Listen Up, Y’hear?!
Do I have your attention now? This cheap, tacky heading was merely a ruse to lure you here, then entice you to stay until you’ve read the over-wrought content which follows:
Simply this—Listen to music. All the time. Listen to the old stuff: Ramon Montoya, Sabicas, Nino(sic) Ricardo, Diego del Gastor. Listen to Paco de Lucia old and new (and especially, in-between), to Paco Pena(sic, again), Manolo Sanlucar. Listen to the modern guys: Vicente Amigo, Nino(sic)Josele, Tomatito, Viejin—I’ve a list of at least 50 that I greatly admire.
Don’t listen to too much Gipsy Kings. Or Jesse Cook, Ottmar Liebert, Armik and the like. They’re all good at what they do but they aren’t doing flamenco. Make distinctions as you listen—what do you like? What moves you? Listen to their execution of picado and alza pua and rasgueo, tremelo. Try to follow the development of their ideas.
Doing this all the time will help your playing more than you can imagine. Your compas’, your technique, your soniquete. And, it is super fun.
PS: listen to Son de Frontera (Paco de Amparo), the Jeros, Diego Amaya, the Del Gastors. Don’t miss checking out Chico Martin, hijo de Juana la del Revuelo. Go to Pandora, Grooveshark, Youtube. And keep reading. Thank you.