Compás con la Guitarra

You can start with muted strings or an A chord of your choosing. I’d recommend A or Ab9. Downstrokes only.

Adding the Bb chord.

Still all downstrokes with the index finger.

Now, let’s add upstrokes with the index.

Next, we remove the index downstrokes except for the accented beats. This creates that driving, syncopated feel unique to bulerías.

C7 on beat 6 is a common variation to the previous example.

HERE are some embellished endings for the above variation.

HERE are some common beginnings for any compás rhythm.

HERE are some simple options for the middle.

HERE are a few examples of returning to A on beat 6. The first two examples are particularly useful to transition into a falseta with pickup notes, also called an anacrusis, before beat 12.

HERE are some basic endings for any compás rhythm. It is common to highlight beat 11 before starting a falseta or compas on 1 (starting on 1 meaning no note is played on beat 12).

You’re probably beginning to see that you can basically copy and paste different parts to your liking. Still, a good recommendation is to learn your favorite players’ bulería compasses in their full 12 beats with attention to what they’re playing before and after and seeing how they connect. Over time, you’ll have ingrained enough variations that it will feel natural to improvise different combinations.

*You will notice that the beats are positioned differently in my transcriptions. Normally, as in the transcriptions, beat 1 begins its bar. Of course this means that beat 12, the start of most falsetas and compás, is in the preceding bar. The intention is not to confuse. I arranged it differently here to better illustrate the different sections of the compás.