Castanet Tutorial with Lessons and Exercises for Beginners by Maria Osende

Enjoy this free, comprehensive castanet tutorial designed for beginners. These lessons will guide you step-by-step through the fundamentals of playing castanets, ensuring you build a strong foundation in technique and rhythm.

Lesson 1 – How to Put Your Castanets On
Learn the proper way to put on your castanets to ensure comfort and optimal performance. Maria will demonstrate the correct positioning and adjustments needed to get you started.

Lesson 2 – Correct Technique and the First 2 Sounds
Master the basics of castanet playing with this lesson focused on technique. Maria will teach you how to produce the first two essential sounds, setting the stage for more complex rhythms.

Lesson 3 – Exercises (Pi and Ta)
Put your new skills into practice with targeted exercises. This lesson focuses on the sounds “Pi” and “Ta,” helping you develop precision and coordination through guided practice.

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.

Lesson 3 – Exercises (Pi and Ta)

This 9-10 minute video (you can pause to practise) is your gateway to starting your castanet technique journey.


– Repeat as often as needed

– Be patient, it takes time.  Do not move on until you master this lesson

– Gently stretch your wrists, hands and fingers after practising.

– Practise 10 minutes a day

For more information or to attend online or in-person classes with me, view available courses

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