Mastering Cavaquinho Strumming Techniques with These Exercises

Course: Basic Online Course for Cavaquinho

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One of the essential techniques for playing the cavaquinho is strumming, which creates a rhythmic accompaniment to melodies. In this lesson, we’ll be providing some basic strumming exercises to help you improve your skills and take your cavaquinho playing to the next level. Whether you’re an experienced player or a beginner, these exercises are designed to be easy to follow and fun to play.


The first exercise is a straightforward strumming pattern at 80 beats per minute (bpm). The objective here is to move your hand downwards and upwards with a natural wrist movement while following the tempo. You can watch this video that showcases how it should look like.


Once you’ve mastered exercise one, it’s time to move on to exercise two at 120 bpm. This second strumming pattern has a slightly faster tempo than the previous one. As you practice this exercise, focus on maintaining a steady tempo and using a natural wrist movement to produce a smooth, even strumming pattern.


Now that you have practiced previous patterns let’s move onto third experimental progression set at 160 beats per minute (bpm), which is more natural speed for cavaquinho players. This more typical tempo for playing cavaquinho tunes will enable you as an aspiring musician or an experienced player to learn how to maintain a steady tempo and use relaxed fluid motion producing smooth even strumming patterns.


If you’ve successfully learned the first three exercises at their specified tempos, it’s time for challenge number four! With pattern number four being the fastest tempo covered in this lesson set at 200 bpm. This exercise will aid you in increasing your speed and control, which is an essential aspect of playing the cavaquinho. Its objective is to use a relaxed, fluid motion to produce smooth even strumming patterns.

By practicing these exercises over time, you’ll enhance your skills as a cavaquinho player, improving your speed and control to strum along to your favorite Brazilian tunes with ease. The best thing about these exercises is that they can be done at your own pace so even if you are just beginning to play the instrument you can practice until you feel comfortable before moving on. With dedication and persistence, anyone can master cavaquinho strumming techniques using these exercises!

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