San Rafael Progression

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

Picture of TuCuatro


In this opportunity, we will review another sub-genre of Joropo being they mystical San Rafael. The progression of chords used and mysterious ring makes this a very popular genre and one which is great to play with the Cuatro.

Not too many complications with this progression and a little later we will be reviewing how to play this combining it with a nice melody. For now let’s start with this version of a San Rafael which will be played in an Em key. Here is how the progression goes:

San Rafael Progression

Im – V7 – Im – Im – V7 – V7 – Im – Im – II7 – II7

IV – V – I7 – II7 – V – V – Im – V7 – Im – Im

The very same can be viewed within the video provided below and you will be able to follow the chords as professor Toro plays along.

San Rafael Progression With Chords

Em B7 Em

Em Am B7 B7

F#7 B F#7 B

Am Em B7 Em

Being another sub-genre of Joropo, we will make use of the Joropo rhythm when playing a San Rafael.

San Rafael Demonstration

Like it? Great! We’ll continue to give demonstrations of this genre and as mentioned before, a later lesson will demonstrate how to play the San Rafael with plucking individual strings and give a completely different view on this genre.


This progression is what we would call sabroso (divine). Upload your San Rafael as is shown in the video. This can be done in the form of a video right into your progression folder.

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