About Ravenna Flamenco
Ravenna Flamenco is a multimedia magazine for the anglophone flamenco guitar aficionado. RF starts with the assumption that flamenco is a skill, an art, a passion, a pursuit—and as such, with work and perseverance, can be learned. I might stress pursuit here – flamenco isn’t necessarily something you arrive at or “get” – it’s, perhaps like medicine, more something you practice. This is what Ravenna Flamenco is about: the pursuit of a better, more meaningful way to play.
You won’t find a structured set of lessons here. There are several teachers and organizations on the internet that offer lessons (either online or available via DVD) and I don’t have any improvements to offer on these. You will find articles that intended to be instructional, but if you want a structured set of lessons, check into one of these programs – or, if possible in your area (and as many of these programs, videos, and books recommend already) find an instructor and take lessons. RF is aimed primarily at the intermediate guitarist: you know some palos, you can play some toques, maybe a song or two. But you want to go further; you want to get beyond the “here’s a falseta ” basics that are so common (and necessary, don’t get me wrong) on the internet. Hence, a "magazine."
About the tabs
As anyone who’s done even the most superficial internet search knows, guitar tabulature abounds on the internet. It’s everywhere, freely available, and often catastrophically inaccurate. Many sites already regroup much of this tab willy-nilly in one place for your convenience. I see no need to repeat that here (you can easily find such catchalls elsewhere).
The tab you will find here has been edited, played and checked over by an actual human being – better, by an actual flamenco guitarist. Is it perfect? No, not by any means. In fact, none of it aspires to be exact transcriptions of any album or recording. (Let’s face it—if we could all already play the complete Paco de Lucía corpus perfectly, we probably wouldn’t be looking for it on the internet, no?) Rather, much of the tab here presents an arrangement of popular or traditional tunes. Whatever the case, the focus is on rendering the music playable for the intermediate guitarist and on rendering it flamenco: by this I mean that instead of showing you simply a huge jumble of 64th notes, it aims rather to show you "flamenco." (These are not necessarily the same things!) Many of the transcriptions here are very accurate; all the same, however, “official” transcriptions of many artists and albums exist – for those of you looking for exact transcriptions of songs and albums, buy these tabs!
What you can expect from Ravenna Flamenco: We here at Ravenna Flamenco ("we" being, for the moment—and somewhat schizophrenically—Andy the writer and Andy the guitarist) believe that information wants to be free. By this, however, we mean "free" as in "free thought," not "free" as in "free beer." The material on this site is created for this site. You’ll see ideas and concepts from all over (no one’s reinventing flamenco here), but you’ll see it put together in a way that takes the information that’s already available and tries to make more sense of it. Believe it or not, this is what copyright is all about: giving authors the freedom to use the ideas of others, as long as they don’t reproduce the original author’s expression of those ideas without giving credit. (I could go on much, much longer on copyright, but I’ll spare you that. For the moment.) The upshot is this: if you see something that you think is an infringement of a particular author’s (or your) copyright, please let me know! If credit is not given where credit is due, that will be corrected; if a piece infringes on another author’s protected work, it will be removed. Simple.
What Ravenna Flamenco expects from you: Just as I strive to be conscientious about the work of others, I expect others to respect my right to control how my work (that is, my expression of ideas) is reproduced.
Articles: For the most part, if you want to reproduce an article that you see here, all you need to do is contact me by email and ask. In most instances I will only ask that you provide a working and visible hyperlink back to where the content originally appeared. But please ask first – it’s simple and it makes things easier for all of us.
Tabs: For the moment the policy on tabs is that you may circulate them at will – but that you may not change them. If you want to make changes to an arrangement I’ve posted here, feel free to tab it out yourself. I’m not particularly proprietary about these tabs; they are all arrangements of popular or traditional music and as such I feel that they should be freely available. As for the cases where tabs refer to a particular recording, please keep in mind that even these are arrangements – and also that they are distributed exclusively for educational (and private, not commercial ) purposes. If you want exact, artist certified transcriptions, by all means – go out and buy them. The arrangements I provide here are created with pedagogical goals in mind. Check out the tab notes for specific explanations of what those goals are.
Metronomes: These are, believe it or not, a lot of work to create. As such, I’m loath to send them gallivanting about into the ether, so far from home. Metronomes are – and will continue to be – freely available here. Use them as much as you want, but please don’t redistribute them. I have video versions of all of these metronomes on YouTube – which you should feel free to embed in as many places as humanly (and morally/ethically) possible – but, let’s face it: the reason I give you the metronomes for free is that I want you to come back here! This said, there are lots of (and much better) audio "compás" recordings available for sale. As always, I encourage you to make use of as many resources as you can.
Andy is a flamenco guitarist based in Seattle, Washington (Ravenna is a neighborhood in Seattle, by the way). Andy has been playing guitar for years (many years) and “discovered” flamenco on a trip through southern Spain in 2001. Since then, he has played little else. Andy has played and studied with musicians in Spain and France while abroad and has studied with Marcos Carmona of the Pacific Northwest’s Carmona Flamenco since 2005. Andy has been a guitarist with La Peña Flamenca de Seattle, directed by Rubina Carmona, and has played guitar for beginning and intermediate flamenco dance classes at the American Dance Institute in Seattle as well as for several smaller flamenco troupes in the area. Andy is by no means an expert of flamenco or flamenco guitar, but he is the most nit-picky writer he knows and, as such, is obstinately convinced that he has something worthwhile to contribute to the internet flamenco community.