Complicated Calypso

Course: Learning Objectives for the Intermediate Cuatrista

Picture of TuCuatro


When many think of music from the Caribbean, they often think of Calypso. This swinging and sensational music can be played on the Cuatro and can even give the impression that the Cuatro was made for Calypso. This genre originated in Trinidad u0026amp; Tobago and is an Afro-Caribbean form of music which can now be heard  all across the Caribbean

There are a couple of things to keep in mind here, do not be frightened of the amount of arrows you are about to see in the rhythm illustration below:

 Calypso Illustration

Ritmo Calipso

Rhythm of Calypso


The arrows with the fatter ending mean that this needs to played with an accented strum. It can be a wide range of strums, just be sure to play these particular strokes in such a way that they are more distinguished than the remainder of the strums. In the video the technique is one of the three methods of strumming indicated in a previous lesson being a strum using all of the fingers.

The other thing is, the speed with which this is being played. Make sure that you start off slow and then accelerate once you get used to the speed. This one takes a lot of practice, but is a lot of fun!!! Check out the video below for a demonstration:

Example of Calypso


Give it a try on your own now, making use of the following progression: D, G, D, A7, D, G, D u0026amp; A. A nice finishing touch to this would be simply to end with G, A7 u0026amp; D.

D Major
G Major

Have fun, we will review some Calypso songs that you can jam along to and fall in love with!


Now that you have seen these different genres, choose the one you have practiced and are most proud of and upload your video to the progression folder. Make sure you specify the genre you are playing prior to starting the video.

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