Best Flamenco Guitar Lessons
Guitar Tricks, JamPlay, & TrueFire
Guitar Tricks is probably your best source of classical guitar lessons, at least in terms of covering all the basics. JamPlay and TrueFire should be considered for more advanced students of flamenco or more niche sub-genres of classical guitar.
Before we start looking at specific flamenco guitar lessons, let's talk about a broader understanding of the playing style. First, flamenco guitar refers to both a specific type of a guitar and a specific genre of playing, largely derived from southern Spain and Andalusia. While a flamenco guitar is slightly different than your garden variety classical guitar, it's not different enough that you can't learn on a regular classical, or even acoustic guitar.
For the lessons I recommend in this lesson, any of the flamenco, classical nylon or acoustic steel string guitars will do. As far as the style goes, it's fair to call flamenco a sub-genre of the broader classical and Spanish guitar disciplines. Thus, basic classical guitar study is a good pre-requisite before you narrow down into the flamenco material. One of the main differences between traditional classical and flamenco guitar is found in the strumming pattern and use of percussive playing in flamenco.
While good flamenco guitar lessons are a bit harder to find online than classical material, we've taken the time to dig some up, putting together a list of both paid and free flamenco lessons that are worth your time if you want to learn the style.
In this simple list, use the link to each suggestion to jump to that section of the article for more details.
Best Flamenco Guitar Lessons Online
What about classical guitar lessons?
I've included a few classical guitar lessons and recommendations that are helpful for getting started and laying a foundation for more specific flamenco techniques. The more classical guitar you're familiar with, the better off you'll be once you start working on flamenco material.
While I wouldn't say it's required, it's definitely helpful to cover some of the following topics:
- Major and minor scales in classical motions
- Basic finger picking
- Upper and lower register melody lines
If you're not familiar with this material, the Guitar Tricks lessons below cover it in depth, in the context of classical guitar. We'll discuss those and the other flamenco guitar lessons a few paragraphs down.
How did I select this material?
When I make any recommendation, I always want to be transparent about that process and clear about how I assess educational content. First and foremost, I've had actual experience with the content I'm recommending here. For the Guitar Tricks, YouTube and JamPlay lessons, I've actually been through the material, watched the videos and applied it myself. In other words, I'm familiar with the courses and can vouch for them personally.
Now, that's not to say that there aren't other flamenco guitar lessons out there that are worth your time. However, the content I've recommended to you is something I've known to be consistently high-quality and well put together, so it comes recommended by experience.
While I'm not a flamenco player, I do know the educational aspects of the material, what should be covered and where you can find it.
Affiliate Info and Disclaimer
In the interest of full transparency, Guitar Chalk uses affiliate programs with both Guitar Tricks and JamPlay. However, I've also been a customer of both sites as well and have used them for years. To this point, I've never found better sources of online guitar educational material and they're consistently my two most recommended resources.
However, the affiliate relationship does not constitute a "sponsored post." Neither of these companies (or any of the others mentioned in this list) have paid me to recommend them.
Instead, I make a commission off the sales made through this page, which doesn't change anything about what you pay or how you experience the program.
This affiliate relationship simply helps keep Guitar Chalk running.
Paid Flamenco Guitar Lessons
The lessons I'm recommending can be broken down into three different parts. I'm calling them basic classical, basic flamenco and depth flamenco, spanning roughly five full courses of material.
- Basic Classical: Classical material taught by Chris Schlegel at Guitar Tricks
- Basic Flamenco and Background Technique: Taught by Miche Fambro at JamPlay
- Depth Flamenco Technique and Application: Taught by Mario DaSilva and Marcelo Berestovoy at JamPlay
If you're already comfortable with the guitar, particularly if you have some experience in the classical style, I would recommend skipping both Chris and Miche's courses. They're both good, but I would categorize them as prerequisites to the more specific flamenco guitar lessons taught by Mario and Marcelo.
Assuming you feel ready to jump straight into flamenco, I'd recommend going with Mario and Marcelo's courses at JamPlay.
For those interested in the more foundational stuff, we'll go over Chris's Guitar Tricks courses first. If you want a broad overview of the program, I do a full review of Guitar Tricks covering all the details.
Guitar Tricks Classical Material
Here are links to the Guitar Tricks material I'm recommending, all of which is taught by Chris Schlegel:
These three courses give you a straightforward intro to classical guitar while also digging into techniques that will be specifically helpful for when you start delving into flamenco. Those techniques include:
- Finger picking
- Major and minor scale motions
- Proper right hand technique
If you want to just try the courses, Guitar Tricks will give you a 14 day free trial, after which you've still got 60 days to cancel with a full refund.
Even if you don't keep the membership, that's plenty of time to get through Chris's material.
JamPlay Flamenco Guitar Lessons
There are a total of three flamenco guitar courses available at JamPlay, all of which are extremely comprehensive and in-depth with 29, 28 and 49 lessons in each respective course.
Here's a quick link to each one:
- Mario DaSilva's Course: Focuses extensively on the flamenco dances and application of flamenco technique.
