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Calling All Flamencos! edit: NFlGD!

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by BadHat, Feb 5, 2019.

  1. BadHat

    BadHat Supporting Member

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    I love flamenco guitar music, I dabble in it, just for my personal enjoyment. I have a Raimundo classical guitar, but I feel like I need a flamenco guitar in order to get the sound right.
    There's a shop in Houston that sells Navarro guitars, I'm considering a road trip to try a few out. I've never played a flamenco specific guitar.
    I believe I want a blanco, but I don't really know much about them.
    This guy has inspired me since I was a kid, would like to get a guitar that sounds like his:




     
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  2. hunter

    hunter Supporting Member

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    Yep go to Memorial Music in Houston. US distributor for Navarro guitars which are good value and sound good. They used to keep some in the shop but it has been a while since I passed through and it is a good idea to call first. For about a grand a Navarro Student model will provide good results. He also builds historic models with construction similar to famous builders of the past. Some are very flamenco like the linked videos, some are a little more modern. These will cost a little more.

    Traditional flamenco has evolved a little from Mr Lee and his Sabicas influence. But the elements are still there. Dark back/side woods are also acceptable flamenco guitars these days. Try out some Vicente Amigo and Tomatito. Contemporary but still capable of virtuosic trad flamenco. And of course the person that bridged from the Sabicas era to basically creating modern traditional flamenco, Paco de Lucia. And Sabicas was one of the best players anywhere in his time.

    Oh and I am no flamenco. I have been to Granada and Sevilla and I know better. I did play in a restaurant Barcelona with some success. Folks were kind there. But I knew better than to test venues in Andalusia. I play flamingo.

    hunter
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019
  3. BadHat

    BadHat Supporting Member

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    He has some listed on Reverb, so I assume he has them at his shop. I play flamingo, too. :D

    I'm seeing some Salvador Castillo guitar videos that sound pretty nice, from the same town as Navarro.
     
  4. CBHTele

    CBHTele Supporting Member

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  5. hunter

    hunter Supporting Member

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    Castillo makes a good trad flamenco guitar. I think Castillo and Navarro are still the better known Paracho builders. Navarro's son, Marlon, is building the student models now under his name. I have a Spanish built Camps Primera I picked up in Barcelona. A factory guitar but built at a decent level. More of that loud crispy sound that is associated with earlier trad flamenco. Not sure where you can find one in the Houston area but if you want to try mail order, Guitars from Spain imports them at decent prices.

    hunter
     
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  6. BadHat

    BadHat Supporting Member

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    That's what I want, loud and crispy! My classical is too mellow.
     
  7. BadHat

    BadHat Supporting Member

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    I just watched some Camps Primera videos, those things sound incredible!
     
  8. hunter

    hunter Supporting Member

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    He is well known and almost pop culture by flamenco standards but there is a reason he was renowned in the flamenco world. Maybe my favorite guitar centric performance period. His work with Camaron de la Isla is epic.

    hunter

     
  9. BadHat

    BadHat Supporting Member

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    Oh yeah, I love Paco, but he's unreachable for me. I can slow Philip John Lee down in Garageband and somewhat figure out what he's doing, not so with Paco.
     
  10. BuleriaChk

    BuleriaChk Silver Supporting Member

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    For a beginning Flamenco student, I would strongly recommend the Cordoba GK Studio or the Cordoba GK Pro, especially if you are not an investor in Spanish Flamenco guitars). IMO all the Cordoba's I've tried are excellent value for their price. If you have the money, I would replace the Fishman Presys or Prefix with the Fishman Aura Pro/Matrix (easy to do, but I still would have it done professionally); nevertheless the standard versions are fine (turn the mic all the way off). Playing plugged in at low volumes (and then recording it) is a great way to understand what you're working toward, bearing in mind that strong volume (right hand strength in Flamenco technique) is what you're actually after (practice, practice, practice)!. (For plugged in there is not much difference in the blancas and negras in the Cordoba guitars (or even thin body vs normal, IMO) I have at least one of all of them, but the crossovers have a narrower neck, which is problematic for some of the traditional techniques... (IMO)

    The one's I have were well set up on receipt, but if your local luthier is experienced, I would have him take a look at it as well.

