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Adam del MonteFlamenco Guitar & Classical Guitar

Adam del Monte is one of the leading flamenco and classical guitarists and composers of his generation.


He was born in Israel but grew up in The Netherlands, Spain, Germany and England several times over. He was immersed in a family culture where music and art were the order of the day. His exposure to a diverse variety of musical styles ranging from flamenco, classical, jazz, blues, Indian etc., were the cornerstone of his upbringing.


In his early childhood, he grew up in the caves of Sacromonte among the gypsies in Granada, Spain learning the art of flamenco the traditionally way of being passed on orally and was fortuitous to learn from some of the true maestros of Spain: Pepe Habichuela, Paco Cortes and Gerardo Nuñez.


In conjunction with his unconventional upbringing, Adam also received a traditional and academic classical music education attending the Chethams School of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music both in Manchester England. The result of such a broad learning experience lead to Adam becoming a bridge between diverse cultures and methods of learning and has made it his life's mission to fully express himself in the genres of flamenco and classical guitar radically transcending labeling and convention.


In his 20s, while living in Spain, he taught flamenco at a private Jazz school in Madrid The Taller de Musicos which would become the precursor to his teaching position at the Studio Jazz Guitar Department at the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California were he has been teaching for the last 20 years.


The culmination of years of study from eclectic sources has led Adam to writing two flamenco guitar concerti and the first of its kind, a flamenco opera titled Llantos, where he has combined his musical knowledge of flamenco and classical music making an indelible mark in the flamenco and classical guitar world and rightfully earning the distinguished title of Maestro.


Younger Generation Influence:


Del Monte was both influenced by and inspired the younger generation of flamenco performers who were beginning to depart from the previous virtual space of Spanish flamenco. Del Monte, too, set out in new directions, integrating years of traditional and leading–edge flamenco training as well as expanding his musicianship on the classical guitar. An eclectic awareness of jazz, world music and other contemporary forms led to new and creative renditions of flamenco repertoire.


He has been commissioned by the LA Guitar Quartet to compose a 'progressive' flamenco piece entitled Cambio de Aire. He has collaborated with Yusef Lateef and the Atlanta Symphony at the National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta GA.


His flamenco debut CD on the Spanish label Sonifolk (1998), entitled Viaje a Un Nuevo Mundo-Journey to a New World-was most favorably reviewed by Spain's most acclaimed flamenco critic Angel Alvarez Caballero as well as Miguel Mora of El Pais and Alfredo Grimaldos of El Mundo.


Other discographies include a Mel Bay Artist Video Series, a classical and flamenco recital, and a GSP classical CD entitled Ezordio. In 1998, Adam performed in Spain on the TV program Algo mas que Flamenco with Lole Montoya. He has composed a flamenco guitar concerto Ensueño Flamenco for the guitar and orchestra which he premiered in Boston with the BMOP Boston Modern Orchestra Project) in Jordan Hall, conducted by Gil Rose. In 1999 he returned to Granada to perform in the oldest Peña Flamenca, La Plateria, as well as a tour in Switzerland with singer Curro Fernandez.


Since 2000, del Monte has been on the studio guitar department faculty at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where he teaches flamenco and classical guitar.


Adam del Monte plays guitars by Altamira and Erez Perelman.

Flamenco Guitar

Flamenco Guitar for Beginners Part 1

By: Adam del Monte

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BeginnerBeginner
  • 190 Min
  • 25 Videos
  • Edition 2

If you've played very little flamenco guitar or none at all, this beginner course is perfect for you. You will learn the basics such as holding the flamenco guitar, correct posture, right hand techniques; rasgueados, alzapua, etc. and all the comprehensive exercises covering the fundamentals of guitar playing.

With over 25 years of teaching experience, maestro Adam del Monte breaks down all the fundamental and abstract concepts making it easy and enjoyable for the beginner to grasp with a solid understanding and correct method of work.

All techniques such as arpeggios, free stroke, rest stroke and tremolo, have their origin in the classical guitar developed in the 18th and 19th century. There have been cases where we see remnants of flamenco concepts in the more 'mainstream' guitar literature such as in some Fernando Sor pieces, where there are specific instructions to use rasgueados.

Flamenco guitarists took all those techniques and adapted them to their own musical environment, which is much more rhythmic in nature.

We look forward to having you join our growing family of flamenco guitar players. Valle!

