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How does Camaron do this?

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Great forum, guys!


Singing starts around 25 sec. The clip is of flamenco singer Camaron (RIP) with guitarist Paco de Lucia (guitarists, please focus your attention on the singing for just a moment!). Camaron's voice always sounds so strong, ragged, and "chesty". Is he getting this sound through the normal array of techniques often talked of here (quack, vowel modification, lowered larynx, pursed/smiling lips, etc), or some other, exotic tech? He is also famously raspy, but they talk that way there in Andalucia :)

By the way, some people _really_hate flamenco singing, so... just warning you! :)


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I would say that yeh, it sounds like the normal array of vocal techniques. Sounds like he has a wide vibrato which adds to his style. The other thing noticeable is the rolled r's and lots of Melissa's, he doesn't stay on the same note for very long.

some music theory that probably adds to the style ... The melody sounds like it's based around a phrygian modal scale which gives it a spanish sound. Basically instead of basing the melody around a major scale, say C major (CDEFGABC) the notes are altered. To make it a phrygian scale the 2nd,3rd, 6th and 7th are all flattened so the notes used would be C Db Eb F G Ab Bb C, Playing a combination of these notes over a C major chord would sound very spanishy! My point is, when he's singing, he makes use of the natural semitones (halfsteps) in this scale (C to Db and A to Gb). In my opinion, choice of notes (whether consciously of subconsciously) are all part of a good vocal technique.

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thanks for taking a listen. May I ask what a "melissa" is? I can only find references to Melissa Cross in any search I undertake.

Good catch on the Phrygian mode, this song form, called tangos (not Argentinian), is usually based on oscillating between the normal 1st position guitar chord and the Bb chord right above it (although usually capoed up at least a couple semitones). The rolled r's would be typical of Spanish. The highly ornamented style is characteristic of flamenco and probably related to Arabic or Sephardic influence. Camaron is one of the most influential singers in the history of flamenco.

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