Lesson 1 – How to Put Your Castanets On

Don’t have a pair yet? Check out my guide to buying castanets.

Your pair of castanets will have one with a mark/s or small dent on the wood at the top of one of the castanets. This is the “female” castanet (higher pitch) than the “male castanet” (lower pitch).The dominant hand (female castanet) is your dominant hand: right hand if you are right handed, and your left hand if you are left handed. It does a lot more work than the other hand.

Lesson 2 – Correct Technique and the First 2 Sounds

The 5 Castanet Sounds

There are five sounds you can make with your castanets.

  1. “TA” (tah) It is achieved by striking the ring finger and then middle finger of the left hand (male, non dominant hand) quickly on the castanet.
  2. “PI” (pea) “PI” is identical to “TA” except that it is done with the opposite hand.  You can do it by hitting the castanet in your dominant (or female) hand with your ring finger and then with your middle finger.
  3. “RRI” (ree) This sound is produced by striking the castanet in your right hand or dominant hand with your little finger, ring finger, and index finger in rapid succession.
  4. “CHIN” You can create this sound by hitting the castanets against each other.
  5. “PAN” This is generally used to end a rhythmic sequence, as it has a good ending sound. To achieve this sound, use your ring and middle fingers to strike both castanets simultaneously.

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