    I have a course on my website, downloadable at no cost. The most important concept in flamenco is compas (cyclic rhythm structure), and the most Flamenco palos (forms) are Solea, Bulerias, Siguiriyas, Tangos/Tientos and Alegrias. Study particular the relation between 3/4 and 6/8 in triple meter (all of the above except for Tangos/Tientos (duple meter - 2/4, 4/4), and how to accent them with rasgueo in remates (resolution phrases).

    The right hand in Flamenco is much, much more difficult than the left so make sure you have good teacher who can show how compas is expressed with rasgueo, etc. and in falsetas - and learn to sing in compas (using simple chord progressions ) if you can....

    Bear in mind that there is a lot of, uh, "flamenco" out there, but a lot of really excellent Flamenco as well. You will need to research which are considered good amidst the hype. (Good classical technique does not necessarily mean good Flamenco technique, but your own spirituality ("angel") will decide your path).

    Flamenco (like other serious music) is a life journey; welcome to its world, and best of luck as you take your first steps..

    IMO, FWIW, YMMV, etc....
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019
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  11. rburkard

    rburkard Gold Supporting Member

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    I was in the market for a Flamenco last year. While I am very knowledgeable about electrics and steel string acoustic guitars, my level on classical and flamencos was not adequate. So I called on old friend of mine in Germany, who was friends with the late, great Paco DeLucia. He quickly talked me out of buying an old Ramirez and recommended Felipe Conde guitars, which were played and endorsed by Paco. In addition he pointed out that Paco’s favorite guitars were from an American luthier called Lester DeVoe. I found two used ones and decided on a Negra. I bought and absolutely love, I mean really LOVE this guitar. It is great for any style, not just flamenco unlike the Blanca’s. Haven’t really gotten back into any of my other Gibson or Martin acoustics. They feel and sound like worthless toys to me now. The difference is indescribable. The richness, treble, bass and volume along with the immediate response to how you pick and pull and or finger the strings is an almost out of this world experience. Lester DeVoe guitars are expensive, but you won’t look at any other guitar anymore after owning one.
     
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  12. BuleriaChk

    BuleriaChk Silver Supporting Member

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    Ps - I'll be in Jerez for the Flamenco Feria in May this year.. and then to Moron de la Frontera to pay homage to Diego del Gastor, my "teacher" many years ago, and a major influence in my own Flamenco journey...
     
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  13. rburkard

    rburkard Gold Supporting Member

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    Enjoy. Was in Spain last year and it is one of my favorite places in the world.
     
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  14. BuleriaChk

    BuleriaChk Silver Supporting Member

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    It is my first trip back in 40 years (I'm 78), so don't know what I'll be getting into, but I'm going with a Flamenco dance group, so maybe I can sing, dance, guitar, and carry on a bit before I get thrown out of the class.

    I just hope they still make morcilla and pollo al aljillo and still sell them as tapas with fino...
     
  15. rburkard

    rburkard Gold Supporting Member

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    They do. I am 65 and still enjoy.
     
  16. hunter

    hunter Supporting Member

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    One last referral. My contemporary "flamenco" benchmark, Ojos de Brujo. Definitely not traditional but it is in there. Drawing on the style and techniques they are taking it somewhere else.

    hunter





     
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  17. lamenlovinit

    lamenlovinit Member

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  18. BuleriaChk

    BuleriaChk Silver Supporting Member

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    I play traditional (Gitano) Flamenco guitar, but I would avoid friction pegs. They look authentic and great, but can be a real PITA.... Cordoba machine heads are very good....

    (I have experience from the 60's... :)

    IMO, of course....
     
  19. Tri7/5

    Tri7/5 Supporting Member

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    IMO the best bang for your buck true luthier and concert level instrument is the Navarro Reyes or Special Grand Concert Reyes. Factory built flamenco guitars are very hit and miss especially those coming from Valencia. Building a good flamenco is difficult as they have to be lightly built to get a true flamenco tone. There's no good way around it than having hands involved. No machines are going to build a good flamenco.
     
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  20. lamenlovinit

    lamenlovinit Member

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    Yeah. I have them on ukes. They can definitely decide to not cooperate. But I get wanting to go as authentic as possible.
     

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