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Flamenco Fire

Flamenco Guitar Rasgueado For Classical Guitar

"Flamenco - A style of instrumental or vocal music originating in southern Spain and intensely rhythmic..."

The Rasgueado is an exciting technique that gives the classical guitar player more flair and fire than they are normally exposed. More fingerstyle guitarists should use these techniques.

Ragueado means "to rake", and is a very fast strumming technique accomplished by using the back of the nails of the right hand. The right hand thumb could also be used, but generally it is used to "anchor" the hand so that the fingers can perform the percussive strumming. Some say that playing the rasgueado will help to develop finger independence and I'm convinced as well that it's true. They can be hard to perform, so it's advisable that you practice them very slowly at first.

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Here's how Scott Tennant suggests you should approach the playing of the rasgueado...

Notice how the fingers are basically "attacking" the strings in the first picture. The angle of approach helps with volume and the percussive effect you need to produce.

Guitar Maker Sidebar - Did You Know?

These types of guitars are constructed using different woods, have a thinner soundboard and a shallower body than the classical guitar. This is to help its peculiar tonal qualities of warm tone and greater "attack" than the classical guitar but leads to a shorter sustain of notes.

Scott Tennant illuminates us about the use of the thumb techniques where he writes in Pumping Nylon...

"Included in the bottomless bag of tricks of these guitarists is the way they use their thumbs. Far from trickery, though, the thumb is used mostly out of necessity. The guitarist must be heard through all the singing, hand-clapping, and the piercing footwork....Although not always directly applicable to the classical repertoire, practicing some of the techniques will expand our capabilities."

The "alzapua is another technique that belongs in the world of flamenco. According to the website novareinna.com which is a glossary site, an alzapua is described as...

"A playing technique which uses the right hand. The thumb is used to play down-and-up strokes across one or a group of strings in combination with apoyando single notes. It may be that this technique developed as an imitation of the manner in which the medieval Arabic 'ud (a form of lute) was played with a wooden plectrum."

To read more about flamenco techniques click here...

I trust you have enjoyed this lesson on these techniques. Good luck!

Here's a video with some of theses techniques for classical guitar, namely: Malaguena...

Go here to "Like" and "Comment" on video...

Here are a few related pages that may interest you...



Guitar Technique


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Welcome to LCG! I'm Trevor Maurice, owner of this site. I hope you find inspiration in these pages to help you with  your journey of learning to play the classical guitar. You can read more of my story here...