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XXX

Posts: 4400
Joined: Apr. 14 2005
 

The inflation of the term flamenco 

Undertitle: Ignorant classical guitar players! AAH!

This is a bit kind of offtopic, but Im sure worth mentioning!

I decided to look for a flamenco-teacher, so today I met a classical guitarist in a music school, who was also said to be able to play flamenco. The guy who recommended me him is also a teacher in the same school.

Shortly it turned out that he, the first teacher, is not even able to play rasgueados! Also no pulgar, no alzapua, no golpes, and NO palos at ALL. He didnt even heard of bulerias, alegrias and so on. The only one of which he heard of was soleares, but only in non flamenco compas namely 3/4!

First he said he was no flamenco guitarist, but he is sure that he will be able to adjust his technique to flamenco, since flamenco would be, so he said, not very different from classical guitar! Another thing he mentioned, and which ive heard frequently is that for him, flamenco is more like a supplement to classical guitar, than a whole different world.

I had my method with me and played for him the alegrias which I also uploaded here. I explained to him the flamenco, the compas, the basic techniques.

At the end he recommend me to look for a real flamenco guitarist but he would be available to give me lessons, if I dont find any. I told him to listen to Pacos old recordings from the 60s, or the camaron stuff, and to Sabicas, to get at least a little picture of what flamenco is really about.
Then he gave me a number of a guy who could help me finding a flamenco and told about him that he would be able to make Asturias sound like real flamenco. That made me so angry, he didnt understand the least what flamenco really is. He called it "folkloristic" flamenco...

The result was I think that he ended up learning more from me than me from him, which is kind of sad.
Meanwhile I have to say he was very friendly and we got along well with each other, but there are so much classical people who are so ignorant against flamenco. But I think the musicians arent the problem, they learn from their teachers that flamenco is an inferior, folkloristic music style, or what we would describe as flamenco.

His definition of flamenco were pieces from classical composers who took elements from the folkloristic flamenco and made compositions of them.
But to me this is not flamenco, this is classical guitar, it may be spanish, but its still classical spanish gutiar, not flamenco!

Sorry for writing so much but there were just so many things to mention, but I bet everyone has made such experiences. I mean how to react to this scene? How to tell them that what they mean to be flamenco is not flamenco AT ALL ???

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 12 2005 21:11:22
Guest

RE: The inflation of the term flamenco (in reply to XXX

I know what you mean, but it's hard to teach someone who's already old about playing flamenco...if he was really into it or at least listen to some real flamenco and actually try to play it, then he will just not said the things he said. Flamenco is not only classical, it has also jazz influence, jew, gipsy, moros ...etc. He's just ignorant about it and saying those things make him feel confortable about what he really knows, I think it's an ego problem.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 12 2005 21:29:25
 
koella

Posts: 2194
Joined: Sep. 10 2005
From: holland

RE: The inflation of the term flamenco (in reply to XXX

Don't go to music schools to learn flamenco. Teachers there have learnt that flamencoplayers have no tone and no rythmic expression ( well, they have to stay in compas don't they!).
Find a danceschool were they teach flamencodance and get lessons from the guy that is accompanying them.
It may not be the best thing to do but it is better !
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 12 2005 22:15:33
 
Jim Opfer

Posts: 1876
Joined: Jul. 19 2003
From: Glasgow, Scotland.

RE: The inflation of the term flamenco (in reply to XXX

I have had one good (great) experience with classical guitarists.
Andy Robinson is in his final post graduade year at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD)
Andy wanted to learn to play flamenco and over this last year he has taken off, playing Nunez, Vicente and Paco. He picks it up just by listening to recordings having had grouding in compas.
He's now composing his own material.
I'd have to report that he's got a great attitude towards flamenco guitar and sees it in no way inferior to classical.
I sold Andy my Conde A26 and he plays classical on it preferring the 'dig' and sharper sound over his Quawkel.
Andy has comissioned a negra from Stephen Hill to play as his main guitar.
I need to get some of his playing on mp3 and let you hear.

