Strumming Technique for the Cuban Son

The strumming pattern of the Cuban Son tends to be a rather complicated one because it requires us to be fully aware as to our position within the bar and within the rhythm itself. The particular feel of the Cuban Son is given due to the final strum in the bar is actually split in two. Where the bar should be finishing off with (in this example) the F#7 chord, it splits the bar in two jumping forward and playing the B Minor. This is to be seen and explained in the tutorial video below (English Subtitles ON)

Cuban Son Technique

The chords being played in this video follow those we have previously seen in the B Minor key. They are as follows:

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This rhythm gives us a great opportunity to make use of the effects of the Cuatro. We can imitate the percussive instruments typically played within the Cuban Son with the Cuatro. For this it is necessary to master the frenados and the double frenados. The double frenados give a mimicking effect of the congas typically played in the Cuban Son.

In the event that you need some revision on the double frenado, here is a brief video on how this can be executed.

Be certain to give this piece enough practice and what is most important is the feel to the actual rhythm more than anything. Make it sound like a Cuban Son….sounds simple, but with practice you will know exactly what this is referring to.

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