Techniques to Play Classical and Flamenco
In order to understand classical and flamenco guitar techniques, you must be familiar with the lingo used to describe those styles.
First, as you learned in Chapter 8, each finger of the right hand is indicated by a letter that stands for its Spanish name:
• p = Thumb (for
• i = Index finger (for
• m = Middle finger (for
• a = Third finger (for
The following terms describe the action of the right hand:
• Dolce: The strings are plucked closer to the neck of the guitar, giving a softer, mellower tone.
• Pizzicato: The thumb plucks the guitar string. The side or heel of the hand rests on the strings close to the bridge of the guitar.
• Ponticelli: The strings are plucked close to the bridge, giving the notes a sharp treble sound.
• Tremolo technique: The thumb plays a bass note, which is immediately followed by a treble note played three times, once by each finger, in this sequence:
Rest Strokes and Free Strokes
The right hand hits the strings in two different ways, called the rest stroke and the free stroke. In the rest stroke (
The free stroke (
In classical guitar, there is terminology for the left-hand technique as well:
• Artificial harmonic: This is a type of note played by resting a left-hand finger on a string, without pressing it down, and then playing the note with the right hand. The best places on the fret board for these sounds to be heard are on the seventh and twelfth frets.
• Slur: This is when two or more notes are played one after the other, with only the first of the two being struck by the right hand.
• Trill: This is an extension of the slur, with notes played in a more rapid succession.
On the left hand, each finger is indicated by a number:
• 1 = First finger
• 2 = Second finger
• 3 = Third finger
• 4 = Fourth finger