Here’s an elementary intro to rasgueado. Since folks love to quibble, I will say that this is simply what works for me, my students, and just about every good player I know. There may be other ways to do it, but this one works.

As for three finger vs. four finger (i.e. 16th notes vs. quintuplets), I’ll say that the three finger is by far the more common today, while the four finger was more common back in the day. I learned the four finger one first (I started out super traditional), but I think that the three finger gives you a better shot at learning to play your rasgueado evenly, and that’s what I like to hear. You can always choose to go for an uneven sound later, but if you don’t learn to play evenly you don’t even have the choice.

Eventually you’ll apply exactly the same technique to a four finger as well as a two finger version of the same thing. Remember that since the index plays twice (once on the way down, then again on the way up) a two finger rasgueado gives you triplets, a three finger gives you 16ths and a four finger gives you quintuplets.

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6 Responses to “Intro to Rasgueado”

  1. Dusty says:

    I have been playing terrible Flamenco on my Lester DeVoe Flamenco for several years. Yours is the first time I have seen a good explanation of compas, Solea patterns and rasgueado. Wow! I wish there were an instructor like you here in Sacramento area. Would have saved me hours of experimenting and getting it wrong. Thanks.

  2. diego says:

    wonderful! thanks so much

  3. Very good!!! bravo y ole. One of the best tutorials I have been seen.
    Please keep up the good work and THANKS.

  4. Brian says:

    Thanks for explaining the reason behind the bent right hand thumb. I just got Graf-Martinez’s Flamenco Guitar Methods 1 & 2 and this was the first time I became aware of the recommendation to rest the bent right hand thumb on the 6th string when playing a rasgueado. I had been wondering if it was really that important to keep the thumb bent as GM recommended, as it seemed to be somewhat easier to accomplish the rasgueado keeping the right hand thumb flat. Now I know the reason why, I’ll just have to make myself learn to do it the correct way.

  5. […] from the Guitar Salon Blog gives you an introduction to rasgueado. This is a video lesson that explains a lot of the basics of rasgueado, and gives some technical […]

  6. cuchares says:

    The 3 finger was used by Sabicas and Diego del Gastor.So it’s 100 years old at a minimum.I’m guessing Ramon and Borrull used it.
    I tried the 2 finger triple w/ m and i (i use “a” and “i” normally) it took me about 30 seconds to switch.I ‘ve seen it as little finger and index as well.
    The same hold true for the “mariposa” triple pmi or pai or pqi.
    so many ways……..