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Here are some very basic examples
of flamenco guitar falsetas (phrases) in the soleares style. In these samples,
you'll find some well-known falsetas heard from many different players throughout
history. Some basic techniques in flamenco guitar are represented here, like
arpeggios and rasgueados. In order to play these falsetas with the right
phrasing, you'll need to be familiar with the asymmetrical rhythm used in
this style (soleares). Click
here for an explanation.
This is heard in many old recordings
from different guitarists. Keep your thumb curved and play rest strokes
(the thumb comes to rest on a thinner string after striking a note).
This is another very old falseta
heard in one form or another from almost all old-time players. Observe
the indicated accents. Measures 1 and 3 can be exchanged, but not their
This is frequently used as a response
to falseta 2. The triplets in the last measure add to the
This continues with the same idea
and may be used a bit more freely since it doesn't need another full compás
as a "response," like falseta 2. The maestro Melchor de Marchena used this
Another very old and frequently
heard falseta. The F on the fourth
string third fret can be included at beats three and six.
This strumming is called rasgueado.
The fingering shown is typical, but there are many other sequences that
make this technique rich in ideas. You can include the appropriate notes
on the fifth and sixth strings in the chording. The quintuplet arrangement is very
common, and a sixteenth-note version (amii) is also very popular.
Sabicas frequently used similar
arpeggios. Measure three is a classic cierre (closing) heard from just
about everybody. You can add an F on the fourth string (third fret) at the eighth beat.
For a more basic version of this falseta that makes a nice introduction
to the idea seen below, play measures three and four back to back for a full twelve
beats, accenting beats three, six, eight and ten. Diego de Morón has recorded this
falseta in a prime example of "call and
response," adding his variations
to each unfolding measure.
These kinds of arpeggios are an important part of the variety of
techniques used in soleares. Observe the phrasing at beats three and six.
The sequence of double-triplet
arpeggio, eighth-note bass and quintuplet slur is identical in
the first two measures, with a variation seen in the third. Repeating sequences like these are present in many falsetas.
This makes a nice finish to a series
of arpeggios. Notice how the striking-hand thumb and index share duties on the
third string through beats six to eight. Some arpeggio patterns even place the
thumb on a higher-pitched string than the index.
Here the thumb outlines G7, C7
and F6 chords. This idea can also be played with arpeggios (see falseta
7) and rasgueados.
These one-measure figures are to be
played over beats 10, 11 and 12. They are called remates, and they form an
important part of guitar playing in the soleares style. In the past, guitarists
used only a few patterns for their remates, but today's players often use more modern variations. The "q" in
the third example is an upstroke with the thumb, but a
downstroke is also possible, which allows for a golpe (tap). Be sure to use the thumb in rest strokes throughout the examples.
Here are three more ideas that are
a bit more modern sounding. It's a very good idea to memorize a series of moves
over the 7-8-9 and 10-11-12 sections of the compás. Eventually, you can use this
modular way of thinking to combine different beginnings, middles and
ends of falsetas. Notice how the six examples increase in rhythmic intensity.
This is a combination of ideas
from Montoya, Sabicas and others.
You can change the triplet starting each measure to an eighth and two sixteenths.
This falseta was inspired
by old-time playing. Be sure to use rest strokes with your thumb. You can
shorten the first four notes to three by omitting an A note and starting
on beat 1.