Cuatro Rhythm and Strumming Lessons

Level 3: Learn the Vals Tonada, your very first rhythm with the instrument.

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Music would not be music without rhythm, and we will introduce you to a world of rhythms from different parts of the world all of which you can apply to the Cuatro. Since the Cuatro is predominantly played in the Caribbean, many of them will be relating to what is played in the area. So when studying Cuatro Rhythm and Strumming we will necessarily have to touch the subject of genres in many different countries.

For the time being, we will choose one of the most representative rhythms for the Cuatro. The Vals Tonada. (Waltz). This rhythm has it all! When studying it, you will notice that there will be a mix of everything with a lot of swings and a lot of feels….so enjoy the trip and the many different parts of this course, and all in good time.

Before we start with the rhythm

We will start off by exploring an introduction to your first minor chord combination and to the scales. Within this area, we will demonstrate the Major and Minor scales making use of D Major and B Minor as examples, the reason for which is D Major is a relative of B Minor. Both scales will be reviewed followed by the B Minor chord. This will all culminate in the first strumming techniques along with your first rhythm being Vals Tonada.

Vals Tonada. The first Cuatro Rhythm and Strumming

Vals Tonada is a rather enjoyable rhythm, simple to learn and easy to apply chords to. It is an ideal rhythm to start off with as there are no complicated strumming techniques necessary. We have chosen this as the first rhythm as it will be easy for you to learn and you will be able to do some jamming with it, even with the number of chords we have introduced at this point. Later on, this will become a bit tougher when we are to introduce the frenado strums but again all in good time.

If you already know a bit of chord and scales and would like to skip the chords and scales, and go directly to the Vals Tonada rhythm, feel free to do so.