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Absolute Beginner Method?   You are logged in as Guest
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Fulcanelli

 

Posts: 18
Joined: Sep. 2 2006
 

Absolute Beginner Method? 

Any recommendations for an very basic book for a student brand new to fingerpicking, using only basic chords? I have a prefect book (Juan D. Grecos' "Flamenco Guitar") but it is out of print now. Other methods I know are Graf-Martinez, Juan Martin, and Dennis Koster, plus a few other out-of-print books I bought decades ago. The book is for a few students and as their teacher, I am certain an easier book will be best for these students.

I am definitely NOT interested in using the Juan Serrano system. I live in the USA.

Any recommendations for what I seek?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 4 2006 13:55:48
 
Taranto

 

Posts: 213
Joined: Apr. 7 2005
 

RE: Absolute Beginner Method? (in reply to Fulcanelli

Graf-Martinez method seems to be a good choice. It begins from the very basics.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 5 2006 15:30:46
 
Gummy

Posts: 495
Joined: Nov. 27 2005
From: North Carolina, USA

RE: Absolute Beginner Method? (in reply to Fulcanelli

I have Oscar Herrero's Paso a Paso 1-3 and Graf Martinez 1-2. I also have the DVDs by AAron Gilmartin. I also have purchased lessons from Flamenco Teacher and from New Learning Vision(Adam DelMonte).

The Oscar DVD's were very detailed and take things from the very beginning. I get bored though, with the melodies. I hate learning things to get one technique if the song itself is boring. Sometimes he will add a frill or something that makes an exercise sound better but doesn't always say what he is doing.

Aaron Gilmartins DVDs launch off as though you can already play quite a bit of guitar. I don't feel he is as strict on perfection or compass as the other DVDs. He goes into great detail explaining some things but for example, he never really shows how to play the basic part of the Tangos rhythm slowly. I just see his hand flying around. It is hard to explain but it is hard to get to the parts I want to see. There is so much speaking that jumps around without enough organization. When you read the TAB, there are parts missing from his performance.

GGM DVDs are the best in my opinion. He plays with attention to detail and his tunes are fairly interesting. One weakness in my opinion is that his DVDs don't stress where the accents are enough or explain what makes the palo sound the way it does. I would like more counting/feel explanations which include the specific exercise and how it fits into the palo. He does go into great depth on bulerias though adding lots of counting exercises. THe big disadvantage of this method is that DVDs are made for PAL and converted to NTSC. This makes reading the onscreen TABs impossible. There is a TAB viewer that you can DL from his site to see the tabs. It is a huge CPU hog though and it is difficult to watch a smooth video while the tab viewer is running. I actually screen grab it and look at the still images to save CPU power.

I hope this makes some sense to you and helps. Remember these are my opinions and you may feel differently.

Rod
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 5 2006 16:37:44

Fulcanelli

 

Posts: 18
Joined: Sep. 2 2006
 

RE: Absolute Beginner Method? (in reply to Fulcanelli

Thanks Rod. I get your gist. As a teacher, I'm not interested in selling my students DVDs. I can show them. With only two flamenco students, I don't have time to write up detailed lessons. That's where a good book comes into play.

The realm of flamenco method (books) has changed quite a bit in the past 25 years. The books I purchased when first started buying them, they were really simple, very basic songs, not even complicated rasgueados, but still for someone new to the guitar and the music, were useful. Today, the books are far more involved.

As I already said in my initial post, Graf-Martinez, while being a nice method, is not a beginner's book. There's too many details to focus on with both hands for someone NEW to both fingerstyle playing (which I am working on separately with these students) and chords. The Grecos book I've mentioned is very basic, starting with basic chords like Am, Dm, and E. Graf-Martinez starts from the beginning with more advanced chord movements. I know my students and this is definitely too much for them to take in at this point. I have studied (and taught) guitar all my life and when I got interested in the classical guitar, first off, I could already play, and second, I did it progressively, in layers. First, a method book, then scales, Guiliani right hand studies, then Carcassi and Sor studies, then intermediate pieces, etc. etc. I suppose some would find merit in jumping right into an advanced beginner/intermediate method and starting from that point, but I don't. And since I am the teacher.... As a dedicated teacher, it is my job to intuit where to start and how to proceed in sharing my knowledge of music; I do not treat all my students the same in terms of how we study.

