This is the name given to the technique used on the
Minho cavaquinho. It’s a special technique which allows
the rhythm, harmony and melody to be worked
simutaneously. This is only possible because, on the
cavaquinho, the soundboard is at the same level as the
neck, leaving a very short distance between the strings
and the soundboard, saving your fingers from discomfort
when playing ‘the tear’.
It is played with the right hand’s four fingers, or with
just the thumb and index finger separated by a distance
of approximately 8cm, in a constant down-up and up-down
The cavaquinho is an instrument with a great range of
tunings which, just as with the viola, vary according to
geographical setting, traditional forms and even
The best-known tunings, still used today, are:
D - A - B - E (from top to botton)
D - G - B - D (from top to botton mas usa-se
também G - G - B - D
A - A - C# - E (from top to botton).
In the town of Barcelos, the preferred tuning was G - C
- E - A (from top to bottom). It was known as “The Maia Tuning”.
In the CHORDS section you will find the diagrams
corresponding to these tunings.