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Watch the Progressions, Keys & Capo online guitar lesson by Tierra Negra from Magic Gypsy Chords & Rhythms

In this course we offer you a collection of famous and beautiful flamenco chords and progressions. We have restricted ourselves in this tutorial to our personal favorite chords and progressions.

It's an impossible task to record all popular flamenco chords. Different styles and eras have their own chord voicings. In earlier times, regional differences influenced chord selection. Modern flamenco is strongly influenced by jazz, using many typical jazz chords. Today, masters such as Paco de Lucia and Vicente Amigo, cross all stylistic boundaries to extend the harmonies and rhythms in their music.

The Progression/Cadence

The flamenco term for a chord progression is also “Cadence.” In classical music that refers to a phrase at the end of a piece, but in flamenco, a cadence is a chord progression that generally repeats.

We have made a choice of ten Spanish progressions from the whole range of flamenco styles, such as Taranta, Solea, Buleria, and Rumba, etc.

We will explain them to you in the same key as they were originally used in traditional flamenco by accompanying guitarists. Later, when the guitar became a solo instrument, these typical keys were the basis for instrumental guitar compositions.

In flamenco the key is determined by the style and the character of the song. For each chord voicing we offer you a choice of variations in each progression. We have described the character of each progression with a short sentence.

Most of the progressions in this course are based on the popular flamenco cadence with the classical progression 4-3-2-1. We name the key of a cadence after the first minor chord used (4-3-2-1), and also after the Phrygian chord (4-3-2-1).

The Capo

Many prejudices exist against guitarists using a capo. Among people who don’t know better, capos are for people who can´t play their instrument. The truth is far beyond. To understand the meaning of the capo we have to go back in history.

It would be hard to imagine traditional flamenco music without capos. In the past, flamenco guitarists were less soloists than accompanists for singers and dancers. Some singers had a higher voice, some had a lower voice. The capo allowed the guitarist to adjust to the individual range of a singer’s voice within one second.

Using a capo allows guitar players to transpose the key of a musical piece without having to relearn the fingerings. In flamenco music it´s essential to keep the same chord voicings no matter where the capo is placed. With a capo you can play any song in almost any key. It is possible to use chord voicings with open strings in any key and any position on the fret board. Especially in old flamenco guitar recordings you can hear very often that the capo is placed in very high positions, up to the 5th or 7th fret. Certain keys have a very charming character here.

All you hear is a wall of great sounding rhythm guitars and beautiful cascades of voicings and overtones.