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Flamenco Guitar Transcriptions
Soleá por arriba

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This soleá is based on a few ideas that Manolo Franco, Pepe Habichuela and others have played and recorded over the last 30 years. The falsetas are set against an underlying aire of Niño Ricardo. The following playing tips correspond to each full compás as indicated in parentheses at the beginning of each staff of music.

The remate (beats 10-12) of compás two is from Niño Ricardo and is repeated four more times in this soleá. Notice the rhythmic figure at beat 11. In the remate of compás four, the nails are raked across the strings by extending a-m-i (wrist still) and dragging the thumb (wrist rotates). The technique is aggressive but requires control in order to place the final thumbstroke squarely on the second string at beat 12. The same idea appears at the beginning of the next compás. In compás six, the first slide (glissando) is actually the result of moving the left hand into position, so if this is too difficult you can try starting the arpeggio at beat 7 with a sixteenth-note rest. Compás seven is based on the playing of Niño Ricardo. At beat 4, it would sound better to carry through with the thumb to the fourth string. At beat 9, the septuplet figure is created by dragging the ring finger to the sixth string at beat 10. In the remate, the rasgueado would sound better with the fingering q-a-i-p-q across all six strings (four thirty-second notes and a thumbed upstroke on beat 12). Compases eight and nine contain ideas that several players have recorded in the last 30 years. Many guitarists have worked the descending octave basses into soleá, fandangos de Huelva and jaleos, although the origin of the idea may go back to Ramón Montoya. In compás nine, the arpeggio at beat 9 would sound better as written, with the fourth-string F instead of the open third string heard in the audio file. In compás 10, the cierre (beats 7-9) is from Enrique de Melchor. In compás 11, the indicated fingerings for both hands are what work best for me, although there are several different ways to play beats 1-6 (a partial barre will work, too). After the rasgueado at beat 6, keep your little finger on the fourth string at the fourth fret for the arpeggio at beat 9. Compases 12-14: The alzapúa can be fretted with the middle finger on the fifth and sixth strings. The quintuplet remate is from the playing of Juan Carmona. In the last compás, the slur and arpeggio at beat 9 are played with a partial barre across the second, third and fourth strings at the third fret. If you barre with the tip of your index on the fourth string, all you have to do is raise the barre for the final chord at beat 10. This chord was inspired by the playing of Vicente Amigo.

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