The Perfect Flamenco Intro - How to Play a Farruca by SabicasApr 14, 2023
A Flamenco Technique Study
Let's use the introduction to "Punta y Tacon" - a flamenco composition using the form farruca by the great Sabicas - to work on some fundamental flamenco guitar techniques like arpeggio and rasgueo.
The Master Sabicas
Sabicas was a renowned Spanish flamenco guitarist who rose to fame during the mid-20th century. Born in Pamplona, Spain, in 1912, he started playing the guitar at a very young age and quickly became a virtuoso of the instrument. Sabicas was known for his technical prowess, exceptional speed, and intricate fingerpicking style. He collaborated with many famous flamenco dancers and singers throughout his career, including Carmen Amaya and Enrique Morente. Sabicas was instrumental in popularizing flamenco music outside of Spain, touring extensively throughout Europe and the United States. He also recorded numerous albums and composed music for films, establishing himself as one of the most influential and innovative flamenco guitarists of all time. Sabicas passed away in 1990, leaving behind a lasting legacy in the world of flamenco music.
A Fantastic Arpeggio Study
The intro to "Punta y Tacon" features a triplet-based arpeggio that has us traveling in both directions, using both the reverse and forward arpeggio motions:
As this song follows the flamenco form Farruca, we are in 4/4 time, meaning we are counting to 4 each measure. Once you have the above arpeggio pattern memorized, it's time to plug in some of the actual chords he's playing, which include Am, E7 and Dm chords played in various positions across the neck.
The Compás of Farruca
Before we get started with the tutorial below where I walk you through the entire intro step-by-step, it wouldn't hurt to get familiar with the main rhythmic and harmonic groove of Farruca (what we call the "compás"):
As you can see, we have a typical i-iv-V7 minor key progression starting on the V7 chord (E7) and moving in a typical way (reminiscent of the famous Tango La Cumparsita). It's important to understand how to play this first before graduating to a more complicated version like Sabicas' "Punta y Tacon". In the tutorial below, I show you exactly what he's doing here and how you yourself can play this great flamenco intro:
More Farruca Guidance
If you're new to flamenco guitar, I think farruca is one of the best flamenco "forms" to start with. Go here to get more in-depth instruction on farruca including some of the essential elements we need for all flamenco guitar playing.
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