elementary: starting with rasgueados and thumb

The “palo” is called “tangos”.

In this lesson we will look at basic rasgueados and some thumb techniques. You can find some exercises and advice for rasgueados here and for thumb work here.

You will see that there are two mp3 recordings. One features guitar and the other is palms and cajón. When you practise, always play to a metronome or a rhythm track to help you develop a feel for the compás.

Here is the tablature:

page one

page two

You will notice that the tablature is divided into four sections: A, B, C and D.

Section A

This section is repeated. The first time there is no ‘golpe’ on the sound board, and the second time there is. The aim here is to practise both using and not using the percussive ‘golpe’.

Every rasgueado in this section is played using ‘i’ only (index finger). Don’t be fooled into thinking that this is too easy to practise. Later on, this extension practice will serve you well for other techniques and palos.

Section B

Here, the first beat of every measure is still silence. The third beat features a new rasgueado: the three (or four) finger rasgueado. I prefer the three finger rasgueado that is played using only the a-m-i fingers. The four finger rasgueado uses the little finger as well.

Section C
In this section, there are variations to the previous section with a more developed rasgueado technique and a little ‘cierre’ or close at the end.

Section D

Here, simple thumb technique is introduced which alternates with the single finger rasgueados. See the above link to find some exercises and advice on thumb work.

The last but one measure features a thumb up and down stroke, played in triplets. This is known as ‘alzapúa’.
. See the thumb link for more help on playing this technique.

Happy practising and I shall be back in two week2s time for another instalment.

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