So here we go, the Joropo is a fast paced variation of previously learned rhythms such as the Vals Criollo or Vals Pasaje. The story goes that as the rhythms were spreading over the low lands and becoming more popular, the farmers or the llaneros found the rhythm to be a bit on the slow side. They then decided to crank it up significantly along with the help of other instruments such as the harp and the maracas and there we go…the birth of Joropo in a nutshell.
It’s a matter of how we are playing, but generally we are looking in the range of 120 BPM (beats per minute) when considering playing a Joropo. Not to worry….we won’t start off that fast, but it is a place where you should be able to get to as a Cuatrista.
We previously mentioned that it can cause some pain as it is high paced, especially since it is impacting the knuckles when executing the frenados. A trick is, if it starts to hurt your knuckles, you can always put some scotch tape on them to give some cushion to the knuckles.
As a musician, it is great to familiarize yourself with other genres and complex rhythms. The truth is, many people who start off playing and then master the Joropo, will completely smash other rhythms using other instruments as if they were butter. It is highly complex and will take some time to do, do take your time.