Ukulele & Languages

Different countries,
Different cultures
one common language... the ukulele.

Ukulele Rasgueado demonstrated by Herman Vandecauter

10 2010

Herman Vandecauter has been very kind to create two videos explaining how to play rasgueado on the ukulele. Rasgueado means ‘strummed’ in Spanish but it is also used to describe a flamenco strumming technique designed originally for the guitar.

Although this technique might look dead simple when you watch Herman play it, it does take a while to get it right. I’ve only just started to learn the technique  and the first time I tried to play a rasgueado, I think I got the worst sound ever out of my Fluke. I even feared I’d break my strings.

Don’t worry too much if you feel like your brain doesn’t manage to control your fingers. It does get better with practice. Herman recommends practising rasgueado against a piece of cardboard first as demonstrated in his first video :

Once you feel you have mastered the technique, move on to the uke. Try to get a clean rhytmical strum. To help you achieve this, Herman strongly recommends the use of a metronome. A free web metronome can be found here.

Here is Herman‘s demonstration of the Rasgueado :

Many thanks to Herman for creating those tutorials !

Subscribe to Herman’s YouTube Channel.

Find out more information about the ukulele on his blog.


  1. Ron Hale on the 11th of February 2010 @ 01:58

    Well, this is just one of the reasons I’ve switched to using a pick exclusively in my playing (the small ones shaped and sized like
    guitar picks, but very flexible). The ukulele is now, in effect, a small guitar for me, albeit one that I can already after a year and a half, play
    better than I could the bigger versions after years of effort.
    I must be the only person who ever ended up with a sore strumming index finger, since I’ve never heard anyone else mention it; also
    sore left-hand fingers from fretting too hard. Not to mention a sore right elbow and a sore back from bad playing posture. I’ve never heard any discussion of physical complaints brought on by ukulele playing, so perhaps it is only me, or maybe nobody else will admit to any problems.

    Anyway, found an interesting video with languages but no
    ukuleles. Fans of languages alive and dead (languages, not fans) may enjoy this (I believe the song is sung in Latin, but perhaps not, and if not, apologies to said fans of dead languages, whom I’m sure are very much alive (fans, not languages)).

    Faun Satyros (HQ)
    from: f202

  2. Ron Hale on the 11th of February 2010 @ 08:42

    Twice in one day. Armelle, I just less than an hour ago discovered a brand new ukulele blog. It’s written by a woman who just began playing three days ago and her blog has three entries.

    I mentioned her to Jeff at HU and he left a comment for her. Today (2/10 here)is Jeff’s birthday (49), by the way. I also just emailed Al and told him about her, and since she lists Ukulele Hunt as one
    of her favorite blogs (it’s good she found it so soon), I thought a word from him would be a treat for her. Maybe I’m imposing on him, but I hope not.

    If you could take a few minutes and visit her site, maybe leave a welcoming comment and mention your blog to her, I’m sure she’d enjoy it. And I hope I’m not asking too much.

    The blog is called UkeLainie.

  3. Armelle Europe on the 11th of February 2010 @ 19:34

    Ron :
    comment 1 : my left hand sometimes hurts after doing tricky fingerpicking. But using a pick is definitely not for me. I’ve tried it at the Paris Uke Fest, but I need the direct contact with the strings. Even playing with my fingernails, as recommended by Herman is something I find difficult. I guess the most important thing is to play the way that feels comfortable for you, no matter what other people tell you.

    Thanks for the video in Latin, which I enjoyed.

    comment 2 : I’ve just checked UkeLainie’s blog and left a comment there. Thanks for mentioning this new blog.
    I have one request for you : could I ask you to send me all information not related to the post you are commenting on to my email address : rather than in a comment ?
    Thanks in advance.

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