ANSWER TO QUESTION 1
When you play “Rasgueos” or any other techniques, it’s better to play them just for the prescribed amount of time specifically given by your teacher according to your level. If you over play them, it certainly will not be beneficial for your hands. One has to gradually reach the stage of practicing for a longer time and harnessing your practice time. For example, you can practice the 6 basic Rasgueos at the beginners level as in the following video:
Just practice for 2 minutes each Rasgueo a day. You will make a total of 12 minutes a day practicing all the Rasgueos. That’s enough time for them to work. Rasgueos are not to be practiced for one hour daily. After you learn them in a raw manner, then the next step is to learn about targeting specific sections of strings with them. In the following two videos series you can get an idea about that:
In conclusion, the process is to learn and master the Rasgueos themselves and, after that, the way to use them while playing.
As strange that it may appear, some injuries may also be related to playing on the wrong height chair. Please watch this video concerning that:
If you want to do some warm up then do 5 minutes of the following exercises indicated herein:
ANSWER TO QUESTION 2
This is an interesting question.
Talking in a general sense we can say that flamenco guitar technique differs from the classical guitar technique mainly regarding the right hand work, namely:
1) Thumb work “Alzapua”
2) The “Rasgueos” as well as the “golpes” or percussive techniques
In fact, the left hand for flamenco guitar is exactly the same as in classical guitar, except for the “Parado de Mano Izquierda ” Technique (“Mutting with the Left Hand” Technique) which is not used any more nowadays. In the following video you can learn about “Parado” with right and left hands (left hand “Parado” is exemplified from minute 10:25 on):
As far as “ligados” (pull off & hammer on) and all other techniques are concerned, they are exactly the same as in classical guitar hence there is not such a thing as playing a chord with a particular flamenco left hand technique.
ANSWER TO QUESTION No. 3
There is no need to read music to learn contemporary flamenco guitar.
In fact, in my opinion, it’s true that tabs are more practical than traditional notation but we have to remember that the tabs will not make us play flamenco on their own. Unless we know the flamenco code and the “Compás” along with specific techniques beforehand, no written system will help you in anyway.
About this subject please watch the following two videos
Tab for this explanation is located at:
Regarding music theory and harmony, my advice is that you learn only what you will actually need and really use as opposed to leaning things that you will never use.
In my lessons, the basic subjects are:
Then there are the other 3 optional subjects in case the student is attracted to that and those are:
I recommend you to explore your potential on the three basic subjects and, afterwards, you will see if you would like to learn more.
Guitar learning is an adventure and if you are on it wholeheartedly what you like the most will become evident in due time. Some of my students are focused on acquiring the knowledge to be composers while others prefer to play in bands, yet, others will become teachers and so on. Therefore -as I said before- the path itself will reveal its way if you go through it with passion and joy.