Flamenco Guitar for Beginners Part 2

By: Adam del Monte

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BeginnerBeginner
  • 131 Min
  • 21 Videos
  • Edition 2

Part 2 of the Flamenco Guitar for Beginners continues with scales in more detail covering the Phrygian scale and the Comprehensive Flamenco scale (a 9 note scale). It also covers flamenco styles in the forms of Tangos, Solea and Alegrias. To aid with the lesson, the videos are annotated with embedded graphics to give students a visual reference on chords, finger positions on the fret board, and rhythmic patterns.

The theoretical and musical basis of any style of music is critical for its in-depth understanding. The Comprehensive Flamenco scale and its complex make-up is a critical tool to giving you a head-start for your own creative toolbox for the future. When you understand the comprehensive flamenco scale in such depth, you will be free to create your own falsetas and chord voicing.

Flamenco Guitar Techniques Part 1

By: Adam del Monte

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Advanced BeginnerAdvanced Beginner
  • 159 Min
  • 23 Videos
  • Edition 1

This in-depth study presents a comprehensive set of exercises by which flamenco guitarists as well as classical guitarists will build dexterity, fluidity, and confidence in playing.

Do you consider yourself an advanced-beginner flamenco guitar player or have you already completed the Flamenco Guitar for Beginners - Part 1 & Flamenco Guitar for Beginners - Part 2? Have you been playing the flamenco guitar for a number of years, yet still seek ways to enhance your technique?

Part 1 of this Flamenco Guitar Techniques series is a 2 hours and 40 minutes long in depth course that focuses purely on the technical development of the right hand. It reviews some fundamentals that were covered in Flamenco Guitar for Beginners series, and then introduces the player to a set of right hand exercises and daily routines including free strokes, rest strokes, thumb techniques, arpeggios, alzapua, picados, and combinations of these various techniques.

By the end of this course you will be at a level where you can start with the more challenging flamenco falsetas and repertoire.

Flamenco Guitar Techniques Part 2

By: Adam del Monte

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Advanced BeginnerAdvanced Beginner
  • 141 Min
  • 21 Videos
  • Edition 1

Part 2 of the Flamenco Guitar Techniques series mostly focuses on the left-hand techniques. It offers you plenty of exercises to improve pull-offs, hammer-ons, chord shifting with arpeggios, the basic Rumba pattern, bar chord and Tarantas slurs. As well as combinations of left hand and right hand techniques, tremolo and some short falsetas in Solea and Tangos.

Focusing on hammer-ons and pull-offs in this package, will especially help you develop strength and dexterity in your left hand. Most people, when talking about flamenco guitar, usually focus on the strengths of the right-hand techniques ignoring the importance of a strong and agile left hand. Here we get a detailed and step by step explanation of how to develop exactly that kind of strength and finger-independence.

Rasgueado Technique

By: Adam del Monte

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Advanced BeginnerAdvanced Beginner
  • 87 Min
  • 10 Videos
  • Edition 2

This 2nd edition, 85 minutes of intense video, is the lesson you’ve been waiting for! It includes 5 different types of rasgueados plus a bonus; a modern rumba pattern and how to do alzapua, that crazy wild thing we do only with the thumb that sounds like thunder. These are the ultimate tools and techniques you need to play and sound flamenco. Broken down like never before, this will catapult your rasgueado technique to where it needs to be to play the hottest falsetas.

Rasgueados has always been a part of the Spanish Guitar tradition. It is very unfortunate that it is not used nearly enough in the classical guitar literature, and when it is, most classical guitarists don’t have much of a foundation in that technique. To quote maestro Pepe Romero: “where does it say in the Sevillanas by Juaquin Turina that you must play rasguedos that suck…”

A fair amount of classical guitar repertoire requires a properly executed rasguedo, yet the actual teaching of it and codifying into a detailed method and process is often lacking. This video is as much for a flamenco player as it is for a classical guitarist who wish to once and for all crack the mystery of these elusive techniques. Here you will learn techniques that are not taught in colleges and universities (with the exception of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where maestro del Monte teaches :-D ).

