3 Basic Strums for the Venezuelan Cuatro

This lesson will cover the 3 basic strums of the Venezuelan Cuatro.

These strums are defined below with the arrows illustrated. You will find these arrows as you continue with the lessons and familiarize yourself with the rhythms.

Downward Strum Upward Strum All fingers Strum

Downward Strum

The chords of the cuatro are to be strummed using the index finger, turning your wrist in the direction of the strings and allowing the hand to follow through using its own weight. The importance of strumming with the index finger is to permit you to play with speed and accuracy.

Upward Strum

Strumming the chords upwards is conducted with the thumb and a turning movement of the wrist resulting in the thumb pointing in an upwards direction. This strum uses the nail of the thumb to play the strings and is used by all cuatristas.

Strum Using All Fingers

Lining up all fingers so that the finger tips are at the same level and strumming the chords gives a fantastic effect. It is a powerful way of playing and brings out a vibrant quality of the cuatro. It is possible to execute this by first lining up the pinky and having the rest of the fingers follow. The fingers should be in a curved fashion as if you were holding a baseball with all fingers excluding the thumb.

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