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Rodrigo Y Gabriela

Ever heard of Rodrigo Y Gabriela? It's more than likely that only a few of you have. If
you're one of those few, give yourself a pat on the back and grab your acoustic. If not, go
look them up and listen to their music, it's amazing. This duo uses a mix of flamenco and
rock-styled music along with some world influences and great guitar percussion to make
their music. Here's a quick little exercise to get started with. For some of you, it will be
fairly easy, but for others, it'll take some time to develop. This is just a little jam in C
Major/A minor that you can do some nice solo work over. Tuning is Standard.
O X O X O X O X
|---5-5---5---3-3---3-|---1-1---1---0-0---0----|
|---5-5---5---3-3---3-|---1-1---1---0-0---0----|
|---5-5---5---4-4---4-|---2-2---2---0-0---0----|
|---7-7---7---5-5---5-|---3-3---3---2-2---2----|
|---7-7---7---5-5---5-|---3-3---3---2-2---2----|
|---5-5---5---3-3---3-|---1-1---1---0-0---0----|
Notice the O's and X's. The O's symbalize a bass percussion sound, while the X's
represent a sound like that of a snare. The best way to make these sounds, in my
opinion, is: for the bass sound, make a fist with your hand and use the bottom of your
fist to hit (softly) your guitar with. I find that just under the saddle words best for this
sound. For the snare sound, I just slap the guitar around the area of the pickguard (or
where the pickguard would be if yours doesn't have one). Just make sure that when you
use the guitar for percussive sounds like this that you don't strike it too hard. You'll just
damage your guitar that way. For soloing over this progression, here's some scales that
sound nice over it:
A minor (natural or harmonic)
B Locrian
C Major
D Dorian
E Phrygian
F Bebop Major (1,2,3,4,5,#5,6,7)
G Bebop Major (same formula as F Bebop)
You can also use F Lydian and G Mixolydian, but the Bepop scales sound a bit more fitting
to me. If you don't know about scales, visit this site. Here's a lick Foc, one of my
favorites by them. To make it easier, I've broken it into segments: Segment A
|-----7--------------------5---------|
|---8---10---8---7------5----8-7-5---|
|-9------------------5-(5)-----------|
|------------------------------------|
|------------------------------------|
|------------------------------------|
Segment B
|-----7-------------------------------|
|---7---10---8---7----------7-8-10----|
|-8---------------------7-9--------8--|
|--------------------10---------------|
|-------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------|
Segment C
|--------------------------7--------|
|----------7-8-7-------7-8---10-8-7-|
|------8-9-------9-8-9--------------|
|-9-10------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------|
Segment D
|-8-7------------------------------------|---------|
|-----10-8-7-(7)-----7h8p7---------------|---------|
|-------------9--8-9-------9-8-----------|---------|
|------------------------------10-9------|---------|
|-----------------------------------10-9-|-7-------|
|----------------------------------------|---------|
The order of the segments in the song is this:
A B A C A B A D
That's the main theme of the song. After this section is a solo:
|---------------------------------5-|-5s7-----------------------7--|
|---------------------4-5-7-5-7-8---|-------------------------8----|
|-------4h5p4---4-5-7---------------|-----------------------9------|
|---5-7-------7---------------------|------------------------------|
|-7---------------------------------|------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------|------------------------------|

|-8-7h8p7-------------------------7-|-10-8---7h8p7----7---------7-7-7-|
|---------10-10s12-10-----------7---|--------------10-----------------|
|-----------------------------8-----|---------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------|---------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------|---------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------|---------------------------------|

|-----------------------------------|-----------------------------------|
|-------5-7-8-7-5h7p5-4-5h7-7p5-5p4-|-4---------------------------------|
|---5-7-----------------------------|---5-5p4-4---4-5-4h5p4-------------|
|-7---------------------------------|-----------7-----------------------|
|-----------------------------------|-----------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------|-----------------------------------|

|----------------------------------------------------|
|-----------------------------4-5-7--5---7-7--8--7-8-|
|------------4-5---7--5-7-7--------------------------|
|-4-5-7----7-----------------------------------------|
|----------------------------------------------------|
|----------------------------------------------------|

|----------------------------7-7-7--|
|-10-8-7-------7h8p7----------------|
|--------9-8-9----------------------|
|-----------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------|
|-----------------------------------|

|-
7h8p7---------------------------------|-----------------------------------|
|-------10-10---8-8-8-8s10--7-7---5-5-5-|-7-5-4-5-7-5-
4---------------------|
|---------------------------------------|---------------5-
4h5p4-------------|
|---------------------------------------|----------------------------------
-|
|---------------------------------------|----------------------------------
-|
|---------------------------------------|----------------------------------
-|

|-------14-12-11h12p11-------------------------------|
|----13----------------13-12-11-12-13-12-11----------|
|-11----------------------------------------12-11-10-|
|----------------------------------------------------|
|----------------------------------------------------|
|----------------------------------------------------|
|------------------------------------------|
|------------------------------------------|
|-11-12-11-10------------------------------|
|-------------10-9-8-9-10-9-8--------------|
|-----------------------------10-9-8-9-10--|
|------------------------------------------|

|-------------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------|
|-----------------8-9-11-9-8h9p==8----------|
|----------7-9-10---------------------------|
|-(10)--------------------------------------|
|-------------------------------------------|

|--------------------------------------------------------7---------||
|--------------4---5---7----5-7-7-7----8---10----8-10-10-----------||
|-4-5-7----7-------------------------------------------------------||
|------------------------------------------------------------------||
|------------------------------------------------------------------||
|------------------------------------------------------------------||
And that's the end of the first solo. If you've never heard "Foc", go download it or buy
one of their CDs. Or you can look up this powertab here. Another technique that Rodrigo
Y Gabriela uses is pure percussive guitar. Listen to the beginning of "Satori" and you'll
hear this. Keep in mind that if you're not a drummer (I am, so a lot of this came easily to
me), a lot of the percussive stuff will take a while to develop. Our lead guitarist is one of
the best guitarists I've ever heard, and he has a very hard time with the rythms that
Gabriela plays. If you want to learn to use this kind of technique and you're not a
drummer, go to vicfirth.com and go to the student section under "Education". Look up the
rudiments Flam and Flam Accent. Other than that, get used to using note patterns of 3's
and 6's. Also, if you have the time, look up the powertab for "Tamacun". It's got some
good solos in it, and it'll keep you busy for at least a few hours (if not a few weeks).
Unfortunately, that's the end of this quick lesson. If I get a good response, I'll do some
more on flamenco/Latin guitar. Personally, learning these styles are a good way to
improve your playing drastically (so is metal, but a lot of people aren't that fond of it).
Hope you enjoyed this and I certainly hope that it helps your playing. Til next time.
Picado exercises pdf: