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ernandez R


Posts: 2
Joined: Mar. 25 2019
From: Alaska USA

New to flamenco 

Aug 6, 2019

I better start at the begaining. It was 1978, I was thirteen, the song was Nice-n-neat, some pop group from Dublin of all places, and it had this Spanish guitar refrain. I was hooked. I didn't want to play led Zeppelin or Jimmy Hedrix, I wanted plastic strings; classical I was told.

Eighteen and two years of " classical " and two years of music theory, I could sight read, had a number of "pieces in the bag", but nothing I was playing touched my soul. A wife and child and into the case went my guitar.

Many years later I found it, not the music yet but the guitar with the soul, a little over five hundred dollars, solid top, nothing special but outplayed all those dipped in plastic things hanging on the wall of every guitar store in every city. She was from Mexico but I never knew from where. Then the fire. Years more of searching for her like and kind but nothing but dead gloss, no bass, embellished with tone crushing detail but little love, all factory and less luthiery.

On December first of eighteen I taught myself four bad ways to make a tuning peg without a proper lathe; the fifth idea I had was something like a pencil sharpener. Three days later I found it this is mostly how they are finished. On the morning of the fifteenth I was stringing up my first guitar. She is not too ugly. Locally harvested woods. The only thing on her I purchased was fret wire and strings.

I strung up number five a few days ago. Still with pegs but now they turn like butter and don't rip the flesh from my knuckles. Glossy yet unperfect French polish. A reasonable three and three quarter millimeters at the twelfth fret and a fat eight millimeters at the saddle; almost hold a Marlboro there but I haven't smoked in years. Stopped for a bit to crush some cords: Phrygian: E, F, G, Am, you might know them as old friends but I'm just getting in there wearing the top of my nails paper thin rocking rasgueo like I don't know how! Five guitars but it took me fifty years to get here; to find this music.

I have a lifetime of using my hands: wood, metal, plastic, plaster. I fixed airplanes. From the Boeing triple seven to the Piper supercub, advanced composites to rag and tube and all points inbetween. I fly. I've rescued the missing in the Arctic winter and crawled out of my own wreckage. I have compassion for the poor and no patience for the willfully ignorant. I have faith in humanity and feel technology is our ally. I am sure music lies deep in our genetic code yet every culture carries with it its own unique tone. Besides bleeding red I feel song is one element that can bind all societies into a union that celebrates each of our differences.

Can some kid raised in the cocafny of late nineteen century Los Angeles neononculture become Flamenco? Sure I've a common Hispanic surname but that's about it. But then again I've always been drawn to that dissident tone, the nonwestern interval, as if deep down in some level my mind is wired Phrygian instead of Ionian. Fifty years later and I find another lifetime is needed to know.

I hadn't meant this intro to become a philosophical screed. To be honest it's been a while since I've written anything longer then a forum comment or a text.

I'm just starting two flamenco guitars they will be my # 6 & 7 respectively. I look forward to learning from this community, and perhaps contributing as is apropos

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Aug. 6 2019 21:51:26
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