The Joropo rhythm is a 3/4 strum with 6 strums per measure where all strums are played and two of them are Frenados.

The measure of the most basic Joropo is composed of 6 strums where the third and sixth ones are Frenados, as demonstrated in the following arrow diagram:


This means that your right hand will need to do the following:

  1. Strum down
  2. Strum up
  3. Frenado down
  4. Strum up
  5. Strum down
  6. Frenado up

Be sure to practice the frenado up so it can sound clear and cristal when you do it at the last strum of each measure.

Now watch this demonstration of a Joropo so you can get the idea of how this rhythm is played:

Rhythm of Joropo

Now let’s try to imitate the Joropo with your Cuatro.  In the following video, we will show a typical Joropo song at a fast pace first and then slowing it to half the tempo.  This will allow you to follow the right-hand movement and imitate the strums and frenados. Try to follow the video and mimic the sounds and chords on your own Cuatro.

Joropo Demonstration

These are the chords we’re going to use:

D =
A7 =
D7 =
G =
E7 =
A =

And this is the progression:

D A7 D % D7 % G % % E7 A G D A7 D %

Go to the second half of the video to see how to do it slow, very slow and imitate it with your cuatro:

Don’t worry about the chords!  In this part of the course, we will only focus our attention on the rhythms and right hand.

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