Spanish Guitar Lessons: 4 Essential Lessons

Looking for Spanish guitar lessons? Then look no further! 

spanish guitar lessons

In this free guitar lesson you will learn

  • 4 essential Spanish guitar lessons which will make you sound amazing.
  • The secret to turning normal chords into Spanish guitar chords.
  • 2 must-know Spanish chord progressions that will make you sound like you’re from the heart of Spain.
  • 4 flamenco licks which are guaranteed to spice up your guitar playing.

Spanish Guitar Lessons – Understanding Technique

Spanish music has produced some of the finest guitar players this Earth has ever seen.

Not only is it super cool, it also sounds epic.

Check out this video of Spanish guitar virtuoso, Paco Pena. He’s a Spanish guitar great!

Paco Pena is known for using a variety of different techniques in his playing.

Some of his most popular techniques are:

  • Finger picking 
  • Tirando Technique 
  • Tremolo Picking 
  • Rasqueado Technique

The combination of these Spanish guitar techniques allows Paco Pena to sound unique on his instrument.

In today’s Spanish guitar lessons we’re going to take a look at some of the most popular Spanish guitar techniques.

A huge part of Spanish guitar playing is based off of finger picking.

If you’re new to this technique, go here: Fingerstyle Guitar Lessons – 5 Easy Ways To Sound Amazing

Let’s take a look at some classic finger style techniques.

Spanish Guitar Lessons – Use Your Index Finger As A Pick

One of the most popular techniques used by Spanish guitarists is to:

  • Use your first finger as a pick.

Rock, pop and blues guitarists use a pick, however Spanish guitarists are finger picking purists.

They like to play EVERYTHING with their fingers.

Let’s take a look at some exercises to help us nail this killer guitar technique.

Spanish Guitar Lessons: Exercise #1

To begin with, use the index finger of your picking hand to strum the strings.

When you strum the strings, push through the strings with your index finger.

Watch this video, to learn how to do this killer technique:

Here’s the tab for this example:

 

spanish guitar lessons

When using this technique, use the tip of your nail to strum the guitar strings.

However, it’s important not to be too aggressive. Strike with power, but don’t hurt yourself.

Spanish Guitar Lessons: Exercise #2

In this next of our Spanish guitar lessons, our main focus is going to be on using our first finger to strum upwards on the strings.

To do this, drag your finger tip up against the strings.

Watch this video to learn how do this Spanish guitar technique:

Here’s the tab for this exercise:
spanish guitar lessons

 

When strumming each chord, make sure your upstrokes are nice and even!

Spanish Guitar Lessons: Exercise #3

In this next exercise, we’re going to combine exercises 1 and 2.

Firstly, strum downwards with your finger nail, after this drag your first finger back along the strings.

Watch this video to learn how to do this technique:

Here’s the tab for this essential one of our Spanish guitar lessons:

spanish guitar lessons

Spanish Guitar Lessons: The Spanish Flick

So far, we’ve just used our 1st finger to strum the guitar strings.

However, to add musicality and rhythm to our guitar playing, we must introduce the second finger.

To do this, we’re going to apply the same technique.

However, this time we’re going to create a percussive sound by using our index and second finger simultaneously.

Check out this cool video lesson where Jack shows you how to play this essential Spanish guitar technique.

Now we’ve covered some essential Spanish strumming techniques, let’s take a look at some Spanish guitar chords.

Spanish Guitar Lessons: How To Play Spanish Guitar Chords

To enhance your strumming technique, it’s essential to learn some Spanish guitar chords.

Here’s a really simple trick which you can use to turn your basic open chords into Spanish chords:

To turn a basic chord into a Spanish chord, move it up one fret on your guitar.

Let’s apply to this to some of the most popular guitar chords:

The E Chord

This is a bog standard E chord:

spanish guitar lessons

Too hard? Check this out: 4 Easy Ways To Play The E Chord On Guitar

The Spanish E Chord

Here’s the E chord moved up one fret:

spanish guitar lessons

To play the Spanish E chord, put your:

  • 2nd finger on the 3rd fret of the A string.
  • 3rd finger on the 3rd fret of the D string.
  • 1st finger on the 2nd fret of the G string.

To get that Spanish sound, ring out all the notes of the chord clearly.

The A Chord

Here’s your basic A chord:

spanish guitar lessons

To learn how to play the A chord go here: 3 Easy Ways To Play The A Chord On Guitar

The Spanish A Chord

To turn the A chord into a Spanish A chord, move it up one fret:

spanish guitar lessons

To play this chord, place your:

  • 1st finger on the 3rd fret of the D string.
  • 2nd finger on the 3rd fret of the G string.
  • 3rd finger on the 3rd fret of the B string.
  • Strum from the A string.

The D Chord

Here’s a basic D chord:

spanish guitar lessons

To learn more about how to play the D chord, go here: 3 Easy Ways to Play the D Chord on Guitar

The Spanish D Chord

Now, move the D chord up one fret.

spanish guitar lessons

To play this chord, place your :

  • 1st finger on the 3rd fret of the D string.
  • 2nd finger on the 3rd fret of the high E string.
  • 3rd finger on the 4th fret of the B string.

The Final Spanish Chord Trick

To put the icing on the cake, try moving each chord up to the 5th fret.

Once you’ve done this, come back down to create more tension and suspense.

Let’s take a look at this method in action.

The E Chord

Here’s the tab:

spanish guitar lessons

Can you see how each shape is moving progressively up the frets?

The A Chord

We can also do this trick with the A chord, here’s the tab:

spanish guitar lessons

The D Chord

Check out this neat trick applied to the D chord.

spanish guitar lessons

Spanish Guitar Lessons: Spanish Chord Progressions Every Guitarist Must Know

As well as changing our standard open chords, if you want to become a great Spanish guitarist you must know how to play Spanish chord progressions.