Solea 1

By: Adam del Monte

New lesson
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Advanced BeginnerAdvanced Beginner
  • 68 Min
  • 13 Videos
  • Edition 2

Solea or soleares comes from the Spanish word Soledad which means solitude. Its mood is very much introverted and melancholic in character. It is one of the most fundamental forms in all of flamenco literature. With its enigmatic rhythmic structure (compás) of 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 where the underlined numbers representing the fundamental accents, this compas pattern is shared amongst other major forms of flamenco such as the Solea por Buleras, Alegrias, Bulerias and Fandangos de Huelva. The cante (singing) of Solea is of a solemn, serious and introverted character. Although, it is loaded with outbursts of expression of pain and despair, that intense emotion is what fuels the depth and drama of Solea.

This introductory lesson to solea starts you with some important basics in flamenco. It features three falsetas and two variations which are perfect as a skill builder and for aiding the understanding of the compás of Solea. Even though these phrases are deemed as “Advanced-Beginner” you do need some basic and fundamental technical ability on the flamenco guitar. We recommend that you start with the Flamenco Guitar for Beginners Part 1 and Part 2 to get the necessary skills if you've never played flamenco guitar before.

Alegrias 1

By: Adam del Monte

New lesson
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Advanced BeginnerAdvanced Beginner
  • 52 Min
  • 10 Videos
  • Edition 2

This lesson covers the theory and techniques of Alegrías for an advanced-beginner student. It includes a very important traditional phrase called escobilla and a traditional rhythm phrase called compás. Also a melodic falseta (musical variation) using scales and thumb technique. Perfect for understanding the fundamental rhythmic and harmonic structure of Alegrías.

As in most of flamenco forms, Alegrías is a mixture of various musical cultures converging in the south of Spain or Andalusia. The melody of Alegrías was originally a part of a peasant dance called the Jota, an unsophisticated style of music and dance originating in the northern part of Spain, Asturias. It then found its way to the southern part of Spain, Cadiz and the area of El Puerto de Santa Maria, where it was later mixed in with the 12 beat compás of Solea. The rhythmic structure of Alegrías is the same as the Solea and Bulerias; 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 where the underlined numbers representing the fundamental accents. The main difference is in the harmony. Alegrías is one of few forms that is in a major mode, rather than the Andalusian cadence (many times referred to as the Phrygian mode, however, that explanation is incomplete).

The Alegrías is a part of a category of cantes known of Cantes de boda - wedding songs. The sister forms of the Alegrías are Romeras, Alboreá and Cantiñas. The Alegrías is typically played in E major for mostly dance accompaniment and in A major as a solo however, many solo Alegrías compositions are in E major as well.

Tangos 1

By: Adam del Monte

New lesson
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Advanced BeginnerAdvanced Beginner
  • 57 Min
  • 15 Videos
  • Edition 2

Tangos is a dance form that developed primarily between Cadiz and Sevilla. It is a 4/4 beat rhythm and has some reminiscence with certain Arabic rhythm and groove patterns. The flamenco Tangos, has nothing to do with the Argentinian Tango. This style of dancing is also much more sensual which includes much more hip movement (due to the Arabic belly dancing style) in comparison with the starker Soleá and Seguiriya.

Tangos, together with Bulerías are the two favorite forms of jamming and partying in all the Juergas (a flamenco party-jam) usually in celebration of a wedding, baptism or any joyous occasion.

In this lesson you will learn the basic compás and rhythmic patterns of Tangos, broken down into great detail. We also cover the characteristic chord voicings of Tangos, and how we use them in playing compás. We’ll be sharing how to play these traditional phrases with the right feel or aire, showing the tricks on how to get that groove, including how to play and understand it with a rhythm track for more context. There will be a gradual evolution of complexity and subtlety throughout this lesson that will give you a good foundation of the basics but also show you some more advanced and syncopated patterns.

Once you’ll get the basics of compás and aire, you’ll be ready for some Falsetas that will start you off nice and easy so as to get confidence in your understanding and execution of these phrases. Again there will be a noticeable growth in complexity in that area as well.

Seguiriya 1

By: Adam del Monte

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Advanced BeginnerAdvanced Beginner
  • 49 Min
  • 8 Videos
  • Edition 2

The Seguiriya is thought to be the oldest of all the flamenco styles and it is certainly the most dramatic, tragic and serious form. The singing of Seguiriya is loaded with pathos and almost cathartic pain. The vocal melisma and melodies, as well as vocal expressions, are heavily influenced by the liturgical chanting of the Sephardic, or Judeo -Spanish Chazanut, or synagogue chanting. Although this form is usually associated with being very Gypsy or gitano in style, its roots go far back in history.

