Styles of Joropo music

Course: The Joropo, a musical genre from the South American Plains



Learning the Joropo music is both a challenge and an opportunity to discover a new and rare musical style. In this lessons, we’ll learn about all the variants and styles of Joropo and will study the two most important ones.

The Joropo is a musical style that resembles a fandango, this style of music is also called “Musica llanera”, although Joropo includes more than only the “llanero” part.

We hope that, after completing this course, you will also fall in love with this rare folk genre from South America.

The different Styles of Joropo music

As you have already noticed, there are different kinds of Joropo, one of which can be tied directly with the wetlands of the northern parts of South America. All of these joropos can be divided in two areas: Joropo Llanero and Joropo Central.

The main differences between Joropo Llanero and Joropo Central are when the frenados or accents take place while executing the strums. So, for example, it doesn’t matter if you’re playing Pajarillo or Seis por Derecho, you will be playing the same rhythm style with the frenados taking place in the same spots.

An example of a Seis Por Derecho Joropo played on guitar by master Alirio Diaz

The difference between both types of Joropo and the multiple variations that are possible will be come apparent as we move forward with this rhythm.

Which Joropo to learn first

We recommend you learn the Joropo Llanero first, as this one is easier to play and to master. Joropo llanero resembles a waltz, you will count 1,2,3 and start playing with a downward strum, which is a more natural way of starting each measure.

After having mastered the Joropo Llanero, review the rhythm of Joropo Central. Try to then play the rhythms one right after the other. It is often challenging to switch between rhythms, so by attempting this kind of a challenge, you are exercising your mind and readying yourself for challenges to come!

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