Nylon Guitarist

Rasgueado mastery part 1

Things you need to know


Rasgueado mastery part 1 What is a rasgueado?

How many different rasgueado patterns are there?

How many strings are struck with each stroke?

Finger symbols

red Stroke directions


What is a rasgueado?
A rasgueado is a continuous series of rapid finger strokes of the right hand which blend together to produce a variety of rhythmic strumming effects on the guitar. A succession of down strokes such as 'e a m i' is a rasgueado. If we were to play this pattern 3 times in an unbroken series of strokes, the entire sequence of 12 strokes would be thought of as a rasgueado, rather than 3 short ones strung together.


The Art of Rasgueado

Look Inside

The Art of Rasgueado By Ioannis Anastassakis, MA. For Guitar (Classical). Technic. Flamenco. Beginning-Intermediate. Book. 80 pages. Published by Mel Bay Publications, Inc (MB.98405)

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How many different rasgueado patterns are there?
There is no definitive collection that every player uses all of the time. For any given effect you may hear on a recording, it is usually possible to produce the same sound in several different ways. There are literally hundreds of possibilities if we take into account the various elements such as fingers used, direction, timing, accents and tapping techniques. The rasgueados shown in the chart are some of the more common types. They can be used as building blocks for further experiment. The choice of which rasgueado to use, and where, is ultimately a matter of personal preference.


How many strings are struck with each stroke?
The exact number of strings that sound with each stroke is not important. As a general guide, aim for 5 strings with down strokes and 3 strings with index finger upstrokes. For thumb strokes, aim for 5 strings in both directions. As a general rule, rest the thumb on the 6th string when executing rasgueados.


Finger symbols

Finger symbols




Right hand symbols
P   =    Pulgar (Thumb)
i   =    Indice (Index)
m   =    Medio (Middle)
a   =    Anular (Ring)
e   =    Extremo (Last)



Stroke directions

How come the down strokes are pointing up in music notation?

We play rasgueado downstrokes from the lowest to the highest string. The highest string on the guitar is closest to the floor so we naturally stroke DOWN from bass to treble. However, in music notation the low notes are at the bottom of the stave and the higher notes are at the top. That's why the downstroke direction arrows are pointing up in music notation as shown in these diagrams.



Rasgueado stroke directions



Quick jump

Part 1 - Things you need to know

Part 2 - The 6 part master key

Part 3 - Continuous rasgueados

Part 4 - Common rasgueado patterns


  Nylon Guitarist

Rafael Marin - Free flamenco guitar method 
Rafael Marin
Flamenco guitar method 1902