero. He's a great example. He plays some flamenco pieces,
yet doesnt sound the least bit flamenco. His classical attitude and tone
remains, even though he's playing the "correct" guitar, with the "correct"
technique.

Flamenco tone comes from playing with flamenco spirit. Its the attitude
behind the hands.
Its the "way" you touch, not how hard, soft, or staccato. ITs sort of an abstract
thing to describe.
Its sort of like an english speaker , speaking spanish, but with no accent.
He's saying the words right phoenticaly, but you can tell he's not from
Spain. Of course, he can develop an accent, but only with much time,
and only after immersing himself in the culture, wich includes hearing
spanish being spoken daily, and getting a sense of the rhythm.
So, when you play flamenco, it has to have that "accent" to it.
Just like a language, its not just rolling some R's and lisping your S's.
Or longer nails, and sharp rest strokes.
There is complex subtlety to it. It takes time and exposure.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 4 2005 4:48:58
Guest

RE: flamenco tone (in reply to Guest

Hey Todd,

I agree with you. The only thing I'm going to have to correct you on is the Spanish stuff.

The "lisp" is in the "Z" and the "CI" and "CE" combinations. Sorry, I'm a Spanish teacher and couldn't let that one slide!! . I hope you don't mind.

Un saludo, Errol
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 4 2005 13:00:19
 
Skai

 

Posts: 317
Joined: Sep. 12 2004
 

RE: flamenco tone (in reply to Guest

quote:

In the login page, there is a remember me option, why don't you use it? It places a cookie in your browser so you are always automatically logged in.


That's because I just did a 'web clean-up', deleting all those temp files and cookies.

Very true, the tone doesn't come from you being conscious of how you attack the strings, how you position your fingers, whether you do it staccato or not etc. It's after listening to alot of good recordings, experimenting with your guitar and feeling the music, that you just start to sound more and more 'flamenco'. It's a perfect analogy using languages and accents to describe how you get different tones. Great one Todd!

Cheston

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Try some Enrique Iglesias for some great cante.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 4 2005 14:13:49
 
Miguel de Maria

Posts: 3527
Joined: Oct. 20 2003
From: Phoenix, AZ

RE: flamenco tone (in reply to Guest

Errol,
is that true? Damn, I didn't know that! So... the "s" in Espana doesn't have a lisp, but the "z" in cerveza does?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 4 2005 15:12:07

ToddK

 

Posts: 2960
Joined: Dec. 6 2004
 

RE: flamenco tone (in reply to Guest

Errol is right.

I was thinking of the CIA in Andalucia. But im american, so of
course in my head, im seeing SIA. I was hearing it right, just
spelling it wrong.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 4 2005 15:59:34
 
Kate

Posts: 1827
Joined: Jul. 8 2003
From: Living in Granada, Andalucía

RE: flamenco tone (in reply to Miguel de Maria

quote:

ORIGINAL: Miguel de Maria
So... the "s" in Espana doesn't have a lisp, but the "z" in cerveza does?


It also depends where you are as well, I believe the 'th' sound is more pronounced in Barcelona ( Barthelona), but sometimes down South the s just disappears or the Z 'th' turns into an s sound. In the Albaicin they pronounce Chorizo ( usually pronounced choritho) as choriso and cerveza as cervesa.

Kate

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 4 2005 16:15:55
 
fevictor

Posts: 377
Joined: Nov. 22 2005
From: Quepos / Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

RE: flamenco tone (in reply to Guest

Now Im just hungry!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 4 2005 18:13:21
 
Ron.M

Posts: 7051
Joined: Jul. 7 2003
From: Scotland

RE: flamenco tone (in reply to ToddK

I just heard "Struntz and Farah" for the very first time in my life, on a link called "Tim's Radio".
They are really competent musicians and excellent guitarists!
But in the spirit of this thread....
As Todd says.."it's difficult to describe Flamenco Tone" ...except to say that what I heard tonight is not IMO...
Don't copy it if what you really want to play is Flamenco.

Ron
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 4 2005 20:58:12
 
Miguel de Maria

Posts: 3527
Joined: Oct. 20 2003
From: Phoenix, AZ

RE: flamenco tone (in reply to Guest

Todd,
so what you're saying, is that if I want to sound flamenco when I play, then it's not about the guitar, or the strings, or the way my nail is shaped. Do you mean, I actually have to learn how to play the guitar???!!! That's messed up, man... I thought that once I got the right strings, then I would be set!

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 5 2005 3:31:06

ToddK

 

Posts: 2960
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RE: flamenco tone (in reply to Miguel de Maria



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 5 2005 7:26:21
 
PacoPaella

Posts: 163
Joined: Nov. 7 2004
 

RE: flamenco tone (in reply to Guest

Actually Todd himself is a good example of how the flamenco sound is "decoupled" from the pure physics that are used to create a vibration. While his sound is really muy flamenco he does create it in a rather unusual way (pick). If you can sound flamenco with a pick then it certainly doesnt make a great difference wether you have a millimeter more or less nail.

However i dont know if its helpful to a beginner who has no access to low fare flight tickets to say that flamenco cannot be learned technically but only as an attitude that can hardly be picked up outside spain. Personally i have the impression that it is the confidence that makes the difference; if you feel home in a compas you play it with great confidence and emphasis at the right beats, somewhat automatically...thats what makes a good guitarist imho, if i try to bring it down from the more esotherical attributes (aire?) to something that may be useful for a student.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 5 2005 15:23:06
 
Miguel de Maria

Posts: 3527
Joined: Oct. 20 2003
From: Phoenix, AZ

RE: flamenco tone (in reply to PacoPaella

It's like an accent, isn't it? If you're a foreigner who wants to speak perfect English, you're going to really have to work at it...using all the tools available to you: immersion, analysis, education, coaching, etc. It's not how your mouth is shaped, I don't think.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 5 2005 17:03:25

ToddK

 

Posts: 2960
Joined: Dec. 6 2004
 

RE: flamenco tone (in reply to Guest

i think its possible to develop good flamenco sound, without
going to live in Spain. If you want to be the next Paco,then
yeah, you might want to visit for a few years.
But with some effort, one can find ways to take in
a little Spanish aire, away from Spain.

You just have to, as Miguel said, immerse yourself in the music/culture
as much as you possibly can. That can be tough, especially in USA.
But it can be done.

Find albums/CDs and listen to all the good flamenco.
Listen to Cante. Pay close attention to the inflections of the singers.
This ties heavily into guitar/falsetta phrasings.

Find flamenco people, and hang out with them. ( i know, easy to say, hard to do)


Read about Spain. Talk about dramatic history. Lots going on.
Gives you more of a feel for the overall attitude in that part of the world.

Try to learn some basic Spanish. Not tons of words.
Just a few, but go for authentic accent/pronounciation.
There's definatly a correlation between the rhythm
of the Spanish language/accent, and the feel of flamenco.
TK

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 5 2005 19:13:43
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