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Spanish flavored guitar
Guest teacher series
Brian Huether
Guitar-Dreams.com

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Spanish flavored guitar
by Brian Huether
Guitar-Dreams.com

Having an electric, acoustic and classical guitar to choose from, sometimes I never know what my fingers will be drawn to on any given day. Today I had the acoustic on my mind and it wasn't before long that I found myself trying to emulate the firey style of Flamenco. By arming yourself with some basic chords, you can come fairly close to capturing the essence of Flamenco. Well, I imagine a true Flamenco master would laugh at such an attempt, but in any case, let's add some Spanish flavor to our playing.

I came up with the basis of this lesson as I was trying to teach myself some Flamenco basics on my classical guitar. I was practicing an exercise that had me strumming a simple 3 chord rhythm with 8th notes. The exercise was

E----0-----0------0-----0-----
B----0-----0------0-----0-----
G----1-----1------2-----1-----
D----2-----0------3-----2-----
A-----------------------------
E-----------------------------

I was addicted to the sound and I suddenly found myself embellishing upon this simple motif - arpeggiating the notes, varying the strumming patterns, etc. The rhythm lends itself very well to improvising lead lines with A Harmonic Minor.

guitar scale chart

Above we see the 5th mode of the A Harmonic Minor scale. Many Flamenco guitarists rely heavily on this scale since it goes so well with the open chords that Flamenco players often play.

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Listen to MIDI

First, let me emphasize that this exercise isn't about the tab. I have tabbed out the exercise to be similar to what I played, but this piece is really about using the basic chords of the exercise to create your own ideas. At the end of the exercise I improvised a Harmonic Minor lick based on the scale shape above.

One other thing to note is that I have indicated alternate picking for the arpeggiations. You might not otherwise think to play such parts with alternate picking, but using alternate picking for these sorts of lines does wonders for your alternate picking chops and you will find yourself with newfound abilities to alternate pick very intricate lines.

Good luck!

Brian Huether

Guitar-Dreams.com: Free Guitar Lessons

Other Lessons by Brian Huether

Ear Training - From the mind to the fretboard
Reinventing Scales - Mixotonic
Spanish flavored guitar
Bach Sonata 1: Part 1
Bach Sonata 1: Part 2
Bach Sonata 1: Part 3
Bach Sonata 1: Part 4
Four Play - Alternate Picking Exercise

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