Flamenco Guitarist Repertoire List
In this article I will provide information about my flamenco guitar repertoire.
Many of the people who contact me know quite a lot about flamenco.
They are familiar with flamenco forms.
As such, they do not need to ask me too many questions about my repertoire.
These kinds of clients listen to the sound clips and watch the videos.
Then they discuss their preferences with me.
Of course, this is not always the case.
Many people who contact me while not knowing flamenco vocabulary do know how they feel about the music.
Because of this I would like to explain my music here.
At the start I must say that I never intend to tell you how to feel about my playing.
Rather I want to share information and I hope that you find it interesting.
Flamenco Guitarist Repertoire Videos
If you visit my Videos page you can see that at this time I have just three videos.
Zapateado en Re by Sabicas
Sabicas was a very great maestro of Flamenco guitar.
He really caused a major impression in his time.
His playing is still regarded as extremely high by today’s virtuoso standards.
Zapateado is a very traditional flamenco form.
The word is derived from zapato which means shoe.
The rhythm and structure of the flamenco form zapateado aims to emulate the footwork of the flamenco dancer.
Usually, it is played in C Major.
Sabicas had the brilliant idea to lower the sixth string two semitones to D and then to compose his own zapateado in D.
Hence in Spanish Zapateado en Re.
The form is bright and happy with intricate delicate melodies.
However, there is a slow section in D Minor.
That is the section that I play in this video.
I feel it as superlatively sensitive, at moments light and then more profound and passionate.
As soon as I can I want to upload the entire piece.
Colombiana in the style of Paco Peña
Until fairly recently I thought that Colombiana was a flamenco form that originated in Colombia South America.
I have seen information recently in Spain that questions this.
The other theory is that there was a flamenco singer who was much enamoured of Colombia and indeed perhaps of a woman from that country.
Apparently, he composed these verses to celebrate his happiness.
The truth is I don’t know.
The style does have a South American feel to my hearing. Perhaps that was deliberate on the part of the singer.
Either way it is a lovely piece to play.
In this particular version I am inspired by a composition by Paco Peña.
Bulerías with palmas
Palmas refers to the way flamenco performers use a clapping technique to produce a very impressive percussive accompaniment.
Hence, I am playing the flamenco form Bulerías accompanied by three palmas accompanists.
As you can see, I start quite slowly trying to create an atmosphere.
Then I build to the full force together with the palmas.
The video production is perhaps a little decorative.
When I look back, I wonder if it is just a little pretentious.
I will let you be the judge!
Flamenco Guitar with Castanets
If you would like to pop over to my home page you can see a video called Guajira.
I love the castanets even though at present they are scorned upon.
Some say they are not a flamenco instrument.
Rather they are suitable for Spanish folk music.
This just makes me smile.
Since the 1970’s there have been an ever increasing array of non flamenco non- Spanish instruments used in flamenco.
I don’t think that the humble Spanish castanets should be a problem.
In fact, flamenco dancers play them in a different manner to the folk players.
As far as we know the Guajira is a form that originated in Cuba.
That does not mean that the people known as Guajiros are from Cuba.
I mention this because it is a point of discussion between flamenco experts.
Whichever way it came into the flamenco repertoire I love this form.
It is fun to play albeit rather tricky.
It makes a wonderful contrast to the serious flamenco forms.
Traditional Andalusian Songs
I have included videos of some very old and traditional flamenco songs.
The pieces are:
Zorongo Gitano and Cafe de Chinitas
Los Cuatro Muleros and Los Peregrinitos
Here my arrangements are for guitar and castanets.
Strictly speaking, these songs are not flamenco.
However, they are a faithful representation of traditional Andalusian culture.
I am very keen to preserve the emotions and delicacy of these styles.
Flamenco Guitarist YouTube
I have several videos on my YouTube channel.
I would like to speak about two of them.
Flamenco Dancer and Guitarist Soleares
This Soleares dancer and guitarist video was recorded in rehearsal with flamenco dancers.
You may notice that I keep my playing very simple and fundamental.
This is traditional.
The idea is that the flamenco guitarist should support but not over shadow the dancer.
To do this I try to produce firm and deep chords in a fundamental rhythmical structure.
My responsibility here is to help the dancer.