Jim.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 13 2005 12:32:15
 
Skai

 

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RE: The inflation of the term flamenco (in reply to XXX

Relax! I'm not like that at all, the last thing I'd do is to put either one down. Both help each other in fact. With flamenco, you interpret Spanish classics much better. With proper classical training, you tend to import many good habits to flamenco. Sure the techniques are very different but they can work with each other surprisingly well and I'm glad I'm into both.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 13 2005 13:33:01
 
XXX

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RE: The inflation of the term flamenco (in reply to XXX

Skai, the point was not, whether its an advantage to know classicl AND flamenco instead of only flamenco, besides this is silly since its ALWAYS better to know as many styles as possible coz each can help improving playing and understanding, from rock till classic.

Koella, of course youre right, but there is no real dance school in my city. Just one women giving some excersizes but without a guitarist. There is no flamenco player within a distance of 90km or 1 hour 30min, which is Hamburg

Ps: Kiel, my city has a population of 270.000 by the way, Hamburg has 1.4 Mio...

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 13 2005 16:20:27
 
Florian

Posts: 9240
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From: Adelaide/Australia

RE: The inflation of the term flamenco (in reply to XXX

Phrygus
i am not gonna talk about classical vs flamenco whatever cause i dont care, i like and respect both.

I wanna talk about you
I am not sure if i have ever heard an audio from you so i dont know where about your level or technique is but u are in a tough situation, but do not worry my AINE KLEINE mate (that was german ) a teacher is really really usefull at the start when he needs to check on your technique, demonstrating the correct positioning etc. after that theres nothing you cant just as effectivly learn from dvds, books, cds etc.

As long as you have the right technique (the right positioning ) everything else is doable, sure your technique wont be perfect but it will get better and better.

I am not saying that this is the best option but i am saying that this is your option u might as well learn to adapt and take advantage of the technology out today

There are many many greate guitarists here find one who appeals to you buy a $30 Video Camera and get him to check your technique positioning every now and then, if you shy about the hole world seeing it email him or pm him. U can send him the videos by email u dont have to upload it here if u shy about it.

Whatever you would need a teacher for he can just as effectivly help you trough the video with.

maight i also suggest that you join that dance school , it sounds like a greate oportunity for you, explain to the teacher of your level and tell her that you will do it for free and even quietly (with something muting the soundhole) if you have too. find out what Dances she is teaching in your classes, go out and get the SOLO compas cd for it, and copy and listen non stop to that cd, is all right there, the chords, the brakes, the timing, how it should sound with feet, etc.

u cant go wrong mate.

I had been playing guitar and flamenco for about 6 months before someone threw me in a gig, the main guitarist had gonne to Spain, i think she even called some mandolin players before she called me i was the very last option, man i couldnt even DO some chords i as terrefied, embarrased at rehersals, id leave the rehersals feeling so down and hurt, i wanted to kill the dancers who gave me dirty looks....... oh wait this is probably not helping you..............................................

but the point is that i placed my ego at the door, embarrased myself, not to the crowd (they didnt know any better) and i did it.
I was so terrefied of beeing embarassed in front of poeple that i practiced like mad, theres no better practice incentive than not wanting to be humiliated
and its been like that with every gig since only at some stage the fear of beeing humiliated changes into the desire to impress.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 13 2005 16:45:23
 
XXX

Posts: 4400
Joined: Apr. 14 2005
 

RE: The inflation of the term flamenco (in reply to XXX

Thx for your comment flo, I agree to most of it, of course. Sooner or later I was going to ask that dance teacher if I could play in her classes, surely, but you know, these are students of flamenco dance, not more. I wouldnt overrate it. Furthermore I know that in dance school theres only some compas needed, as she, the teacher, told me an ordinary CD which she uses is by far enough. So its not really intersting after some minutes, again and again the same compas, same chords... I mean she said it herself its not very interesting for a guitarist. If there were another guitarist it surely would be more fun,
but hey, I dont really have an alternative, so I will attend to that dance school of course.


Online lessons? hm ive got nothing against it, but id prefer a real one for regular basis you know. Hey, dont be so pessimistic flo lol !