Seguiriya can be enjoyed in its simplest and purest form as well as in a more sophisticated version of it. Even though this lesson is about covering the basics, it is also laced with more progressive concepts. You will get detailed breakdowns of a variety of rasgueados and remates (the ending section of the compás) that are typical of this style. You will also learn some timeless compás phrases and original falsetas which are mostly based on the traditional form that are perfect for an advanced-beginner to intermediate flamenco guitar player.

If you are not confident about your rasgueado technique or you are very new to rasgueado, it is highly recommended to sign up for the Rasgueados Technique prior to learning this Seguiriya lesson.

Tremolo Technique

By: Adam del Monte

New lesson
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IntremediateIntermediate
  • 93 Min
  • 16 Videos
  • Edition 1

The technique of tremolo whether a 3-note or a 4-note, is one of the hallmarks of a professional guitarist. Considered an advanced skill, it is a technique that demonstrates refinement, control and lyricism in one’s playing.

The classical tremolo is a 3-note tremolo i.e. p,a,m,i (not including the thumb) and is found in some of the most iconic and memorable pieces such as Recuerdos de la Alhambra by Francisco Tárrega, Una Limosna para el Amor de Dios and Sueño en la Floresta by Austin Barrios.

The flamenco tremolo is a 4-note tremolo (not including the thumb), i.e. p,i,a,m,i the extra note in the flamenco tremolo makes for a slower moving melody line and allows for a more rubato phrasing. Typically used in the slow and free forms of Taranta, Granaina, Minera, but also in a slower rhythmic form such as a Soleá.

In this lesson, you will learn how to play both the classical tremolo and the flamenco tremolo, where you will get very specific techniques and methods of how to develop your fluidity, accuracy, control and tone quality whilst playing a tremolo piece. If you’ve never done tremolo before, or have limited experience with this technique and have struggled with it for some time, this lesson is recommended before you get the lesson on Recuerdos de la Alhambra.

Picado Studies

By: Adam del Monte

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IntremediateIntermediate
  • 117 Min
  • 25 Videos
  • Edition 1

Developing speed, dexterity and accuracy in playing scales (picado) is an essential part of being a great flamenco or a classical guitar player.

This lesson includes a series of specific and original exercises, based on years of experience and practice on how to increase speed, endurance and relaxation. This two-hour long study can help bring you to the next level of your flamenco journey, addressing one of the most desired goals; playing fast and articulate scales.

The sign of the ultimate technical fitness is having a fast yet articulate scales. Whether you consider yourself an advanced-beginner, intermediate or even an advanced player, you are encouraged to incorporate practicing various picado techniques into your daily routine regularly. This is without a doubt the most coveted technique and the hardest to achieve at a high level.

Solea 2

By: Adam del Monte

New lesson
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IntremediateIntermediate
  • 78 Min
  • 11 Videos
  • Edition 2

Solea 2 is a perfect lesson for those of you who studied the advanced-beginner level Solea 1 while looking to further your understanding of this flamenco style beyond the basics. The material goes into the more subtle nuances of the right hand and shows how to capture the aire (the feel or the ambience) of the Solea with authentic mechanisms and dynamics.

This 2nd edition of Soleá 2 extends its earlier edition by about one full hour of more instructions. It introduces and breaks down three more falsetas, and covers variations of the traditional remate, the conclusion section of a compas, which you learned in Soleá 1.

Solea is one of the most sober and oldest palos (musical form in flamenco) that predates just about any other palo with the exception of Seguiriya and Toná. Although originating in Jerez, there are many different types of Soleás such as Soleá de Alcalá, Soleá de Jerez, and Soleá de Triana, all with their variations in the cante. Some speculate that it began in the mid 1800s. It has passed through many different phases of interpretation or "ways of feeling it." In the 1920s – 1960s the tendency was to play Soleá in a faster tempo and quite rhythmically. It almost resembled the tempo of Soleá por Bulerías however, over time the pace got slower and by the 1980s Solea was played very slowly yet in the same 12-beat rhythmic structure (compás).

