2-Finger Rasgueado Strumming for Spanish Flamenco Music

In Spanish Flamenco music, we have the powerful and energetic strum called “rasgueados.” Percussive and fast, these help to give the music its characteristic Spanish feel.

There are many patterns of rasgueados. Some are more common than others. The most common rasgueado patterns use three or four fingers of the right hand. But here’s one that uses just two fingers.

How to Play 2-Finger Rasgueados

This rasgueado strumming pattern is in triplets. This means that for every beat of the music, we will play some multiple of three times.

For example, in a measure of three beats, we may play three strums per beat, for a total of nine strums. See the example below.

To play the pattern, we use the index(I) and middle(m) fingers of the right hand. The pattern in MII.

  1. M plays with a downstroke (the nail strikes the string)
  2. I plays with a downstroke
  3. I plays with an upstroke (flesh strikes the string)
  4. repeat

This three-note pattern, with practice, can be explosive and precise. And for triplets, it’s one of the best options.

An Example of a 2-Finger Rasgueado

Here’s an excerpt from the 3rd movement of the Sonata by Turina. dotted quarter notes are noted as rasgueado strums. So we can play them as described above. In the second image, we see the measure written out fully with fingerings.

2-finger rasgueados turina

In the 1st and 3rd bars, we have the opportunity to use the 2-finger rasgueados.

Turina Rasgueado pattern

Here we see the M-I-I pattern of the 2-finger rasgueados strumming pattern written out.

We can also use other fingers

In addition to I/M, we can use other finger combinations. These make for excellent exercises for the right hand.

Other options include:

  • A/M (ring and middle)
  • C/A (little finger and ring)
  • A/I (ring and index)
  • C/M (little finger and middle)

Some are more practical choices for pieces than others. But each offers benefits as a training tool for strength, dexterity, and rhythmic precision.

Allen Mathews

Hi, I’m Allen Mathews. 

I started as a folk guitarist, then fell in love with classical guitar in my 20’s. Despite a lot of practice and schooling, I still couldn’t get my music to flow well. I struggled with excess tension. My music sounded forced. And my hands and body were often sore. I got frustrated, and couldn’t see the way forward. Then, over the next decade, I studied with two other stellar teachers – one focused on the technical movements, and one on the musical (he was a concert pianist). In time, I came to discover a new set of formulas and movements. These brought new life and vitality to my practice. Now I help guitarists find more comfort and flow in their music, so they play more beautifully.
Click here for a sample formula.

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