Pajarillo Progression

Course: The Joropo, a musical genre from the South American Plains



A Joropo Pajarillo is a very distinctive way of playing the Cuatro as it requires a subliminal combination of both speed and accuracy. If you were to practice this using a metronome to keep track of your tempo then we are talking about tempos of up to 160 and in some instances even more. We never encourage people to play at this speed until they are perfectly comfortable with the execution of the rhythm and especially since the friction of the frenados can put a lot of strain on your knuckles, so we will always recommend to start this off rather slowly.

The progression of the Joropo Pajarillo is as follows:

Im – IVm – V7 – V7

If we were to translate in terms of notes (and we will do so using G as an example), then this would look as follows:

Gm – Cm – D7 – D7
G MinorC MinorD7

The progression can be applied for all keys depending. Both examples that we will provide in this lesson are relating to Joropo Pajarillo played in Gm. For your reference the rhythm being made use of is as follows:

Joropo Central

Rhythm Rhythm Rhythm Rhythm Rhythm Rhythm

Study carefully the following video with the Joropo Pajarillo demonstration. We would recommend to make use of a metronome in order to ensure that you are maintaining the correct tempo.

Joropo Pajarillo in G Minor

The maintenance of the tempo is fundamental. Since this is a high-paced genre, students have the tendency to accelerate, decelerate, and then vary between the two. This is something that must be avoided, as the pace should be maintained throughout the entire progression. Remember, the first strum will need to fall on the number 1 count of the measure or on the tick of the metronome. As you get more familiar with this, then you can always speed it up.

If you do not have a metronome, then you can always make use of the following link: Metronome

To be able to complete this lesson we will ask you to upload audio with the sound of your cuatro.  A teacher will analyze and approve your audio or give tips on improving.

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