Written By: Cesar Serna


There are now quite a few Flamenco instructional courses out on the market. Ranging in prices from $20 to $100+ but which one is the right one for you? Do you have to buy 1 DVD or take the plunge by purchasing a 10 disc set? Well we hope to demystify the whole process a little bit in this article.
First lets break up guitarist into three basic groups:

Beginner – The beginner guitar player is as green to Flamenco as it gets but they have a lot of drive to learn all the great Bulerias and Tangos they have just listened to on there first Paco de Lucia or Vicente Amigo CD. The beginner guitar player may already have chops and plenty of playing experience in other genres but is new to flamenco guitar playing. The need here then is structure, discipline and repetition in order to achieve proper hand positioning, solid practice routines and learn the fundamentals of flamenco guitar playing.

Intermediate – The intermediate guitar player is at least practicing Bulerias, Tangos, etc… that they have learned by listening to or by watching others perform. The intermediate guitar player may be taking some lessons if a good teacher is available and has probably performed some Flamenco pieces from time to time or incorporated some form of Flamenco into there performances. The need here then is learning to play in a performance scenario. For example learning what to watch for when playing for a singer, dancer or just learning to listen to cajon beats and groove along until timing is perfect.

Advanced – The advanced guitar player is performing live and has been for a while. But like most performers will, they have reached a plateau and are looking to push themselves to the next level. The need here then is to push to levels that are at Masters levels in order to learn and incorporate new Falsetas and or progressions into current performances.

So now that we have broken up flamenco guitar players into three groups place yourself into one of these groups. You might feel that you are in between Beginner to Intermediate or Intermediate to Advanced. Don’t worry about that now just pick one and lets get to the Flamenco instructional guitar DVD recommendations.

For the Beginner we chose:

Gerhard Graf-Martinez – flamenco guitar Volume 1

A lot of thought and design was incorporated into flamenco guitar Volume 1 to provide the ultimate informational and presentation of lessons to the student. You are taken from the very basics Rasgueo, Pulgar, Remate and Golpe and given several lessons on each followed up with a practice song presented in slow and regular speeds.

What impressed us was that the presentations came with multi-angle views giving you the ability to either view the side guitar, sound hole view to see how the hands touch the strings and side guitar with scrolling measure with musical notes and tabs to follow along with Mr. Martinez. And just when you thought that’s all you get Mr. Martinez keeps on giving.

flamenco guitar Volume 1 also comes with a the Graf-Martinez Reloj Flamenco chapter on the DVD that is similar to the Flamenco Metronome software (see previous review) as it includes scrolling measures of music with notes and tablature along with a clock marking the compas covering both auditory and visual learners. Unlike the Flamenco Metronome software the Reloj Flamenco included on this DVD requires no installs or special equipment as long as you have a DVD player you can practice pretty much all the major Flamenco Palos. For the Beginner Flamenco guitarist flamenco guitar Volume 1 gets our pick for best Beginner flamenco guitar instructional DVD.

For the Intermediate we chose:

Flamenco Live – flamenco guitar Bulerias Step by Step

Almost every aspect of learning and performing a Buleria is on flamenco guitar Bulerias Step by Step. The premise is to dissect a Buleria called Yaiza by breaking up the song into eight Falseta sections that then are offered to you in two speeds slow and normal.

The concept of multi-angles is also incorporated in order get the different views of the finger placement on the guitar for each section. Flamenco Live includes a selection for angles of the bass player only so you might say this DVD could also be called Flamenco Bass Bulerias Step by Step.

Also included is the ability to select which instruments you want to hear when watching the scene. The available options for this are Mix, Guitar Only and Bass Only. Combining this with the multi-angles and eight different scenes you can create the ultimate Flamenco practice band that will never miss a beat.

For the Advanced we chose:

Encuentro Productions – Gerardo Nunez

Now for all of you Beginners who are even thinking about skipping to this level be warned: The watching of Encuentro Productions Gerardo Nunez will leave you in awe and will cause irreparable damage to your ego.

For the Advanced here is what is in store for you. Gerardo Nunez is a phenomenal guitarist and the lessons included are worth the sticker shock price of $100+ but the lessons alone are not what make this DVD. What is amazing is Gerardos explanation toward his practice routines and techniques as ultimately Gerardo Nunez explains that once fundamentals are understood and mastered practicing can be any sequence of notes that ultimately leads to the creation of new Falsetas.

Gerardo Nunez has a very distinct personality that is very easy going and therefore staying focused on what he is explaining seems easier than usual. Encuentro Productions Gerardo Nunez is about as straight forward a DVD as you can get. No multi-angles and no special audio selections just packed with Advanced level lessons (A huge book with tons of Falsetas is included and referenced on the DVD) and techniques (Pulgar, Arpegios, Tremolo, Picado and Rasqueados) for pushing your playing to the next level. Performances of each Falseta by Gerardo Nunez are in slow speed and normal speed.

Selecting training material is never easy and can be very expensive so invest wisely and best of luck.

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