Song – Standard Am

The following song is a standard for Cavaco, it is played at the Am key and consist of only 5 chords, thus making it easy for you to get familiar with the strumming and pressing of the chords altogether: This song consist of the following chord progression: Dm / E7 / Am / Am Dm […]

Muting Strings – Cavaquinho Technique

The muting of the strings is an advance technique that allows you to play with percussive elements meanwhile you play a song. Let’s practice a few patterns with this technique so you can learn how to implement it. Now let’s apply this technique to the chords pattern Am – Dm – E7. You will notice […]

Basic Rhythm Pattern for Cavaquinho

Until now we’ve only practiced the downward and upward strumming, but to be able to play a proper basic rhythm for the Cavaquinho and further songs, we’ll need to create a proper rhythm structure and learn how to correctly place these strums. Let’s learn a basic rhythm pattern for Cavaco. This pattern will be easy […]

Cavaquinho basic progressions in C and Am

In this lesson, you will learn how to do the Cavaquinho progressions for 1-4-5 in C Major and A minor using the same strumming patterns that we’ve learned in the previous lesson. Take your time to get familiar with the chords we’re going to use. Place your fingers and let them rest at the fingerboard […]

Cavaquinho Speed Exercises

Double the speed EXERCISE #5 The following exercise will help you get faster with the Cavaco strumming, try following the pattern downwards/upwards but double the frequency every 8 measures. Double the speed EXERCISE #6 Now let’s practice the same strumming pattern but with only downward strumming. Double the speed EXERCISE #7 Strum with only upwards […]

Cavaquinho Strumming exercises

Strumming EXERCISE #1 The first strumming exercise will be at 80bpm, just move your hand downwards and upwards with a natural wrist movement and try to follow the tempo. EXERCISE #2 The second strumming exercise is at 120bpm, a little bit faster EXERCISE #3 The third strumming exercise is at 160bpm. This one goes at […]

Cavaquinho Upward Picking & Strumming

For the upward picking you will place the pick at the bottom of the strings and start from there. Do not conclude the motion by resting on the string on top of the one recently played, so the sound doesn’t get extinguished.  Now let’s do the same exercise but with the upwards movement, at 80 […]

Cavaquinho Downward Picking and Strumming

The downward picking and strumming technique will be the most used technique you ever learn. With it you’ll be ready to play simple songs.  First, be sure to grab the pick in a way you can push it down the strings. The first step is picking each string individually, then try to imitate the video […]

The Cavaquinho, a String Instrument from Brazil

So let us get started with learning about the Cavaquinho, a string musical instrument from Brazil, part of the guitar family, consisting of four metal or wire strings. The Cavaquinho is used in Brazilian folkloric music. It resembles a guitar but with only four strings and it is normally used to play Samba and Choro […]