Cavaquinho Upward Picking & Strumming

Course: Basic Online Course for Cavaquinho

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Upward picking is another essential technique for playing the cavaquinho. This technique involves using a picking motion with your fingers or a pick to pluck the strings of the cavaquinho in an upward direction. This can create a brighter, more percussive sound than downward picking, and is often used to add accents and emphasis to melodies. To master upward picking, start by placing your picking hand over the strings of the cavaquinho, with your fingers or pick positioned near the bridge. Then, use a quick, upward motion to pluck the strings one at a time, using your wrist to control the motion.

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 bpm

With practice, you’ll be able to smoothly transition between upward and downward picking, adding variety and expression to your cavaquinho playing.

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