How to play rajeo with great effect

Spanish version

There is a simple straightforward rajeo that sometimes is in my opinion somewhat wrongly overlooked.

This rajeo can give the most fantastic expressive flamenco playing. It can be used in so many different ways.

Certainly, it can be strong, direct and obvious and the sort of sound that people associate with accompanying flamenco dance classes but there is so much more to this technique.

Many, indeed perhaps all good flamenco guitarists use this technique in a way that is emotionally expressive. Paco de Lucía and Vicente Amigo are two golden examples of truly great guitarists who use this technique to wonderful effect.

Essentially, we are using the four fingers of the right hand (if you are right handed) to strum down across the strings.

There are no wrong and right ways to do this; it will all depend on what sound you want to achieve.

In my explanation I am going to think about making sure that each finger works independently. That is to say I will not be trying to blend all the fingers together. I want a percussive, strong separated  sound. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a mushy blended in sound and there will be times when that is exactly what you want.

To produce my separated sound I will be aiming to play each finger independently and to have strength and control over that finger.

Sometimes I hear people talking about flicking the finger out from the palm. I think that they mean that they try to catch the finger on the flesh of the palm of the hand and flick from there as a way of producing an impulse for the movement.

I have to respect all ideas but frankly I do not understand this at all. Perhaps it is possible to do this once as an excercise but I cannot see how we could play rapidly in succession using this method and in fact I cannot see why we would want to. It seems to be adding unnecessary work.

In my case I am keeping the fingers free and working for strength and control for each finger.

I explain and demonstrate this technique in my YouTube video on How to Play Rajeo going forward

The first few seconds of that clip contain the ending of a class on rajeo abanico which I also explain in a separate article.