To everyone: Regarding the topic I dont want it to be misunderstood. Its not classic vs. flamenco, what a bull**** that would be. It is about the general attitude that classical guitar players or rather TEACHERS, or more generally classical people have towards flamenco.
I bet the majority of it see flamenco as an inferior or "folkloristic" kind of music as they call it and Im 100% behind my word !

Again, this does not mean that they are unfriendly persons or anything; in fact they were all friendly, Jim.
But if someone draws wrong conclusions like "techniquewise flamenco would be not much different from classic", and these conclusions came out as a result of not knowing or not wanting to know what flamenco really is or from even denying the "folkloristic" flamenco, then you might forgive me if I call such a person arrogant, EVEN if the person is not AWARE of being so, because he was teached in certain way from his teacher and also adopted his attitudes.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 13 2005 19:39:46
 
Miguel de Maria

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Joined: Oct. 20 2003
From: Phoenix, AZ

RE: The inflation of the term flamenco (in reply to XXX

Is something wrong with folkloric?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 13 2005 20:27:50
 
Florian

Posts: 9240
Joined: Jul. 14 2003
From: Adelaide/Australia

RE: The inflation of the term flamenco (in reply to XXX

Sorry Phrygus i forghot about this post...

quote:

So its not really intersting after some minutes, again and again the same compas, same chords


lol Mate this is where it all starts, this is what playing for clases is, in the beginners class, everyone who has accompanied has started on beginers class its not interesting ? make it, try litlle scales to fitt in with the footwork, experiment with different chords.
Sounding good at very slow speeds is a chalenge, but by the time u done with it the compas will be imprinted in you .

U will learn alot more having to think of the compas yourself and chords yourself rather than just folowing another guitarist, u get to think it yourself, therefor rely on yourself and not another guitarist.

quote:

Online lessons? hm ive got nothing against it, but id prefer a real one for regular basis you know


Yeah , well i would prefer a concert guitar and lessons with Gerardo everyday but unfortunately for you thats not possible so do the next best thing and take advantage of your oportunities


U see the fact that its beginner class without a guitarist as a disadvantage i see it as a greate oportunity, 1 for you to learn everything yourself 2. to work with them and choreograph they music how u like it and not just folow another guitarist's ideas.

I am such a visionary i am a big picture kind of man.

as the wise man of Spinal tap say:

" How far is too far and whats stoping it ? and whats behind what,s stoping it ? and if infact that is the end, whats behind it ?"

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 16 2005 7:56:44
Guest

RE: The inflation of the term flamenco (in reply to XXX

that was a cool post florian. I think you should do just go for the dancers, the beggining is always the hardest part but I bet that in one year doing that you would have more flamenco than any teacher could teach you.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 16 2005 15:43:40
 
Florian

Posts: 9240
Joined: Jul. 14 2003
From: Adelaide/Australia

RE: The inflation of the term flamenco (in reply to Guest

thank you guest

Another thing to use a ,techer to teach you falsetas i think its a huge missuse of time, u want a techer to teach you technique, rythm and tricks etc.

with the right technique you can teach yourself any falsetas thats the easy part.

if i only had an hour with Gerardo, i would not wanna know any falsetas but some buleria rythm sequences etc.

Almost anyone can more or less could learn a Tomatito buleria falseta, but to play the rythm the way he does it it would take you a lot longher.

Incidently if the rythm is not good people would have allready make up theyr mind of your level before you even get to the falseta.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 18 2005 6:23:08
 
Ron.M

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

RE: The inflation of the term flamenco (in reply to Florian

quote:

Another thing to use a ,techer to teach you falsetas i think its a huge missuse of time, u want a techer to teach you technique, rythm and tricks etc.


Man..you are so right Florian!

Anytime I took lessons from a professional, I was always asking questions about timing and structure and technique rather than wasting time learning a falseta.

You can learn falsetas anytime.

