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Tangos starter. . .

Tangos is often a much easier flamenco palo for American beginning students get a grip on. To start with, tangos has a basic pattern of four beats, making it super-familiar for those of us who grew up with American pop & rock (and folk, country, etc.).

Basic tangos (or tango) accents look something like this:

(1) 2 3 4

where the 1 is silent or very subdued, and the accents are on the 2-3-4. The basic compás here is two groups of four, typically expressed a cuadrado (square, or complete) as a phrase of 16 counts (two compás):

(1) 2 3 4 - (1) 2 3 4 - (1) 2 3 4 - (1) 2 3 4

As with all things flamenco, that's not the end of it. This form (which probably evolved from and/or was influenced by several musical sources from the Americas, especially AfroCuban music), while ostensibly arising as a flamenco palo in Cádiz, travelled and found different expression everywhere it went, creating the different ways of accenting (and different letras) from Triana, Jerez or Malaga.

There are many ways to approach the accenting, but for now . . . one of the typical (yes, I'll use that word often) ways to do palmas por tangos is:

(1) 2- 3 4

with the hands striking on "two-and-three, four"

Tangos, besides being its own palo, also usually ends a tientos, so in solo compás recordings the palos are often combined.

A few streaming examples of solo compás recordings for tangos:

Solo Compás Tangos y Rumbas II (Vol. 1):

Solo Compás Tangos Tanguillos y Rumbas:

Solo Compás Garrotin y Tangos de Malaga:

And, as playlists on YouTube:

And are available to purchase from online retailers like Amazon:

Also, you can again check out the website Flamencopolis for more (I'll be offering a more comprehensive list of websites soon!). Use page translate services as needed, or just plunge into the music and video links.


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