Bulerías starter . . .
Updated: Dec 30, 2019
Bulerías was my first real challenge in flamenco, both because I started with it, and also because it's a 12-count (starting on 12 . . .), which is often a very unusual beat pattern for people to wrap their heads around if they've never been exposed to it.
Each basic compás is twelve beats, typically with five accents. Why "typically"? Well, like all flamenco palos, or forms, there is a variation for every family, neighborhood and town.
The standard version is:
12 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 or 12 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
In Jerez, the probable birthplace of bulerías, these might be mixed with an emphasis on groupings of six beats, with lots of sly accenting. From there, further variations in Utrera, Lebrija, Malaga, etc.
The best way to understand, as with all flamenco, is to listen. Thankfully, online services like Spotify have many "Solo Compás" recordings available, albums that focus on and break down an individual compás for study, often offering a standard version with and without footwork, with and without canté (singing), palmas (clapping), etc., as well as stylistic variations from different locations.
Two great examples of this for streaming:
These can also be found as playlists on YouTube:
And are available to purchase from online retailers like Amazon:
Also, check out the website Flamencopolis for more. Use page translate services if you need to, or just plunge into the music and video links.