Ron
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 18 2005 10:46:04
Guest

RE: The inflation of the term flamenco (in reply to XXX

quote:

there is no real dance school in my city. Just one women giving some excersizes but without a guitarist. There is no flamenco player within a distance of 90km or 1 hour 30min, which is Hamburg


There's Andrea Narten, she has a web site www.estudio-kiel.de and I saw a pic of a guitarist accompanying there. Also Ina Heller at www.solo-flamenco.de. Zazie Wurr is at the "Institut für Tanz", Ringstr. 52-56, D-24103 Kiel, 0431 / 97 02 81

It wouldn't hurt to check with them to find out whether they know a guitar teacher. I could also ask my teacher Frank Ihle, he's been around a lot and knows just about all the big flamencos in Germany.

Johnny
www.flamenco-guitar-mainz.de
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 28 2005 10:51:05
 
XXX

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RE: The inflation of the term flamenco (in reply to XXX

Johnny, thx. I had forgotten that estudio. Good you reminded me; I will drop on them by time.
I know Ina Heller personally, she is the woman I mentioned in this topic.

Whos Zazie Wurr? Is he famous?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 28 2005 11:29:36
Guest

RE: The inflation of the term flamenco (in reply to XXX

Zazie Wurr actually wrote a book about the Sinti and Roma culture in Northern Germany and is on www.flamenco-seiten.de as a dance instructor. I'd definitely check that out.

Johnny
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 28 2005 11:50:00
Guest

[Deleted] (in reply to XXX

[Deleted by Admins]

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 28 2005 12:21:39
 
Kate

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

RE: The inflation of the term flamenco (in reply to Guest

quote:

ORIGINAL: Guest
Zazie Wurr actually wrote a book about the Sinti and Roma culture in Northern Germany
Johnny


Would be interested to find this book. Is it just in German ? A few generations back my Sinti ancestors came to Britain but they were from Italy. I'd like to read more about the German Sinti.

Kate

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 30 2005 13:33:45
 
luke.park

Posts: 114
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RE: The inflation of the term flamenco (in reply to XXX

phrygus,

i completely sympathise with you as i have had so many encounters like that. i live in kent in britain and i know one other dedicated flamenco guitarist, my teacher. all my school friends are classical guitarists. dont get me wrong, i admire classical guitarists for their ability to read the music notation (something i lack- tab man am i) and to play it as is written. and i enjoy the music and respect it. but flamenco also deserves respect by them methinks

however, i find that, as you said, classical guitarists i know look down on me, being the only flamenco guitarist around that they know. they dismiss me as inferior and believe that popularity rules the roost. the classical guitar teacher i know claims to also play flamenco but cannot at all grasp the concept of free falsetas or even compas. again, if i were to ask a classical guitarist to play a flamenco piece, if they thought they could, it would be spanish classical. i get frustrated as flamenco is so big i dont know where to start with the explanation.

there was a spanish classical guitarist, german man who did a recital at my school not long ago. he was very nice. he was modest and did not look down on me when i said i played flamenco but instead interested as he understood what it meant, he was a very good player too and i looked up to him. about it my classical guitarist friend said to me "did you see that flamenco guitarist the other day," shortly before saying, "so are you going to be doing anymore spanish classical solos soon," it has become on ongoing joke that they torment me with now though, ive got to see the funny side i suppose.
however, i have seen another gutiarist called gary ryan, superb classical guitarist and upon mentioning i played flamenco i felt i became insignificant to him.

it is frustrating beyond belief but we've got to realise that if they dont know what flamenco is about then we cant blame them, after all i live in kent where there should be no reason for them to have a clue about flamenco. if they turn their noses up against it, that's there problem... mwahahaha

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 30 2005 14:37:09
 
XXX

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RE: The inflation of the term flamenco (in reply to XXX

Its really their problem.

