How Accompanying Flamenco Dancers – advice for flamenco guitarists

Last week , I had a great time working with a group of flamenco guitarists who take a series of workshops organized by the Peña Flamenca London. They had studied Solea for a few weeks and were ready to apply their skills and accompany a dancer first . We got through the basics of dancer and guitarist discussions should normally at first – as Lyrics ( verses) , how input ( entrance aperture ) of lead in the call (call) for the singer, where brush ( specific set section leg ) is placed , how to transition in bulerías, etc. . Then did solea and together – with a very good result !

It reminded me what a minefield it can feel like the first time pulling the courage to take what you’ve learned and try to integrate with other dancers , guitarists and singers without sinking into complete chaos . Unless you work together for a while and repeat regularly to a very specific routine, you still have to be able to ask the right questions and make the right signals ( those of you who know me know how much I hate most repeated ” training flamenco , “which follows the same path each time – but more on that in a separate post ……) and perhaps the following tips will help all beginner guitarists :

Do not imagine that all the dancers are like God and know everything. It is a myth that we love encouraging, but it is usually wrong. There are some divas of all ( and not just dancers and singers – guitarist too) , but most self-respecting flamenco artists are there to encourage, support and help. We will not bite your head off !

DO have the courage to ask questions at the beginning to understand how to dance ( number of letters, the approximate position of calls , etc. . You have the right to have a general idea of what will happen to . Advance The idea is that all participants work together to create a flamenco show – it’s not a competition .

Do not ask questions using technical words on the main changes , the position of the fingers, or other modes of guitar speaker . Most dancers do not include the substance and may feel the need to hide your general ignorance under a mask of pretended superiority.

Not having us if we try to explain what we mean in a very non- technical terms . Flamenco Steps have names and so we must rely on descriptive phrases such as ” I’ll stay a call after step diddly- diddly- dum .” A physical manifestation usually only ask for help if you show what you hear.

NOT listen and take note of palms marked by the dancer ( and singer ) at the beginning of a dance. This is , in part, to help set the tempo that we want to continue and , contrary to popular opinion, not only to ensure that the public is watching.

Ask to see the dancer close to capturing the signals indicating a change of call or a different section. Hopefully there will come only when you collect your new and more complicated Falsetta – one that requires your full and undivided attention . For starters these signals may include waving his arms in the air, a movement of wind milling General skirt, a steel guitarist eyes and / or a gasp .

Hopefully , as you get to know a little more subtle approach may be adopted . [ One of the first guitarists I’ve worked once could not say when he was about to call a change just by looking at my ass told me. However, as I later found that his mind was on other things certainly calls while watching my hell , then I recommend looking at the feet of the dancer as a safer bet … ]

NO see and hear the dancer to pick up the tempo changes. These usually indicate to accelerate to a crescendo , but may also include the desire to leave the speed slowly. However …… ,

DO NOT take a slight rate increase to indicate the start of a frenetic hurtle towards the finish line . Dancers often want to increase the speed a little, but keep it in order to fit your favorite piece of intricate choreography before continuing accumulation at a later stage . This is an important point – too often met guitarists that given a breath of freedom, allowing the blood rush to his head and he’s ” chocks away cracks, and the last house is a poor devil.” We do not like that. We do not like at all, and we can become all – god and the eyes bigger than your head .

DO NOT hesitate to make suggestions. If you like flourishes favorites to use , put them in. Contrary to what some think , good dancers also listen to music and work with a wonderful guitarist inspiration . What runs dancer encourage use measures and forms that complement the music, and that’s what real life has to do with flamenco . However, the use of this freedom to make suggestions with caution. Know your dancer very well before you even think to be less enthusiastic about the costume choice . We must know that we are wonderful at any time.

Do not expect the dance that is exactly the same every time . Apart from the times when you are working with a group that uses a very accurate and precise choreography , things will change – there will always be a number of identical measure between the end of the letter and call example . As I said before , I firmly believe that the real flamenco is a moveable feast that grows and changes each time , depending on the mood and the artists. It keeps you on your toes , but it’s even better.

NOT be prepared to act as a diplomat and veteran politician when singer is also in question. Now they are really gods ! Do not ask me how you manage to balance their own needs and those of song and dance – they are amazing guitarists when done right .

Have fun ! The feeling that comes from being part of creating a living work of flamenco, which was typical of this time simply can not be beat

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