In this next of our Spanish guitar lessons we’re going to show you 2 classic chord progressions in the key of A minor.

Let’s learn them.

Here are the chords:

spanish guitar lessons

(If you don't understand the above image please read our article "How To Read Guitar Chordboxes In 60 Seconds". It will make everything clear!)

.

For this progression, allow four beats for each chord:

spanish guitar lessons

Here’s what it sounds like:

claassical guotar

If you want to learn how to play Spanish guitar, ideally you’ll need a nylon string guitar.

Check out 15 of the best nylon string acoustics here: 15 of the best nylon-string acoustics | MusicRadar

Adapting Your Chords

To give these chords a Spanish tinge, we can adapt the voicings that we use.

Here’s some chord boxes of some classic Spanish chords:

spanish guitar lessons

The names of these chords look terrifying! Don’t worry too much about the names of these chords, just make sure that they sound great.

Here’s a tab:

Flamenco Guitar Lessons

Here’s what they all sound like:

Other Chord Progressions

Here’s another chord progression which is featured heavily in Spanish and flamenco music.

This progression doesn’t use open chords, so it’s slightly trickier.

However, with grit and determination you’ll be nailing this progression in no time!

Watch this video to learn how to play it:


Flamenco Guitar Lessons

 

To bring this Spanish chord progression to life, let’s learn a few finger picking patterns.

Finger Picking Pattern #1

In this first pattern, we’re going to use finger picking to add musicality and rhythm to this cool chord progression.

To play this finger picking pattern:

  • Use your thumb on the D string.
  • Your 1st finger on the G string.
  • Your 2nd finger on the B string.

Here’s the tab for reference:

Flamenco Guitar Lessons

There are a few extra letters above the tab, here’s what they mean:

  • P = Thumb
  • i = First Finger
  • m = Second finger

These are the fingers on your picking hand which you’ll use to play each chord.

The numbers below the tab relate to what fingers you use on your picking hand:

  • 1 = First Finger
  • 2 = Second Finger
  • 3 = Third finger

It’s important to use the correct fingers in this pattern to play this pattern smoothly and correctly.

Finger Picking Pattern #2

To play this pattern, you must pluck each note individually.

Here’s the tab:

Flamenco Guitar Lessons

Play each note with ultimate precision. Practice this pattern slowly to gain ultimate finger picking power!

Spanish Guitar Lessons: Essential Spanish Scales

If you want to learn how to play Spanish guitar you must learn two scales:

  • The Natural Minor Scale.
  • The Harmonic Minor Scale. 

For both of these scales, we’re going to learn them in the key of A. Let’s get started.

The A Natural Minor Scale

If you want to become a Spanish virtuoso, you must learn this scale.

Here’s the tab:

spanish guitar lessons

Practice this scale slowly, it can be tricky to get this one under the fingers.

Click play to hear what this scale sounds like:

A great way to enhance your guitar playing is to learn some Spanish licks.

Here are two which use the A natural minor scale.

Natural Minor Lick #1

This lick works perfectly over anything in the key of A minor or C major.

Here’s the tab:

spanish guitar lessons

Click play to listen to this lick:

Natural Minor Lick #2

This lick is tricker than the previous one.

To nail this descending lick, practice it slowly and securely.

Flamenco Guitar Lessons

Click play to listen to this lick:

Now we now how to play the A natural minor scale, let’s learn the harmonic minor scale.

The A Harmonic Minor Scale

If you want to spice up your guitar playing, learn this scale.

This sounds fantastic over anything in the key of A minor.

You may have heard this scale in Latin and Spanish music.

Here’s the tab:

Flamenco Guitar Lessons

A great way to enhance your musicality is to learn some guitar licks. Let’s learn some classic harmonic minor licks.

For this example, we’re going to learn each lick in the key of A minor.

Harmonic Minor Lick #1

The first lick is a bit of a finger twister, so practice it slowly.

It’s great for Spanish guitarists as it uses hammer-ons and pull-offs. This technique is used mainly in rock music, however it does appear in Spanish music.

To learn this essential lead guitar technique, go here: How To Play Lead Guitar

Flamenco Guitar Lessons

Harmonic Minor Lick #2

This lick is fast! It features a fast flurry of notes, so is perfect for flamenco and Spanish guitarists.

If you practice this lick slowly, you’ll sound like Carlos Santana in no time!

Here’s the tab:

spanish guitar lessons

How do I practice these licks?

A great way to intergrate guitar licks into your playing is to practice them over backing tracks.

All of these licks work perfectly over this backing track.

As a challenge try this:

  • Play natural minor lick 1 over this backing track.
  • Play natural minor lick 2 over this backing track. 
  • Practice the natural minor scale over this backing track. 
  • Play harmonic minor lick 1 over this backing track. 
  • Play harmonic minor lick 2 over this backing track. 
  • Practice the harmonic minor scale over this backing track! 

Once you feel like you’ve successfully learnt each of these ideas, try using ALL of these ideas together.

If you can do this, you’ll sound like a Spanish great in no time!

 

Find Out What You Should Learn Next With Our Guitar Map

If you want to understand where you’re up to in your guitar journey you should take a look at our Guitar Map. It will show you what you ‘should’ know by now (and also what you need to learn next to move forward as a guitarist).

Most people find that the Guitar Map shows them how everything fits together and best of all, it will help you identify gaps in your knowledge that are holding you back.

(There is often just one piece of information that holds people back, 1 key insight that they need to know so they can continue moving forward and improving in their guitar journey.)

We made the Guitar Map so people like you can quickly identify what you don’t know, that you need to know next. We hope that makes sense!?

NOTE: The Guitar Map is now included in our free special report: 'The 7 Steps To Guitar Mastery'.

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