Palm mute strum or Frenado for the Cuatro

Level 4: Learn the difficult art of "Frenados". A technique that only exist for the cuatro.
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Within this course we will review a several more complex strumming technique for the Cuatro, the Palm mute strum, known in south america as “Frenado”. It is of utmost importance that this section is reviewed carefully as it is a part where students are introduced to some of the complexities of maintaining rhythms and making use of the ascending and descending frenado. After all, this is a hallmark as far as the strumming goes for the Cuatro and it is something which students must be patient with. So don’t worry, it will become second nature.

Palm mute strum technique (Frenados)

  • Strumming Master Class
    • Descending “Frenado”
    • Ascending “Frenado”
    • Ascending “Frenado” (Up Close)
    • Floreo Strum
    • Frenados Practice
    • Introducing Double Frenado
  • G Major
    • G Major 1st Position
    • G Major Scale
    • G Major Progressions
  • E minor
    • E minor 1st Position
    • E minor Scale
    • E minor Progressions
    • Song: Burrito Sabanero
  • Applying Frenados
    • Frenados Practice 4/4
    • The Saca Chicha
    • Aguinaldo Rhythm
    • Venezuelan Merengue Rhythm

A Re-enforced Fingerboard

Wondering why the Cuatro has a re-enforced fingerboard? The answer is the intensity of the strumming as  without this part, it can become subject to wear and tear. It is for this reason that the fingerboard has a layer of a different kind of wood giving a characteristic look to the Cuatro. In consequence, if you scratch it…..not to worry…..you are supposed to!

Palm mute strum and Traditional Rhythms

The course finishes off with the rhythms of Aguinaldo and it’s close cousin the Merengue. Above all, these will serve as the first rhythm where you will need to apply your newly acquired strumming technique, the Palm mute strum. Once you master these then you will be ready to take the next step and play slightly more complicated rhythms, but more of that to come later.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Make sure you continue to practice as whoever said that practice makes perfect was not joking. For instance, through experience we find that the students who are dedicating at least 30 minutes of their days to practicing are those who see results the quickest. However, students that don’t practice that often, are usualy stuck and have problems improving their technique.  So do keep it up! More importantly…..enjoy jamming on your instrument!

Let’s start now with the Strumming Masterclass!