I like the Graf-Martinez book and have ready access to it, so I'm sure when my we will work out of that one as well, but in a few months.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 5 2006 17:19:06
 
Taranto

 

Posts: 213
Joined: Apr. 7 2005
 

RE: Absolute Beginner Method? (in reply to Fulcanelli

I think the majority of flamenco methods assume the student knows Guitar to a certain degree but is new to flamenco.

For a student with no previous music/guitar background I would recommend a classical guitar method. Although it doesn't mean to play the book cover to cover, rather to get the basics throught a number of lessons selected for a particular student.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 5 2006 17:40:52
 
Gummy

Posts: 495
Joined: Nov. 27 2005
From: North Carolina, USA

RE: Absolute Beginner Method? (in reply to Fulcanelli

OOps, sorry about that. I thought you were looking for something to learn from yourself. I just jumped right on the DVD thing. I don't even have one flamenco book... Oh, I have the one from the Nunez DVD
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 6 2006 0:33:39
 
Ricardo

Posts: 11960
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: Absolute Beginner Method? (in reply to Fulcanelli

quote:

As a dedicated teacher, it is my job to intuit where to start and how to proceed in sharing my knowledge of music; I do not treat all my students the same in terms of how we study.


I usually stay out of the teaching/method threads because there are so many ways that teachers do things different than each other to achieve the same result. But felt I wanted to give a few suggestions.

You say you don't treat all students the same, but have already lumped a couple of begginers into the "in need of an easy FLAMENCO method book" category. I personally don't think there exists such a thing if you mean authentic flamenco, but I have seen the watered down type of books that would work for you. I respect and understand why you want the graduating difficulty method that makes the student feel like they are going somewhere. They require someone that can read notes or tablature, at least a little. But, there are many flamenco maestros that can't read at all, so why must a beginning student know how?

Why not just SHOW them how to play 2 chords and strum a basic, but authentic, flamenco rhythm pattern? There are advanced classical players that could blast through a method book, sight read it even, but not do as I just described. When it comes to flamenco, books can be a good tool, or reference, but so long as the student is really playing something on his own. Anyway, just some thoughts. Sorry if it comes off as very anti-academic.

Ricardo
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 6 2006 7:42:14

Fulcanelli

 

Posts: 18
Joined: Sep. 2 2006
 

RE: Absolute Beginner Method? (in reply to Gummy

Gummy...Not a problem. I do appreciate that you were trying to help me.

Taranto: There are methods that have a real beginner in mind. I have some but they are out of print and hard to find. What I have access to in my area is limited to what I can find online (flamenco guitar CDs are hard to find in local music stores as well) and I was hoping that someone might have published what I'm looking for as a private publication that hasn't been picked up for distribution by the music moguls here like Hal Leonard, Mel Bay, Music Sales, Alfreds, etc.

This is a fine group of people dedicated to flamenco. I'm really glad I found this place.

UPDATE - I am very sorry that I posted this thread. I have no desire to justify or defend how and why I teach the way I do.

I don't know what I was thinking!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 6 2006 14:58:13
 
d85jrs

 

Posts: 2
Joined: Apr. 24 2006
 

RE: Absolute Beginner Method? (in reply to Fulcanelli

About the Aaron Gilmartin DVDs- this was the first method I bought as an absolute beginner. To be perfectly honest, it was basically useless to me. As a kind of documentary introduction to Flamenco, sure, it's great, but for someone with little or no knowledge, it could be frustrating.

Aaran Gilmartin is a fantastic guitarist, and the performances are great. But the lessons are structured very poorly, and he tends to ramble quite a bit. It seems as if the director, Happy Traum, called Aaron up one morning and said do you want to start making a Flamenco DVD in fifteen minutes?

For an experienced classical player, the DVD might be great. But for me, and most beginners I imagine, it isn't ideal. I quickly switched to GGM's Vol. 1, which I've found to be great. I don't know if any method is perfect, but this one seems to be comprehensive, and is definitely well structured. The man's a German, after all.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 8 2006 3:54:57
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