Spanish Guitar – Strumming Techniques – by Edina Balczó
Today’s review is all about Edina Balczó’s brand-new book entitled
Spanish Guitar – Strumming Techniques.
The Spanish guitar style, including its probably most popular style called Flamenco, is
becoming more and more popular as the sound and the techniques involved in Spanish style pieces are very unique and appeal to both the amateur and veteran player.
If you are not familiar with Edina Balczó, you may want to look up her YouTube channel
called The Spanish Guitar Hub where you will find many of the techniques covered in this book being used.
This book sets itself the goal of teaching you vibrant Spanish-style guitar rhythms that are closely related to a flamenco type of playing but clearly separates itself from being a pure flamenco method.
According to the author, this book is not intended to teach the style known as Flamenco
but uses techniques that are widely known from that particular style.
Let’s have a look at the content of the book…
1 How to Read TAB and Traditional Music Notation
2 The Duration of Notes and Rests
3 Guitar Parts and Terminology
4 Basic Chord Construction
5 Major and Minor Chords, and the CAGED System
6 Major Seventh, Minor Seventh, and Dominant Seventh Chords
7 Basic Rumba Technique
8 Rumba Technique Variations
10 Flamenco Triplet
11 Adding a Hit to the Flamenco Triplet and Variations
12 Replacing the Hits with Golpes
14 Muted Rasgueado
15 Rasgueado Variations
16 Hammer-on and Pull-off
17 Tango with Rasgueado
18 Alzapua as a Strumming Technique
19 Drumming Techniques on Spanish Guitar
20 Quiz Solutions
21 Thank you Notes
22 About the Author
23 Recommended Books
24 Kickstarter Supporters
From the book’s content we can clearly see that the target audience for the book is a mixture of both beginner level players as well as more advanced players who want to delve deeper into the Spanish guitar style.
The book starts out with basic music theory such as reading TAB and traditional music
notation and by explaining the very basics of the guitar and common terminology as well
as the basics in note reading (i.e. durations etc.). That’s a pretty clear indication that the
book is also aimed at the beginner who may have been inspired by that very unique style
of playing the instrument.
Since we are talking about learning the rhythmic part of that particular style, we need to
talk about chords. This book covers this topic in three chapters. The first chapter teaches
the basics of chords such as chord construction and the closely related topic of intervals.
The second chapter covering concepts such as major and minor chords, which is still
something every beginner will find very helpful as well as a more advanced concept called CAGED system, which is mainly about movable chord shapes that open up the fretboard. Going beyond these basic chords, Edina moves on discussing the whole family of major chords in their major, minor and dominant variants.
After having dealt with the different chords and their voicings that you are going to use in your rhythm playing, Edina moves on introducing the basic techniques of Rumba. Rumba is a very powerful style that has lots of momentum going in it, requiring you as a player to be able to play and transform the rhythmical ideas by accentuating correctly. In the first section you learn a basic rumba sequence that you are going to practice on later on, given one of the many exercises Edina provides throughout the book.
After having practiced the basic techniques, you are led further to the more advanced
techniques as well as some technique variations including golpe and percussive elements to further underline your accentuated rhythm playing. Furthermore, you will be taught the pulgar as well as common flamenco triplets and the infamous rasgueado with some of its variations.
What I like a lot about this particular book is the conscious approach to what students really need when learning something new on an instrument, and that is a solid selection of exercises and little studies to further improve their technique on the newly acquired
concepts. This book is full of exercises that give you more than enough possibilities to
explore the individual techniques covered in the book. These exercises are meant to forge your technical abilities in an area that is essential for that particular style of playing.
All in all, my impression of this book is a great one. I loved reading the book, going over
some of the numerous exercises and chapters in the book. The individual techniques are
well described as well as underlined with the studies that follow each chapter.
Throughout the book you are being confronted with small quizzes that test your knowledge in a particular area, simulating a real teacher-student situation.
I definitely enjoyed spending my time with this book and learnt something along the way
in a fun and entertaining fashion. A great book by a passionate guitar player who put her
heart into this very book that is meant to make you a better player.
Meridirhproductions.com – ‘cause music matters