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The Compás Clock


12 beat compás?

The typical accents that are indicated on this page are the "home base" compás patterns that dictate the unique rhythmic structure of these song forms. My focus here is on rhythmic structures that have a cycle of 12 beats. Keep in mind that by definition a 2 beat (Tarantos), 4 beat (Farruca), 6 beat (Sevillanas) or 8 beat (Tangos) rhythmic structure is also referred to as compás. One of the best ways to learn the 12 beat compás is to visualise a clock face.


The compás clock metronome

Flamenco Metronome Compás 3.0
from Gerhard Graf-Martinez


Although there are other flamenco metronomes on the market, this is the only product I know of which uses a clock face to count compás beats.

Flamenco and the Compás - Gerhard Graf-Martinez



It should be noted that using the 12 positions of a clock face to indicate the typical accents of 12 beat forms is NOT a universally accepted concept. Be aware that there are flamenco snobs who will laugh at the idea as being overly simplistic. However, I believe this method of visualising compás can be enlightening for beginners and helps to clear much of the fog surrounding flamenco rhythms. The point is that you should eventually aim to internalise the compás and "feel" the rhythm without reference to visual aids.




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Flamenco guitar method 1902