Alegrias 2

By: Adam del Monte

New lesson
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IntremediateIntermediate
  • 42 Min
  • 8 Videos
  • Edition 2

Alegrias is a happy and joyful dance, as it is part of the category of Cantes de Boda i.e. wedding songs. The sister forms of Alegrias are Alboréa, Cantiñas and Romeras. They are all in the major mode, either in E major, A major, D major or C major. They all share the same rhythmic structure (compás) of Alegrias, however, the chord progressions of the cante (the singing) differs from one to the other.

Alegrías is one of the most popular forms both for dancers and solo guitarists. Because of its optimistic character (a welcome break from the usual dramatic and serious forms such, as Soleá, Siguiriyas, Tientos etc.) Alegrías is also popular because it has a large variety of mechanisms which highlight the rhythmic, melodic and virtuosic elements of flamenco guitar. It is a very well-balanced form since it includes a well-rounded array of techniques and musical possibilities. Harmonically, since it’s in a major key, it lends itself to a much more open and inclusive influences from jazz and classical.

The first falseta in this lesson is great if you want to learn something with a nice off-beat feel to it. It's mostly in triplets and uses the thumb for the most part, even in the higher register and treble strings. It also follows the traditional harmonic changes of Alegrias. A must have!

The second falseta in this lesson is richer harmonically which will make a perfect addition to your Alegrías repertoire. It also has an impressive picado ending that is bound to get a good ole! out of the crowd! The second remáte after the picado is a powerful yet a traditional ending to an exciting falseta.

Seguiriya 2

By: Adam del Monte

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IntremediateIntermediate
  • 76 Min
  • 9 Videos
  • Edition 1

Tragic and majestic, Seguiriya is arguably the most mysterious and haunting style in flamenco. The cante (singing) of Seguiriyas is dramatic and filled with deep sorrow & tradegy. The dancing is the darkest and perhaps the most powerful of all flamenco styles. Without fully grasping these fundamental phrases you won't be able to enjoy and develop it into the more progressive style in a near future.

This lesson builds on its precursor Seguiriya 1. It breaks down in detail the traditional phrases selected for an intermediate flamenco guitarist while incorporating some new and original falsetas to get your technique to a higher level. In the final video clip maestro del Monte demonstrates one possible way of transforming the falsetas covered in this lesson into a small flamenco guitar composition.

The rhythmic structure or compás of Seguiriya is almost an anomaly within the various compás forms of flamenco 1 2, 1 2, 1 2 3, 1 2 3, 1 2 (where the underlined numbers representing the fundamental accents), is the rhythm and accent structure which possess a trans-like quality. The interpretation of Seguiriya has also, like the Soleá, undergone various transformations. In the 1920s-1960s Seguiriya was played in erratically varying tempos just to be able to accompany the singer. For instance, when listening to the great singer (cantaor) Manolo Caracol, accompanied by the flamenco guitarist Melchor de Marchena, the flexibility of the compás makes it almost impossible to follow since it is treated so loosely. In the 1990s the legendary flamenco guitarist, Pepe Habichuela recorded a revolutionary way and 'feel' of interpreting the Seguiriya. It was very rhythmic and more up-tempo. Here Maestro Habichuela achieves a unique balance between the excitement of the faster pace but manages to preserve the seriousness and drama of the Seguiriya, an element that has eluded most of the guitarists who have tried to copy that way of playing the Seguiriya.

Tangos 2

By: Adam del Monte

New lesson
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IntremediateIntermediate
  • 52 Min
  • 10 Videos
  • Edition 2

This Tangos lesson builds on the skills learned in Tangos 1 but increases the rhythmic complexity and includes more syncopations. There is also the traditional Alzapua phrase That is a must-know for a soloist or an accompanist alike. All the compas phrases and falsetas are Challenging enough to be considered higher intermediate, but are designed to be very playable And easy to execute in any situation whether at a concert or even a party-jam session!

Tarantas Studies

By: Adam del Monte

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IntremediateIntermediate
  • 152 Min
  • 15 Videos
  • Edition 1

Tarantas is among a special category of its own within the flamenco world. It is part of a genre known as Cantes de las minas (Songs of the mines). The sister forms of Tarantas are Minera, Cartagenera and Murciana. These all originate, as their title suggest, in the throat of the mine workers of the south-eastern region of Andalusia, in Murcia and La Union.

This 2.5 hours Tarantas Studies is an in depth course on the fundamental and traditional elements of this style. It has many examples of the typical "flavor phrases" that are so characteristic of this melismatic style. There is a perfect blend of traditional and more progressive falsetas that turn this Tarantas lesson into a complete composition, making this a perfectly playable piece for intermediate and advanced players. It also includes a super cool thumb trick!

