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Thread: Flamenco v classical guitar

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    Senior Member LarryShone's Avatar
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    Default Flamenco v classical guitar

    I found this on the tube of you. The video featured Julian Bream interviewing Paco Pena.

    What do we think?

    Screenshot_2014-09-03-20-24-20-picsay.jpg
    I'm playing the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order!

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    Senior Member norman bates's Avatar
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    I don't know what it means that "classical guitarists pay too much attention to sound and not creation", but Flamenco is a music developed on guitar and it shows.
    I mean, listening to El Nino Miguel playing Vino Y Caballos it's impossible to imagine it played on another instrument. The music is deeply tied to the possibilities of the instrument and it definitely sounds much more natural.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pk_E1Qs0sHc

    Classical music is very different.
    Sure, for a perfectly smooth sound the fragility of the nails is a problem, but a lot of classical music for guitar, even when it's obviously much more harmonically complex sounds as it is composed for a piano with very low sustain.
    Last edited by norman bates; Sep-03-2014 at 22:24.

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    Senior Member LarryShone's Avatar
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    It was a comment posted by someone. I guess what he was getting at is that classical players are more formal, structured, he feels that classical music is too much about form rather than expression.
    Flamenco music is very passionate.
    Last edited by LarryShone; Sep-03-2014 at 23:12.
    I'm playing the right notes, but not necessarily in the right order!

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    Senior Member Blake's Avatar
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    As a whole, it may show emotion more readily, sure. But there are many other valuable aspects of life. I actually feel many over-value emotion... as if it's the heroin of existence or something.

    I enjoy both of these genres, though.

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    Senior Member tdc's Avatar
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    I think Flamenco is very enjoyable and an impressive style but clearly less diverse and dynamic than Classical guitar. It is kind of an unfair comparison if one really thinks about how many different styles of pieces can be grouped under this title 'Classical' though - some of these pieces can be dripping with emotion, others are not, in so many cases it really depends on the interpreter. There are many Spanish classical guitar pieces that have elements of Flamenco within them.

    Classical guitar has more within it that I like and also probably more that I don't much enjoy.

    I do think the quote in the OP has more to do with that individual's projections and personal impressions based on certain types of performance more so than classical guitar itself.

    I think many have acknowledged that there came a time in classical performance when technical perfection became perhaps too highly valued by some in comparison to things like improvisation, and spontaneity but in the Baroque era things were not like this. The way of performing the individual in the OP is referring to is in the big picture of "classical music" more or less just one small phase of performance.

    Nowadays you do see more and more "classically trained" guitarists branching out, learning new things, incorporating elements of things like flamenco and jazz and performing with more improvisation and more "raw feeling" perhaps than some players in the past (a good example is composer/performer/teacher Roland Dyens who generally begins his concerts with an improvised piece). So I don't think one can pinpoint that 'classical guitar" is any one thing, as it is many different things, many different styles and is constantly evolving.

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    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    I find flamenco guitarists to be much more dynamic than classical players. Fingerstyle acoustic guitar has a very limited dynamic range. The rasgueado technique in flamenco creates a much more dynamic sound.

    This is the finest Paco de Lucia concert I've found so far.

    [YT]v=nux5LzzxT3o[/YT]
    Last edited by starthrower; Sep-14-2014 at 14:18.

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    Senior Member norman bates's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by starthrower View Post
    I find flamenco guitarists to be much more dynamic than classical players. Fingerstyle acoustic guitar has a very limited dynamic range. The rasgueado technique in flamenco creates a much more dynamic sound.
    I love those Flamenco techniques, but I have some doubt that there's more dynamics. Recently I was talking with a person I know, who has studied classical music and also flamenco, and he was saying that flamenco guitars have much more volume but a lot less dynamics. The sound of those instruments is always loud (like a banjo I guess).
    Last edited by norman bates; Sep-14-2014 at 15:30.

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    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    I'm sure the guitars are built differently utilizing other types of wood. But creating dynamics is up to the guitarist.

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    Senior Member Blake's Avatar
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    Dynamics is certainly more than volume. Fingerstyle, in particular, heavily utilizes varying degrees of harmonics in a way Flamenco doesn't. I always thought it was the more dynamic of the two.

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    Senior Member Blake's Avatar
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    See, it's more 'poppy' in nature, but it has a much wider array of dynamics.


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    Senior Member starthrower's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vesuvius View Post
    Dynamics is certainly more than volume. Fingerstyle, in particular, heavily utilizes varying degrees of harmonics in a way Flamenco doesn't. I always thought it was the more dynamic of the two.
    Dynamics is not volume. It's the range between the softest and loudest passages. I guess it all depends on the performer and the material. Traditional classical guitar doesn't hold my interest for very long. It's all so neat and tailored. But there are a number of contemporary players/quartets, composers that are interesting to listen to. The LAGQ, and Maurice Ohana's music for 10 string guitar come to mind.

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    Senior Member Blake's Avatar
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    Dynamics include volume.

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    By both classical and flamenco guitar standards, Paco de Lucia was a great master.

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    Senior Member tdc's Avatar
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    Norman Bates post on dynamics is correct. Dynamics includes elements of volume but also includes many other things - basically anything in addition to just playing the notes in a regular way. One may prefer Flamenco to classical guitar, but to say it is more dynamic is flat out false.

    Starthrower please watch this short video until the end and then please show me a Flamenco guitarist using as much variety of technique in their approach:


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    Senior Member SilverSurfer's Avatar
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    I agree with Morimur, and you will hardly find a classical or modern guitarrist (McLaughling knew it when touring with De Lucía) playing Flamenco well, it's something you are born with.
    Once I knew a classical trained guitarrist who wanted to learn Flamenco; when lessons ended, his teacher told him "you already know the technics, now go to a Bullfight", he went, and understood: he forgot the idea of playing Flamenco.
    Last edited by SilverSurfer; Sep-14-2014 at 20:06.

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