Free Flamenco Guitar Lesson 9: Soleares: Introduction and Mode
Soleares, one of the oldest and most traditional forms in Flamenco music, is based on the Phrygian mode.
We’ll start studying this form by learning about its harmonic structure. At the heart of all tonality lie scales. In tonal music, all of the degree chords, harmonic relationships among the notes, and the melody of each piece are based on an underlying scale. For all of the pieces that you play, get into the habit of practicing the underlying scale of every single one of them. Internalizing these scales will help you become more aware of the notes’ placement on your guitar’s fingerboard.
You’ll hear some guitar players loosely refer to this scale as the “Flamenco scale.” Note, however, that there are many different scales used in the various traditional Flamenco forms. In this case, Soleares is in the Phrygian mode. More specifically, since the capo is on the third fret, and the tonic (tonal center) is G on the sixth string, technically, we are playing a G Phrygian scale. Relatively speaking, most players refer to this as an E Phrygian when they play this scale starting on an open string, even when using a capo.
Synchronize your left and right-hand fingers when you practice this scale. Play it slowly at first so that you can focus on accuracy and internalizing the sound and the positions of the notes.
In our next lesson, we will continue learning more about the Soleares and its underlying scale, extending the scale to more notes.