This highly melismatic style of cante (singing) is very much imitated by the guitar with a very particular way of using a lot of slurs; hammer-ons and pull-offs. It has a distinct echo-like tonality mimicking the echo in a mine.

The Tarantas are not danced to since they are free of any rhythmic structure (compás) that you find in the styles like Soleá, Alegrías, Bulerías, Tangos, etc. However nowadays, Tarantas can be used as a lyrical introduction to another rhythmic form even when danced, but it is NOT a dance in of itself.

Granainas Studies

By: Adam del Monte

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AdvanceAdvanced
  • 166 Min
  • 26 Videos
  • Edition 1

Granaina is a style very much evocative of the majestic landscape in Granada Spain. It is a form known to belong to the family of cante libre, meaning 'free song'. The free part refers to the fact that it is not a rhythmic flamenco style like Solea, Buleria, or Alegrias.

Granaina is rooted in the style of Fandango, a form that was at the height of its popularity in the 18th and 19th centuries. During this time different regions in the Andalucia created their own adaptation of Fandango, and this is when Granada gave birth to Granaina.

We are excited to introduce you to this Granainas Studies by maestro Adam del Monte. This study will take you on a journey where in the first two phrases you'll grasp the traditional structure and harmony-melody relationship of this flamenco style. The lesson then becomes more challenging technically, yet it breaks down the music as it moves along phrase by phrase. This Granainas is a rather lengthy composition in which the intermediate to advanced flamenco guitar student can learn and eventually perform as a complete piece.

Bulerias Studies 1

By: Adam del Monte

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AdvanceAdvanced
  • 120 Min
  • 20 Videos
  • Edition 2

This Bulerias Studies 1 - 2nd Edition (formerly Bulerias Package) focuses on a large set of intermediate-to-advanced level compas patterns that help cement the building blocks of understanding and executing the magical and hypnotic rhythm of Bulerias. There are many examples and variations to help keep you playing the Bulerias alive and spontaneously. All phrases are broken down and explained including the music score and the music tabs in downloadable PDF format. This series will definitely fire up your Bulerias playing, and will keep you busy for a long time.

Solea por Bulerias

By: Adam del Monte

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AdvanceAdvanced
  • 153 Min
  • 46 Videos
  • Edition 1

Soleá por Bulerías is a form that is right in between Soleá and Bulerías. It's like a fast Soleá but in the key of A Phrygian, like the key of Bulerías.

This new study in Soleá por Bulerías is perfect for intermediate and advance flamenco guitar players as it covers a whole set of basic groove patterns broken down in details. Not only are the first few patterns and falsetas easy enough for intermediates, they are also fun and groovy for advance players. In addition, there are a few challenging patterns and falsetas that will give every player a lot to learn from. This new lesson will provide you with material that can be used as a performance piece.

Classical Guitar

Selected Etudes 1

By: Adam del Monte

New lesson
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Advanced BeginnerAdvanced Beginner
  • 190 Min
  • 30 Videos
  • Edition 1

Without a doubt Mauro Giuliani (1781 –1829) and Matteo Carcassi (1792 – 1853) are two of the most important composers for the classical guitar. They created some of the most brilliant set of etudes (studies) that classical guitarists of all level continue to study and incorporate in their daily routines. In this comprehensive lesson Adam del Monte breaks down a set of five etudes both technically and expressively.

The studies we have selected for this lesson are excellent choices for the advanced-beginner to the lower-intermediate level classical guitarist. You will be focusing on the execution of simple to a more challenging phrases with the proper attention to the tone quality and ease-of-playing. Too often students gloss over this critical stage of their development, and instead they take on the difficult pieces that are beyond their level. Here, we take the opportunity to program a relaxed way of playing using "easier" pieces, while allowing the more skilled players to go back and fix basic tension and bad habits. You will be focusing on arpeggio patterns and exercises, counterpoint voice leading, basic tremolo and the articulation of phrases.