When I know a dancer very well, we can both improvise together.
Put another way she or he feels free to change the details of the dance.
Indeed, to spontaneously create new steps.
Conversely the dancers’ creative work gives me new ideas.
I would not normally try out those ideas on stage in public.
But I remember and at a later date go over the same dance in rehearsal.
At that moment we can work and polish our in concert inspirations.
Flamenco Guitarist Tarantas Cante de Las Minas
I play Tarantas and Granaínas in the Guitar competition at the Festival Nacional del cante de Las Minas, La Unión.
This is a very poor quality video.
So, the obvious question is why include it.
It does not appear to be good for my marketing.
In fact, it is outstandingly important for certain specific clients.
The Flamenco festival named above is hugely prestigious.
There is a selection examination which I passed.
To be honest and at the risk of sounding as bit arrogant, most guitarists do not expect to even be selected.
I am not arrogant but I am absolutely dedicated to playing authentic flamenco.
La Unión has no time or interest in commercialisation of flamenco.
I did not win.
A fabulous very young guitarist from Córdoba called Vicente Amigo took the prize.
He was better than all of us.
I play Tarantas which is obligatory in this competition.
My free choice is Granaínas.
Although I did not win, I did my duty to be respectful to flamenco and to play as authentically as possible.
Perhaps it was those characteristics that gave me the kind applause at the end.
Flamenco Guitarist Music Clips
In this section I discuss the music clips on this website.
I uploaded these against the opinions of some guitarists and other people.
There were two suggestions that I considered but decided to reject.
The first was that these tracks are examples of very authentic flamenco and only a small minority would enjoy them.
These tracks are full pieces and there is a frequent idea that site visitors will not listen to such long tracks.
My responses are as follows:
Yes, indeed my music appeals to a somewhat minority audience.
Actually, I am very pleased to see that it is quite a large healthy minority.
My site statistics show that in fact people do listen to the full tracks.
Very happily I accept that I play authentic traditional flamenco guitar music which is exactly the right music for my clients.
As such I could not be more happy.
Let’s look at the pieces
This piece is so important and fundamental in flamenco.
Sometimes it is referred to as ‘madre cante’ or the mother of flamenco.
This is because the structure of the piece provides a basis on which other flamenco forms are developed.
In this particular arrangement I include melodies taken from La Caña which can be considered a sister piece.
They both date back to the beginning of flamenco.
Soleares has a sorrowful yet firm almost majestic emotion.
The Bulerías develops from the Soleares.
In a sense it is a faster lighter version of Soleá.
It is strong and passionate but not sorrowful.
From Granada this is a gentle and lovely lament.
It is played freely without a specific rhythm.
There is much ornamentation and flowing techniques such as tremolo and arpeggios.
Until fairly recenty I thought that this was simply a flamenco piece inspired ny the music of Colombia in South America.
I have now seen a new explanation on Spanish television.
The theory is that a flamenco singer was much enamoured of Colombia and specifically of a woman of that country.
He created these verses to celebrate his love for her.
This may be true but to my hearing the style feels distinctly South American.
The creation of this piece is accredited to the great flamenco guitarist Ramón Montoya.
At his time (1920’s/1930’s) flamenco guitar was just for accompanying the flamenco dance and singing.
No one had considered that flamenco music could be developed as solo guitar compositions.
Montoya did and he created this fabulous composition.
It is dark, powerful, deeply felt and almost mysterious in places.
The standard guitar tuning of E A D G B E is changed to D A D F Sharp B E.
Rondeña is one of my favourite solo pieces.
There is some mistaken information about Rumba Flamenca.
Because Rumba is also a pop song people have thought that it is not real flamenco and not worthy.
They see is as commercialised.
I do not share this view.
The Rumba Flamenca is I am sure absolutely authentic flamenco.
It is one of the many happy easy going flamenco forms.
Another style that I absolutely love, especially when sung.
It is a lament and the lyrics often refer to love.
This is perhaps the flamenco style which shows the most obvious Moorish influence.
As you may know most of Spain was under Moorish occupation for more than seven centuries.
One of the wonderful gifts the Moors gave to Andalusia was their beautiful music.
In fact, sometimes when flamenco guitarists play in an especially beautiful style they are described as playing in the Moorish style.