Rasgueados

Disclaimer

Unlike other forms of music, I am still very much a student of flamenco. If you want first-hand knowledge of flamenco, you should find a good teacher. Also, you should be careful with your hands. Playing flamenco is a lot of work and you shoould warm up slowly, stretch, take breaks, practice slowly and be patient.

Practice slowly

When you are first learning this stuff you need to practice very slowly. I would suggest setting the metronome on 60 and do one finger movement per beat. This is very slow, but if you want to learn it, it is highly suggested that you practice in this manner at first. It is important to focus on correct technique at first. Remember to stay relaxed. Slowly increase the metronome speed.

When you are starting out learning flamenco, you should get a teacher or be born in a family that knows flamenco. Learning online is not a good way to learn but it’s a start if you are curious.

Relax

If you want to be able to play flamenco, your hands need to be relaxed, or else you’ll never be able to play and you’ll hurt your hands. If these exercises are too difficult or your hands bother you, either do them slower, more gently and more relaxed, or

Notation

Right hand fingers

p = thumb

i = index finger

m = middle finger

a = ring finger

x = pinky

General technique

When you are practicing rasgueados, you should plant you right hand thumb on the last string. With your left hand, muffle the strings so that when you do the rasgueado, an even, percussive effect will be created. This will allow you to focus on your right hand.

Downstroke(s)

Rasgueados don’t always start on a downstroke, but if they start on the beat, they usually do. This is how most people learn to do rasgueados, too.

  1. Make a gentle ‘fist’ (it’s more like making the shape of an ‘O’) with your right hand
  2. Play each note. The index finger always plays last.

Upstroke

This is always the index finger that plays the strings. At the end of the upstroke, all the right hand fingers should almost be back to where they were before the first downstroke.

One finger rasgueado

Description

This isn’t really a rasgueado but all the rasgueados are built on the index finger motion. Notice how all the other fingers stay relaxed.

Diagram

Pictures

Two finger rasgueado

Description

Just like the one finger but add the middle finger or the ring finger. People usually like one or the other.

Diagram

Pictures

Three finger rasgueado

Diagram

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Four finger rasgueado

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Pictures

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