You will be covering the following guitar etudes in this lesson:


  1. Etude No. 1 (Op. 100) - Cadenza Maestoso (Mauro Giuliani)
  2. Allegretto in A Minor by (Mauro Giuliani)
  3. Etude #2 in A minor by (Matteo Carcassi)
  4. Etude #6 by (Matteo Carcassi)
  5. Etude #1 in C Major by (Matteo Carcassi)
  6. Etude #7 in A minor by (Matteo Carcassi)

Lagrima & Adelita

By: Adam del Monte

New lesson
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Advanced BeginnerAdvanced Beginner
  • 85 Min
  • 13 Videos
  • Edition 1

The word Lágrima means tear. Francisco Tarrega wrote this piece between 1889-1909, the exact date never having been catalogued. It is his most played piece and many times given as a beginner piece for people starting to play the guitar. However, as easy as the opening bars are, there are some quite challenging passages which involve bar chords and half bar chords that are not easily executed.

There are two stories that are said to have inspired the writing of Lágrima. The first: It is said to have been written while Tárrega was touring in London, and that the English fog and overall lousy weather were at the root of it. The second: It was written as an homage to his daughter’s passing. Either way, the melancholic and delicate characters of this piece is ideal for learning the fundamentals of romantic phrasing and rubato on the classical guitar. You will learn about tone production, sustaining the notes in a lyrical way and the right vibrato. If you are an advanced-beginner to an intermediate level guitarist, this is an ideal piece for you to have under your belt especially for entertaining friends at a party as well as a great encore in a concert.

Adelita and Lagrima have always made a perfect pair. They fall in a unique category of their own in the sense that they are both "simple" miniature pieces but are by no means on a beginner level. Adelita is slightly more challenging than Lagrima due to its tricky B section where we have some tough bar chords and stretches for the left hand.

A very poetic and romantic piece in nature, titled as a Mazurka, a Polish dance in origin, usually quite up-beat, is somewhat sending a mixed message by having the tempo marking set at Lento. Some believe playing it too slowly gives it a completely different meaning and feel, taking it away from the natural character of the Mazurka. This is also an ideal piece to learn about romantic phrasing and rubato. The guitar repertoire is hard pressed to find pieces that pay their respects to the great composers that did not write for the guitar such as Frederick Chopin, Piotr Illich Tchaikovsky and Franz Schubert. We can hear the echoes of these giants in Adelita but in an intimate setting transmitted with the natural poetry of the guitar.

In this lesson you will learn about phrasing, tone production and interpretation in the romantic style. Since the realm of interpretation is not a science, but an art form, this lesson will set you on the path of looking and thinking about romantic music in a way that will allow you to explore your own ideas, after having grasped the main principles. There are some challenging hammer-ons and pull-offs for an advanced-beginner level player that require diligent and patient practice, but they will pay off in the way of advancing your technique.

Rasgueado Technique

By: Adam del Monte

Granainas_Studies.jpg
Advanced BeginnerAdvanced Beginner
  • 87 Min
  • 10 Videos
  • Edition 2

This 2nd edition, 85 minutes of intense video, is the lesson you’ve been waiting for! It includes 5 different types of rasgueados plus a bonus; a modern rumba pattern and how to do alzapua, that crazy wild thing we do only with the thumb that sounds like thunder. These are the ultimate tools and techniques you need to play and sound flamenco. Broken down like never before, this will catapult your rasgueado technique to where it needs to be to play the hottest falsetas.

Rasgueados has always been a part of the Spanish Guitar tradition. It is very unfortunate that it is not used nearly enough in the classical guitar literature, and when it is, most classical guitarists don’t have much of a foundation in that technique. To quote maestro Pepe Romero: “where does it say in the Sevillanas by Juaquin Turina that you must play rasguedos that suck…”

A fair amount of classical guitar repertoire requires a properly executed rasguedo, yet the actual teaching of it and codifying into a detailed method and process is often lacking. This video is as much for a flamenco player as it is for a classical guitarist who wish to once and for all crack the mystery of these elusive techniques. Here you will learn techniques that are not taught in colleges and universities (with the exception of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, where maestro del Monte teaches :-D ).

Tremolo Technique

By: Adam del Monte

New lesson
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IntremediateIntermediate
  • 93 Min
  • 16 Videos
  • Edition 1

The technique of tremolo whether a 3-note or a 4-note, is one of the hallmarks of a professional guitarist. Considered an advanced skill, it is a technique that demonstrates refinement, control and lyricism in one’s playing.

