Learning to play guitar Old World style.
July 13, 2006 2:32 PM   Subscribe

How/where can I learn some simple, instrumental spanish guitar-sounding songs on my acoustic? Attn: SpecialK.

I was looking through this thread about guitars around a the campfire, and SpecialK said "learn to strum spanish guitar." What does this mean? I know what Spanish guitar sounds like, but what specifically are the hallmarks of that style? What are some simple songs I could learn? I'm looking for something more melancholy than FIESTA TIME.
posted by borkingchikapa to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Not really a Spanish guitar technique per se, but one scale that sounds vaguely Spanish/Jewish/Middle Eastern/melancholy is the harmonic minor scale: in the key of C, it would be:

C, D, Eb, F, G, Ab, B, C.

Play with that Ab - B - C sound; the minor third in there gives it some rub, and the B pulls very strongly to the C.

(Sorry, C probably isn't the best guitar key. I'm a trombonist).
posted by rossination at 3:14 PM on July 13, 2006

In E, if it more suits you:

E, F#, G, A, C (nat), D#, E
posted by rossination at 3:35 PM on July 13, 2006

Hi! The sound I'm talking about is typically known as 'classic guitar'. Here's a wikipedia article to get you stared. I can't really give you any advice on how to actually accomplish learning to play this way, because I'm not a great guitarist...
posted by SpecialK at 4:31 PM on July 13, 2006

Another "hallmark of the style" is the flamenco-style strumming, which involves a fair amount of tapping on the body itself, as I understand.
posted by rossination at 4:32 PM on July 13, 2006

Here's a guitar tab of Ernesto Lecuona's Malaguena, my favorite Spanish guitar tune.
posted by RussHy at 5:04 PM on July 13, 2006

Oh, and as for why the sound's romantic and impressive, I think of it as playing saxaphone with a guitar.
posted by SpecialK at 10:45 PM on July 13, 2006

There's a buttload of classical/Spanish tabs here. You'll have to look around to find tunes that are suited to your skill level and tastes. To get started look for the tabs marked as [easy]. For those new to tab/notation there is an excellent guide here.
posted by persona non grata at 2:37 AM on July 14, 2006

rossination, you left out the B natural from your E harmonic minor scale.

Harmonic minor is nice, but I think that phrygian and phrygian dominant are more likely to come across as Eastern/Spanish.

Phrygian mode: 1 b2 b3 4 5 b6 b7
In C: C Db Eb F G Ab Bb

Phrygian dominant (5th mode of harmonic minor): 1 b2 3 4 5 b6 b7
In C: C Db E F G Ab Bb
posted by ludwig_van at 3:02 PM on July 14, 2006

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