Introduction to Gaita

Course: Play Gaita with the Cuatro – Gaita Celebrations

Picture of Adrian Toro

Adrian Toro

In this lesson, you will learn how to play the rhythm of Gaita with an accented style of playing, concluding each bar. Gaita is a piece of traditional music originating in the west of Venezuela, which is typically known as a seasonal genre. This is played regularly during the Christmas period in December and can be heard all across the country. We will begin to explore this genre, starting with the rhythm of Gaita, and we will then move forward to some traditional songs which can be played with the Cuatro.

The Gaita rhythm is one of the most complex when it comes to playing on the Cuatro. This is because of the amount of “frenados” included and the precise timing of these “frenados”. For example, the rhythm is the following:

Rhythm Rhythm Rhythm Rhythm Rhythm Rhythm
  1. Frenado
  2. Upward Strum
  3. Downward Strum
  4. Frenado
  5. Upward Strum
  6. Frenado

This means that you will need to do one frenado right after the other when ending the bar and beginning the next bar. Pay close attention to the video as this is demonstrated, and start with repeating without using chords. Once you have made sure that you can maintain the rhythm, try throwing in some chords, for example, D, G u0026amp; A7.

Example of Gaita

When practicing complicated rhythms, it is best to start off without any chords and then slowly introduce them starting off with some of the easy combinations of chords. Once you get the hang of it, you can then try some more complicated combinations of chords.

Gaita Chords

Amaj7 E7

D Dm Amaj7 F#7 Bm E7 Amaj7

Try to play the Gaita version in the video above. Take time to learn this by heart and you can start to jam your Gaita and get a great feel for it.

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