What Should I Expect from LAGA Online Flamenco Guitar Lessons?
LAGA’s online flamenco guitar lessons are for the serious student of the guitar. As there are no shortcuts to great technique and musicianship, we do not cater to those merely seeking “tricks and tips”. We take a traditional rote-learning approach to Flamenco guitar blended with modern pedagogical tools. Our program gives our students a solid foundation in proper technique that lays the groundwork to effortlessly progress to advanced levels across various forms (toques).
How long does it take to see results?
Regardless of your level, within your first week, you will be able to perform fun falsettas and pieces in their entirety. The technical and musical level of the pieces will gradually increase as you advance through the program, improving your rhythm, hearing level and coordination. Moving forward, your progress will depend on many factors, including your musical and technical background (grasp of rhythm, ear training, hand/eye/ear coordination, etc.), time you have to devote to practice, and level of focus during such practice time. As for practice time, most beginner level students who seek fast progress devote 2+ hours of practice per day.
Each of the above factors vary greatly from student to student. The best way to address any specific issues would be through LAGA Faculty Feedback (see below).
Advancing Through the Program and LAGA Faculty Feedback
Our students are guided throughout the program via LAGA Faculty Feedback – personalized coaching by our own accomplished instructors. This unique, value-added feature allows you to submit videos of your performance of a particular piece/drill directly to our faculty. With your submission, you will be provided with a comprehensive technical commentary via email once per month.
We encourage you to take advantage of this feature, though, it is optional for those in the Beginner/Upper-Intermediate Levels (1 through 4 of 7), more than half of the program. When you begin your subscription, Levels 1 through 4 are immediately accessible.
Upon your completion of Level 4, to ensure that you demonstrate adequate proficiency to play the challenging repertoire in upcoming levels, we require that you record three pieces from the curriculum to showcase your technical ability. A basic video recording done in the comfort of your own home will suffice. Our faculty feedback is crucial to your success as you move to Level 5 – the starting point of advanced-level guitar technique.
In fact, recording your performances is not only a great way to receive individualized coaching, but also an invaluable tool for self-assessment. Each video recording will prepare you for various aspects of performance such as phrasing, continuity and musicality. Moreover, it is a great way to capture your progression and to archive your repertoire for future reference.
How long does it take to complete the program?
There are 7 levels in our online flamenco guitar program, LAGA Flamenco. Spending a few months in each level, it will take you approximately 26 to 32 months to complete the entire course, depending on your current proficiency, the time you dedicate towards your practice, and your goals.
Goals can be defined with prior experience in mind. Students can typically classify themselves in one of three categories below:
Beginner: You have little or no prior background in music or Flamenco guitar.
In the beginning levels, in addition to exploring the basics of Flamenco guitar music such as compas, modes and rasgueados, spend time learning the technical basics: Proper technique for both your right and left hands, note placement, and coordination. Take as much time as you need to build a solid foundation. To ensure that you are on the right track, we highly recommend that you take advantage of the faculty feedback. Pay particular attention to the left hand close-up clips, making sure that you have mastered difficult sections at a slower tempo before speeding up to the original tempo.
Suggested time per level for beginners:
Intermediate Guitarist: You have some experience practicing a few pieces in basic traditional forms such as Soleares.
In levels 1 through 4, review the basics of Flamenco guitar technique and musicianship by identifying which techniques and falsettas you need most help, and then focusing on improving those skills. Master each of the basic techniques covered in these levels. If you have some background with sheet music, checkout the optional scores provided with the falsettas. Do not forget to submit at video clips of yourself playing Level 4 pieces, so our guitar instructors can provide valuable insights to help you progress to Levels 5-7. Take the time to work on difficult falsettas, slowly, systematically, and deliberately, until you have mastered them before playing the entire piece at the original tempo.
Suggested time per level for intermediate level guitarists:
Advanced Guitarist: You have a background in all Flamenco forms, and can play several pieces in various forms such as Soleares, Bulerias, Tangos, Fandangos.
With your strong background in the Flamenco guitar, you will not need to spend much time on the lower levels. We strongly advise, however, even advanced guitarists make sure that they have internalized basic techniques. Reviewing the basics from time to time is a practice even the world’s greatest concert guitarists employ. Use this period to seek out any areas in which your technique is less than masterful. Do not forget to submit video clips of yourself playing Level 4 pieces, so you can receive constructive feedback from our guitar instructors to help you progress to Levels 5-7. Make sure that these pieces showcase your current skill set while highlighting the techniques on which you need to improve.
Suggested time per level for advanced guitarists:
Sheet Music À La Carte?
In LAGA Flamenco, we follow the time-honored method that Flamenco guitarists have used throughout the history of the art. Traditionally, Flamenco guitarists learn by listening to the teacher closely, observing his every movement, then imitating those movements–the goal being to faithfully reproduce his sound. Written materials–such as tabs, scores/sheet music–actually get in the way of this process. The subtle nuances inherent in the music are best understood by the student first hearing the music and watching the finely-detailed movements of one’s teacher as he plays, then reproducing those phrases on their own instrument. Hence, we do not use tabs or written material in our Flamenco course. That said, limited sheet music is provided for reference only for those with classical music background.
For more information, please check our FAQ.
Can’t Get Enough?
When you have completed the entire course (or as a supplement for your current level) we recommend that you continue your study of the guitar with private webcam lessons with one of our Flamenco guitar instructors.