The classical tremolo is a 3-note tremolo i.e. p,a,m,i (not including the thumb) and is found in some of the most iconic and memorable pieces such as Recuerdos de la Alhambra by Francisco Tárrega, Una Limosna para el Amor de Dios and Sueño en la Floresta by Austin Barrios.

The flamenco tremolo is a 4-note tremolo (not including the thumb), i.e. p,i,a,m,i the extra note in the flamenco tremolo makes for a slower moving melody line and allows for a more rubato phrasing. Typically used in the slow and free forms of Taranta, Granaina, Minera, but also in a slower rhythmic form such as a Soleá.

In this lesson, you will learn how to play both the classical tremolo and the flamenco tremolo, where you will get very specific techniques and methods of how to develop your fluidity, accuracy, control and tone quality whilst playing a tremolo piece. If you’ve never done tremolo before, or have limited experience with this technique and have struggled with it for some time, this lesson is recommended before you get the lesson on Recuerdos de la Alhambra.

Capricho Arabe

By: Adam del Monte

New lesson
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IntremediateIntermediate
  • 81 Min
  • 12 Videos
  • Edition 1

Capricho Arabe is yet another iconic piece by Francisco Tarrega (1852 – 1909) that has captured the imagination of guitarists and audiences alike. A unique haunting melody full of poetic yet subtle drama inspired by the Moorish influence on the Spanish culture, it is drenched in a fair amount of European romanticism. A humble yet sublime melody caresses our ears after a rather dramatic and attention-capturing beginning. The first melody, being in D minor, is charged with melancholy and sadness that tugs at the heart. The second theme, which modulates to F major, and the third theme in D major, gives us but a brief respite and a momentary sense of optimism, climaxing into the inevitable pain of the first theme in D minor, challenging the performer to tell the same story one more time but from a different space in your heart.

This expressive formula follows the lines of the Romantic era, even though this piece was written towards the end of it. We can clearly hear the influences of the great romantic composers, especially Frederic Chopin, whispering in Tárrega’s ear, but in miniature and idiomatically adapted to the intimacy of the classical guitar.

It takes a certain maturity to play this piece with the required innocence and purity. In this lesson you will learn a lot about phrasing, rubato, articulation, expressivity and control. All the difficult passages will be broken down and explained in detail. Also, from a technical standpoint you will benefit from learning to play a melody with a rich and full sound whilst holding a solid yet melodic baseline.

Recuerdos de la Alhambra

By: Adam del Monte

New lesson
Recuerdos-de-la-Alhambra-0212_00_06_40_21-Small.jpg
IntremediateIntermediate
  • 75 Min
  • 12 Videos
  • Edition 1

Recuerdos de la Alhambra is without a doubt the most famous and popular tremolo piece ever written. The evocative magic by this haunting melodic line with the subtle yet eloquent baseline has become a classic amongst guitarists of all levels as well as aficionados of the instrument and the public at large.

The technique of tremolo is a succession of three notes (3-hit for the classical guitar and 4-hit for the flamenco guitar) played repeatedly on the same string preceded by a base note, thus creating the illusion of a sustained melody on the guitar. This is one of the more advanced skills and a great challenge for any guitarist. In recent years, Recuerdos de la Alhambra has often become a favorite encore piece due to its easily digestible melody and the romantic mood. The Granada composer and icon, Manuel de Falla once said that the only example one needed to understand and feel the beauty of the guitar would be to listen to Recuerdos de la Alhambra.

According to historical documents, Francisco Tarrega (1852 – 1909) was on a tour with his student Doña Concha Gómez de Jacoby, a wealthy aristocrat who inherited her fortunes and became an avid fan and a follower of Tárrega. It is said that at their visit to the Alhambra Palace in Granada, as the evening fell, he got the initial inspiration for the melody which he then later completed. In the original unpublished version of this tremolo piece that he dedicated to Doña Concha, Tarrega wrote “Since I can’t offer you a gift of greater value on the day of your saint, accept this, my poor little poetic note and impression of what my soul felt before the great marvel of the Alhambra we admired together in Granada”.

In this lesson you get an in-depth explanation of the interpretation and the phrases as well as the analysis of the dynamics. You are also given the keys and the solutions on how to get the difficult phrases to flow comfortably. If you are new to tremolo or you are not confident about your technique, we encourage you to sign up for Tremolo Technique first where you get an in depth study and a step-by-step set of instructions and exercises on both classical and flamenco tremolo techniques.