Difficulty: Level IILevel II
Length: 11:50
Spanish Wikipedia pageWikipedia page
With our guitar tutorial on Spanish, you will learn these guitar skills:
  • Drone
  • Open chords
  • Strumming without a pick

I have to admit the Spanish guitar lesson is definitely one of my favorite guitar lessons for beginners, since all of my students love it! It doesn’t take months to learn, so it’s great for beginner and intermediate guitarists.

The lesson will introduce you to the Spanish guitar sound, also called flamenco-style guitar. You'll also learn a Malaguena riff, which is great fun to play and really impressive when played to others.

You’ll be using fingerpicking all throughout this lesson, so you won’t need a plectrum. You’ll first be introduced to a neat little tool that helps in achieving crisp sounding tones while fingerpicking your guitar.

Then, you’ll be learning the intro, which is made up of a series of chords and single-string plucking.

After the intro, you’ll learn the Malaguena section of the song, which incorporates an E drone, popular in Spanish guitar.

In the last section of the lesson, you’ll learn several chords, but more importantly, the Rasgueado style of strumming the guitar, which an interesting strumming pattern that will create a genuine flamenco rhythm. This is probably the most difficult part of the lesson and will take some time to get used to due to the unique technique of strumming the given chords.

In summary, this is a great lesson for guitar players of all levels, as it really gives an introduction to the Spanish guitar sound. You’ll learn many chords and strumming patterns, which will give you a chance to practice a barrage of guitar techniques, thereby advance your playing while making great music at the same time.

If you, later on, want to play more Spanish style flamenco guitar, here are a couple of tips:

  • If you take your basic E major, D major, and A major open chord shapes, play one, and play it again, only 1 fret up the fretboard, you will get a nice Spanish sound. Alternating the E major and the A minor chords also has this effect.
  • The harmonic minor and related scales have a flamenco feel.
  • The Phrygian mode is popular as well, it gives that mystic type Spanish sound.
  • This chord progression also has a Spanish sound: Am-G-F-E
  • Flamenco guitarists use a capo very often to raise the pitch of the guitar strings.
  • There are a couple of techniques unique to Spanish style guitar playing:
    • Rasgueado: rapid strumming with outward flicks of our strumming fingers, as practiced in the last part of the video guitar lesson. The purpose of this style if strumming is to simulate the rapid feet tapping movement of flamenco dancers.
    • Picado: rapid single-line scale passages are used often, just like in the first part of the lesson.
    • Golpe: tapping the body of the acoustic guitar above or below the strings, to give it a percussive feel. This is usually done with the middle or ring finger. You can tap either simultaneously with a downstroke on the string, or in between plucks to create great rhythm.
    • Tremolo: not the same tremolo you would have in hard rock. In classical and Spanish guitar, tremolo means playing bass and treble lines in quick succession, sort of like in the second part of the guitar lesson. This gives the effect of more instruments being played simultaneously and is an art form in itself.

If you want to refine the skills you learned in Spanish, check out these lessons on songs by clicking these links:
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