- Marcelo Berestovoy's Course: Focuses on learning the technique and stylistic distinctives of flamenco guitar.
- Miche Fambro's Course: Overview of the basics and foundational studies for flamenco guitar.
Current Jamplay Promo Codes
- 1BA1E2 - 25% off first month
- 33C6CE - 10% off All Memberships
As I've already mentioned, if you want to jump more directly into flamenco-specific topics, Mario and Marcelo's courses should be your first two stops. Mario's course is more focused on the dances and cultural aspects of flamenco, while Marcelo focuses on delivering those techniques and instructing in the stylistic distinctives of the genre.
All three contain a ton of useful information and are the most thorough groupings of flamenco guitar lessons I've been able to find anywhere on the web.
Each course has a free lesson, which is an actual lesson from the course and not just a promo piece. You can also preview all the content in each course by simply clicking on the "About This Series" tab.
If you just want to try the content, JamPlay has a free trial that's similar to Guitar Tricks, though is only seven days. However, their material is far more in-depth and often covers more nuanced topics, like flamenco guitar and other niche musical styles.
We typically recommend JamPlay for these disciplines and for more advanced players in general. You can read Guitar Chalk's full JamPlay review for more information.
Free Flamenco Guitar Lessons (YouTube)
The only place I was able to find free content that covered the flamenco guitar technique was YouTube. Some of the channels were devoted entirely to the flamenco style, but most were spot lessons from sites that cover a wider range of guitar-related topics.
For example, Marcelo Berestovoy did a lesson for Guitar World, which made it onto their YouTube channel.
There's also a written portion that goes with the video.
The only problem?
There's only the one lesson.
Not to mention, it's deceptively titled "Guitar 101." Demystifying the flamenco strum pattern is not a "101" type of project. Try 301 or 401.
And while there was certainly a lot of flamenco guitar content (like the above) that came up on YouTube, I found that a lot of it just wasn't very good, even from some trusted resources. For example, there's a video from TrueFire that comes up, a company I typically trust and recommend, but this particular lesson just wasn't very well done. It was boring to watch, not at all engaging and seemed to be far less in-depth than what I saw on Guitar Tricks and JamPlay
And this is a common problem with free guitar lesson content, especially video-related material. While it's great if you have a specific question to answer, it's usually quite bad when you need an order of topics presented in a course format. On that front, YouTube simply does not deliver.
However, some of the flamenco guitar lessons I saw were solid, if not decent, so I at least wanted to post them here as helpful, standalone resources that you don't have to pay for.
- Spanish Guitar School: YouTube channel has a lot of free content while member site is paid.
- Marcelo Berestovoy's flamenco lesson for Guitar World: A standalone flamenco lesson presented by JamPlay's instructor.
- LickNRiff's Spanish & Flamenco guitar tricks video
- LickNRiff's Flamenco chord and improve lesson
Of course, there's a lot more material out there. These are just the few that I had time to look through and can vouch for. If you know of other free flamenco guitar lessons that you'd recommend, drop a link in the comments section below.
I'll look it over and possibly add it to this list with a credit back to you and a link to your website, if applicable.
What to Expect from YouTube Guitar and Flamenco Lessons
While it's impossible to paint all the free material in broad strokes, there are typically two things that come to my mind as I browse YouTube guitar lesson material.
- Disorganized and not topically ordered.
- Each video answers only a specific question.
Now, this does not mean that you can't "piece together" a lot of information from YouTube, even with something as broad as classical or flamenco guitar. Because it's true that a lot of that material is available for free, in one form or another. The problem however, is that you spend a lot of time digging and trying to sort through material, which you don't have to worry about with full courses.
The beauty of paid instruction, particularly the online variety, is that it comes pre-vetted and properly ordered so you can learn without having to stop.
Both have their place, but if you're trying to get good at a specific discipline, like flamenco guitar, I'd recommend going the course route first, then using the free lessons and YouTube to fill in the gaps as needed.
Flamenco guitar is not mainstream, though it's more popular than many realize.
This has made it somewhat difficult to find guitar lessons covering the flamenco discipline, where my research has indicated that JamPlay is the only company that has really taken on this style.
If you know of other courses that are well-ordered and cover flamenco guitar thoroughly, I'd definitely like to hear about them in the comments section.
Ideally I'd love to continue piling reliable resources into this article, so that people looking for flamenco guitar lessons can find them all in one place and make an informed decision about how to approach the discipline. It's one of the more difficult and nuanced styles, particularly with its use of percussive playing, which makes formal lessons far more necessary than they might be for many other guitar styles.
If you have questions or thoughts about anything I've mentioned in this piece, feel free to drop those in the comments section as well.
I'll do my best to answer.
Additional Resources and Works Cited
- Florida State University Study on Joaquin Rodrigo
- City University of New York Flamenco Guitar: History Style and Context
- Wiki Flamenco Guitar Page
- Marcelo Berestovoy's Guitar World Article and Video
- Don Quijote's Flamenco Guitar Page
- Juan Serrano's Wiki Page
Flickr Commons Image courtesy of Fernando Garcia Redondo