Picoteo is based on the structure of the merengue - a popular dance in Latin-America. It typically has three parts, each with their own characteristics. The ‘paseo’ serves as the introduction to the main part, ‘merengue,’ and it is usually short in duration. The melodic and harmonic material in the ‘paseo’ and the ‘merengue’ are related but not the same. The ‘jaleo’ is a more rhythmic section and it is characterised by repeated melodic rifts.
Picoteo has three sections similar to the ‘paseo’,‘merengue’ and ‘jaleo.’ The first two sections have distinctive melodies that are ‘recapitulated’ in the final section. Each sections is faster than the previous one to propel the music to its climatic end.