Flamenco Ukulele Rumba Lesson 1

The music clip demonstrates this simple Rumba tune.

There are many variations on the Rumba rhythm and this lesson will introduce you to two rhythms.

You should listen to the music a few times to get yourself used to the rhythms then follow the music in the cifra.

The index finger rasgueo you were introduced to in the Malagueña cifra is used throughout this simple Rumba.

The two Rumba rhythms are explained in the next two sections.

As you can see from the above image there is slap on the count of 3.

Just before the slap you will have played an upstroke, the open G string is in parenthesis (0) which means that it is not necessary to play it.

On the upstroke the right right hand lifts away from the body of the ukulele and the finger strikes as many strings as it can then on the count of 3 the open right hand slaps the top of the ukulele somewhere between the bridge and the sound hole (dampening the strings at the same time), as shown in the photo.

The hand returns upwards with the index finger hitting as many strings as it can on its way back up in readiness for another downstroke (flick), which is followed by another upstroke, again connecting with as many strings as it can.

During the tune there are a few syncopated variations on rhythm 1 and by listening to the tune you will soon understand how they fit into the rhythm.

As you can see from the image above there are two slaps in this rhythm, they are on beats 1 and 3. They are slightly different to the slap used in earlier rhythms and give a very syncopated rhythm.

Slap (B)

The first slap is over the bridge and the hand is curved slightly (not flat).

Immediately after the slap lift the right hand up and move it toward the sound hole, the thumb rests just above the G string and the index finger strikes the strings on the count of 2. On the upstroke the right right hand lifts away from the body of the ukulele and moves toward the neck with the index finger striking one or two treble strings (it does not make any difference).

Slap (N)

On the count of 3 the open right hand slaps the neck of the ukulele and dampens the strings. The hand the lifts up and moves back to the regular playing position and in the process the index finger strikes one or two treble strings.

On the count of 4 the index finger strikes all of the strings and on the upstroke it connects with one or two treble strings. The hand then moves toward the bridge for the next beat and the next slap.

Take this slowly and when you are confident you can speed it up, the tune would be greatly enhanced by this speeding up - the syncopation sounds great the faster it gets.

Feel free to change the order of the chords or add more of the same three chords to "pad" it out as you see fit.

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