Playing Siguiriyas on a Guitar that was Headed for the Neighbor's Garbage
I'll be honest with you. When I travel, I am usually hesitant about brining my flamenco guitar with me. In fact, I don't have a good guitar case for traveling right now, so I just can't risk breaking my instrument; however, I have a good friend—my brother in law, Alonso—who somehow is always able to line up a guitar for me when I arrive to Mexico so that I can continue making these flamenco guitar tutorials when I'm out of town visiting family.
The guitar I’m playing in this video was found by Alonso the other day, sitting out among a pile of junk that the neighbors were about to throw away. Fortunately, he asked if he may have it, and they were happy to give it away rather than tossing it into the garbage.
I took a look at the guitar, and can see that it’s not made of solid wood, the top is warped, the nut is way too hight—making it very difficult to press the strings down, and especially difficult to execute any legato; it’s even got cracks all along the top, and the guitar maker’s label is missing but…it will do for now.
Making this video reminded me of a question I get a lot as a guitar teacher. Students who are new to the flamenco guitar always want to know what kind of guitar they should get when starting out. I usually suggest to invest as little into an entry-level guitar as possible; get one second-hand, or for free—like me! Sure the guitar might seem hard to play, but if you are serious about pursuing this journey of the flamenco guitar, you will want to transition to a higher-quality guitar after putting in hundreds of hours into your junk guitar.
That’s right…The more hours you put into that piece of junk, the more convinced you’ll be that spending $700-$2,000 on a new flamenco guitar (which I strongly recommend you try out first in the taller) is something worthy of a considerable financial investment.
So, I digress…Thanks to Alonso, I’m able to keep my guitar safe at home, and at the same time be able to give you lessons!