Ignoring flamenco tells something about their attitude as humans as musicians and its not something positive.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 30 2005 15:15:03
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13229
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From: Washington DC

RE: The inflation of the term flamenco (in reply to XXX

quote:

it is frustrating beyond belief but we've got to realise that if they dont know what flamenco is about then we cant blame them, after all i live in kent where there should be no reason for them to have a clue about flamenco. if they turn their noses up against it, that's there problem... mwahahaha


I grew up with classical guitar around me. My father and his friends were all classical. Yet, I learned about flamenco. There is no excuse for being ignorant. There are snobs in all genres of music. Still, no excuse for not educating one's self, before commenting on a subject. I "blame" classical guitarists who don't at least respect flamenco guitar. Likewise, I get irritated when flamenco aficionados and purists write off modern flamenco as "jazz".
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 31 2005 8:07:48
 
luke.park

Posts: 114
Joined: Dec. 29 2005
 

RE: The inflation of the term flamenco (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

There is no excuse for being ignorant


yeah i agree with you there there should be no excuse for ignorance towards other styles of music at all. all interpretations and styles should be appreciated by the fact that they mean something to other people and come through expression of culture and feelings. it is an ignorance and a disrespect to others imo.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 31 2005 8:15:54
 
Florian

Posts: 9240
Joined: Jul. 14 2003
From: Adelaide/Australia

RE: The inflation of the term flamenco (in reply to XXX

I know, i hate ignorance, that and QUatars folk music, i mean wtf. is that all about ?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 31 2005 8:40:15
Guest

RE: The inflation of the term flamenco (in reply to Kate

quote:

Would be interested to find this book. Is it just in German ? A few generations back my Sinti ancestors came to Britain but they were from Italy. I'd like to read more about the German Sinti.


Hi Kate,

can't tell you for certain but I'm pretty sure it's only in German as it was only published once with a very small publisher in Kiel.


Johnny
www.flamenco-guitar-mainz.de
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 31 2005 10:37:28
 
Kate

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

RE: The inflation of the term flamenco (in reply to Guest

Hi Jonny,

Aw well that's that then. Not a big enough incentive to learn German Have you read it ?

Kate

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 31 2005 16:30:57
Guest

RE: The inflation of the term flamenco (in reply to Kate

No, actually I haven't. I'm not even sure if it's still available anymore...
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 2 2006 8:36:34
 
Cloth Ears

 

Posts: 152
Joined: Apr. 26 2005
 

RE: The inflation of the term flamenco (in reply to XXX

I have a genuine love of music, be it Sonic Youth or Sibelius, choral or whatever else.

I do not see classical or flamenco as better, rather emrace and enjoy both.

I think if a music reading snob looks down on you, then that is just their psychotic reation and has nothing to do with the realities behind the real aesthetics of sound.

As far as tecnique is concerned, classical will open dimension in your playing and authoring falsetas. No guitar player ever lost out by learning Heitor Villa Lobos' fine arpegios. Try them. First try them exactly as notated, then try making up new ways of doing the runs on the fretboard. Accuracy and understanding of how to move your left hand will come. It will teach you ways of playing arpeggios and also the standard right hand tecnique.

However 'it dont mean a thing unless it aint got that swing'. Building up your rasguedo, pulgar tecniques can then leave you with the tools to cut compas.

Combining classical and flamenco tecnique gets you composing edgy melodic falsetas in compas.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 2 2006 9:26:58
 
Ryan002

 

Posts: 173
Joined: Oct. 18 2005
From: Singapore

RE: The inflation of the term flamenco (in reply to XXX

You know what? This is the dire consequence of institutions of classical music (which I won't name, but you all know the one which has rasaguedo as a grade 5 technique) incorporating certain flamenco elements in their syllabus. More and more I encounter classical guitarists who seem to think flamenco is somehow co-joined with classical, or even worse, a branch of it. There are some who are even unaware that flamenco guitars are not classical guitars. Someone ought to lay down the law here!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 19 2006 6:59:48
 
XXX

Posts: 4400
Joined: Apr. 14 2005
 

RE: The inflation of the term flamenco (in reply to XXX

It wasnt my aim to show whether flamenco or classical is "better".

Ryan, exactly! As I said some guitarist think Asturias is flamenco.

Just wanted the see how your experiences are, and they seem quite comparable.
Yes there are also exceptions ...

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 19 2006 12:07:29
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