Flamenco Guitar Workshop with Leah Kruszewski
The Spanish folk art flamenco offers a wealth of inspiration for guitarists of any background. Solea, a fundamental flamenco song form, features profound and haunting harmonies and beautiful melodies. In this course, we will explore the sounds, techniques, and rhythms of flamenco in the context of Solea. Each class will introduce one particular technique and apply that technique to a falseta (a short guitar solo). Students who take the whole course will finish with a full-length solo arrangement of Solea. Students interested in one or two particular techniques are welcome to drop in on the classes that interest them most. For classical guitarists: learning flamenco is a great way to strengthen your classical guitar playing. Classical guitar uses the right hand fingers primarily in a contracting motion (moving the fingers toward the palm of the hand). Flamenco techniques like rasgueados and alzapua extend the fingers away from the palm and develop the opposing muscles. Incorporating a few key flamenco techniques into your playing will balance out your classical technique, strengthen your sound, and help you avoid strains. There is no required text - flamenco is typically taught by rote, so students can review material through videos.
Class 1: Rasgueados and Compás (rhythm)
Rasgueados are the flamenco version of strumming – they use different right hand finger combinations to create various rhythmic effects. We will begin with some introductory rasgueados and the basics of flamenco's 12-beat compás (rhythm) in the context of Solea.
Class 2: The thumb
Flamenco guitarists use their thumbs in unique and surprisingly effective ways. We will cover the essentials of thumb movement in flamenco and apply them to a falseta of Solea.
Class 3: Arpeggios
Every style of guitar has different ideals for how an arpeggio should sound. We'll learn how to make various right-hand arpeggios embody flamenco aesthetics and put that knowledge in practice with Solea.
Class 4: Picado (flamenco rest stroke)
Flamenco melodies and climactic scales owe their brilliant, powerful sounds to the picado technique, a way of playing with alternating index and middle fingers. We will go over some tips for developing a rapid and well-controlled picado and learn picado falseta for Solea.
Class 5: Alzapua (flamenco strumming with the thumb)
Another one of flamenco's unique uses of the thumb. We'll learn how alzapua works, how to fit it into compás, and how to use it in the context of Solea.
Class 6: Flamenco Tremolo
Flamenco tremolo uses five right-hand finger strokes (p i a m i) to give the illusion of a sustained melody. Learn how to develop a fast and fluid tremolo and incorporate it into a falseta for Solea.
Class 7: Arranging Flamenco Solos – especially for students who enrolled in the whole course!
We'll gather all your Solea falsetas together and discuss how to arrange them into a coherent solo. There are always lots of different ways to arrange the same material, so every student will end the course with his or her own unique arrangement of Solea.
VIDEO OVERVIEW AND SOLEA SAMPLE
Students may sign up for the full course (seven sessions), or for the full course with 2 30-minute private lessons. Each session addresses a different aspect of flamenco guitar technique. This workshop is limited to 15 total students; sign up soon to reserve your space.
Sessions occur from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. U.S. Eastern time on the following Saturdays: February 4, 11, 18, 25; March 4, 11, 18
The live sessions are recorded for later use by enrolled students.
Attend online over the Lessonface high-performance video conference platform.
HOW IT WORKS
Students attend over the Lessonface high-performance video conference platform for these live classes. Ms. Kruszewski is teaching from her studio in Seville, Spain. Classes are taught in English, with some Spanish vocabulary. Students can connect to the online platform using a tablet or computer with reliable internet. The live sessions are recorded so that all enrolled students and auditors can review the class sessions after the fact. Class recordings will be available for viewing within 48 hours of the live class. This course is covered by the Lessonface Guarantee - if for any reason you do not like your first session, let us know within two days of the class and we will refund you 100%. Read more about Leah Kruszewski, including information about one-on-one lessons with her.
RATED FIVE STARS
"Two years ago after a 47 year hiatus, I once again began playing guitar, but alas, with withered and arthritic hands migrated to fingerstyle guitar. I came across Lessonface and was intrigued by Leah and the Flamenco style. Since she could teach young children, I might be workable. Yes, I had poor experiences with live internet courses with some very well-known and highly rated guitar sites. With those courses, I dropped out from boredom and a lack of challenge, with Leah; it was always the anticipation of what is next? Leah’s subtle engaging, motivating and inspiring approach, care and thought directed toward proper guitar playing technique, precision teaching style, and kind gentle manner which wove back and forth from each exercise to playing an entire solea (composition) was pure artistry. After each lesson even when I would practice material prior to her course, my technique, hand work, and tone was markedly better. Given my hands, I had reasonable expectations; yet, high hopes which both were far exceeded in the Flamenco course. I am thankful for the unexpected impact Leah has had on all the Chet Atkins, Tommy Emmanuel, Muriel Anderson, Paul Simon, et al. arrangements I have been practicing. "
-Marc Weiss, student in the Flamenco class of Summer 2016
"I had the privilege of knowing and playing with Leah in a classical guitar ensemble in the summer of 2013 prior to her departure for Spain. We were in the same voice group and sat side by side. During the several rehearsals sessions, she impressed upon me as a guitarist with textbook perfect posture with solid fundamentals. Never heard she ever made any mistake. I felt apprehensive and intimidated playing first time beside a professional musician with great reputation. However her friendly and easy going personality put me at ease without her realizing it. Her fabulous Suenos Gitano CD introduced me first to the rhythms of flamenco. And finally I had the opportunity to learn from Leah how to play. The experiences from the online lessons confirmed my first impression of her and much more. Her teaching was precise and organized in introducing techniques and giving out homework. The flow of each session was well thought of with maximum efficiency. She was very patient with my poor ability in chord recognition and always willing to offer help to clarify. I found her teaching inspiring and motivating. The ability of being able to watch carefully Leah’s finger movement in the recorded videos helped immensely in my practice. Will not hesitate a moment to highly recommend Leah to anyone who is interested."
-Frank, student in the Flamenco class of Fall 2016
ABOUT THE TEACHER LEAH KRUSZEWSKI
Guitarist and educator Leah Kruszewski has been guiding children and adults in their musical journeys for nearly ten years. She loves introducing young beginners to their first songs, helping adult students rediscover their inner musician, and guiding classical and flamenco players in advanced, specialized study. Leah specializes in acoustic, classical, flamenco, and fingerstyle guitar. Sign up for a one-on-one lesson today!