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tipos de palmas flamencas

Maybe you’ve ever been to see a flamenco show and noticed how the performers clap their hands on stage. You may have noticed how difficult it can be to keep up with them, because their execution is just as complex as it seems.


What are flamenco palmas?

Flamenco clapping is a percussion accompaniment that sets the rhythm for both flamenco singing and dancing. The clapping sound is emitted by tapping the fingers of one hand on the palm of the other hand, thus making both palms sound. The palmas can be played in time or against time, but it is important not to play them out of time, because that can break the rhythm and confuse the dancer.

Good hand clapping can perfectly replace an accompaniment with musical instrumentation. In fact, a good palmero is able to maintain a tempo and accentuate the clapping at the beginning or end of phrases, accompanying the dance and the guitar.


Types of flamenco clapping

There are two types of palmas flamencas, the palmas simples and the redoblás. Depending on the sound you are looking for or the time signature you are playing, one or the other is used.

The difference between the palms is in the placement of the hands, since the sound they emit when they are struck changes a lot depending on their placement.


Simple palms

The simple palms can be divided into deaf or sound palms:

    • The sound of the simple palmas sordas is obtained by cupping the palms of both hands when striking them together, and they help the cantaor to mark the rhythm. Hollowing out the palms does not drown out the cantaor’s voice or the sound of the guitar.
    • The palmas simples sonoras (also called secas, fuertes or agudas), accompany any cante and are often used to accompany falsetes with the guitar. Sound clapping is used when we want to be heard with intensity.


The redoubled palms

The palmas redoblás or encontrás are in counterpoint with the palmas that carry the son, the simples. This type of clapping requires a more advanced technique, because it is a faster and more continuous movement. They are used to accompany moments or shows of greater intensity in music.


Characteristics of flamenco palms

The clapping is usually accompanied with the sole of the foot, something that is usually done by the artists.

The most difficult thing about clapping is to be able to stay for minutes and minutes playing the same measure without going out of tempo and keeping the clapping always the same.

The palmeros are specialists in this technique and practice many hours to get the most out of this art.

It is very important to count the beats when clapping, to do it correctly, it is essential to pay attention to the rhythm of each flamenco palo.


How to learn to play flamenco hand clapping

As you have seen, playing palmas is an art that requires a lot of knowledge, but above all a lot of practice. Not everyone can do it, it is important to have a good sense of rhythm and a great capacity to adapt to improvised changes that may arise during the course of a show. That is why it is essential to be very familiar with flamenco.

Now that you know how to distinguish the different types of flamenco clapping, you will have to test yourself in a flamenco environment. There is no better way to observe and learn more about flamenco clapping than as a spectator at a flamenco show. Come and see how our artists play the palmas in a complete flamenco show at Alegría Flamenco & Gastronomy. In addition, you will have the opportunity to taste the gastronomy of Malaga while enjoying the show.

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