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Brazilian guitar techniques


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#1 Eugenio

Eugenio

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Postado 19 maio 2015 - 02:28

I thought it'd be interesting for non Portuguese speakers to understand what's been discussed in one of our topics.

The subject is a number of techniques that Brazilian guitarists use that diverge from the standard classical guitar.

Those techniques help create a signature sound for the Brazilian guitar, so it's interesting to understand how they work.

Some of those techniques were born in Brazil, while others were borrowed and/or changed from other musical styles, such as Flamenco.

 

Brazilian Rasgueado

Despite the name "rasgueado", it's not the same as it is used by Spanish guitarists. The Brazilian rasgueado typically uses i-m to strum the strings upwards, and more than one string at a time. It resembles the i-m-a motion when producing chords, but it allows for much higher speeds and it sounds different.

 

Baden Powell was a master of that technique. Notice that in his rendition of the One Note Samba, he uses the technique extensively after 0:45

 

 

And here's a quick tutorial as to how the technique works:

 



#2 Eugenio

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Postado 21 maio 2015 - 10:55

p-i as a pedal

This is a techique commonly used to create a "pedal" or a sense of a continuous rhythmic pulse. Garoto is considered a pioneer in the concept, even though he did not use p-i (we'll see that in the next section when we show "alzapúa".

 

Ulisses Rocha wrote an arrangement for Gismonti's "Infância" that makes extensive use of p-i

 

 

Below is just a short, amateurish tutorial depicting the technique and how it's used in Rabello's rendition of Garoto's Lamentos do Morro.

 

 

Lamentos-Morro-Intro.JPG

 



#3 Eugenio

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Postado 26 maio 2015 - 03:43

Damping, clicks

This is a common trait and way to phrase music with a staccato flavor that is shared across several popular styles, so it does not belong exclusively to the Brazilian guitar. It's also part of Jazz and Flamenco, for example. In the case of Brazilian guitar, what most foreigners find hard to understand is that the effect can be obtained with either right or left hands, and Brazilian guitarists can choose one or the other depending on the context. If a musician focus too much on damping the strings with the right hand, for example, it'll sound strange to people accustomed to Brazilian styles.

 

In the excerpt below, Marcello Gonçalves uses only the left hand to dampen the strings.

 

 

However, what we showed above is just an excerpt of the arrangement. If you listen to the arrangement in its entirety, you'll notice that he also uses the right hand, especially for the introduction.

 



#4 Eugenio

Eugenio

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Postado 26 maio 2015 - 03:46

And here's an interesting tutorial that shows how João Bosco uses damping and clicks with both right and left hands to create the introduction of his song "Linha de Passe".