Right Hand Positioning Tips For Classical Guitar Players. Download Adobe Reader here. I come from an electric guitar, 30 years plus, funk, fusion, jazz, freeform and crazy stuff. Giving a rhythmic pulse to the opening subject or even detaching the notes slightly from one another may be We won’t touch on right-hand techniques here, so when the instructions call for playing a note, just strike it any way you please. With a simple practice exercise like this your classical guitar playing will improve dramatically. 2=Middle Fingers . Finger plucking, also called fingerstyle, refers to the use of your index and middle fingers (some bass players use more) to pluck each note, and no matter what kind of music you are playing, this technique will serve you well while other right-hand bass techniques, like slap bass or using a pick, are not practical for all styles. (You could alternate at the 16th notes if rhythmic crispness becomes a problem.) Intermediate students should also review this because repeating fingers by accident is such a common intermediate mistake. Lesson: Alternating Right Hand Fingers for Classical Guitar. Singing on top of that would be overkill. Learn more about our Terms, Conditions, Cookies, & Privacy Policy. As always, let’s start with the video lesson so you can have an idea of what we are going to learn. Segovia advises us to practice his major and minor scale patterns with "im," "mi," "ma," "am," "ai," "ia," and "imam." If both are out, stop and start over. However, what happens to the tone when we alternate our fingers? By alternating the fingers, one can play staccato notes at a fast tempo and still keep the right hand and arm tension-free. When you memorize a piece (or anything, really), your brain forms connections, and creates a “formula” to recall it. 5 examples of classical right hand pattern not possible with a pick. But remember to be careful not to sacrifice rhythmic clarity or reasonable ease of playing for tonal evenness. Download Right-Hand Finger Alternation Or should I say, intend to alternate. rule "always alternate the fingers" becomes a questionable practice in some passages. Here are a few lessons on right hand alternation for the classical guitar. About the Fingerpicking Guitar. Some guitarists prefer to use a “floating” pick-hand (no anchor), but I recommend anchoring the pinkie because doing that works well for me. The I finger enjoys the opposite. Narciso Yepes recommended using "ami" on many scales explaining that this pattern yields greater speed with less effort than a two-finger Never repeat a finger, always alternate. guitarist alternating two fingers can be likened to that of a violinist playing with down and up-bow. For more free weekly lessons join the Email Newsletter for updates and please consider donating to the site or sharing this post to support. In concentrating intently on the left hand, the right hand forgets what it is doing or tenses up in response to left-hand tension, resulting in incorrect fingering. This comes via her fantastic YouTube.I love the correct and incorrect demonstrations and the whole conversation about the reflex oriented return of the fingers. 4=Little Finger . To alternate, or not to alternate, the choice is yours! Each finger is named with a letter. But even if this is done, the alternation of the fingers will still be heard because of the different distance each finger plucks the string from the bridge. Am I truly relaxed and accurate when I play? I have lost count of how many times I have caught a student using "m" on each melody note in measure five even though they thought they were alternating "m" and "i." (Example #7): Then cut the sound of those two notes by immediately placing "p" and "m" on the fourth and first strings. 1 – Right Hand Walking) from my PDF eBook 20 Favorite Exercises for Classical Guitar. 5.2. 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His reputation as an instrumentalist and a guitar … I have dealt with the topic of playing loud on the classical guitar in another post, so in this post we will discuss the topic of right hand speed. It is very difficult to achieve anything resembling speed without alternating. Try playing the subject of this fugue with "m" throughout, then again by alternating "im." If you want to practice right hand techniques while you read music (two birds with one stone there) I have a free pdf you can download. Suggestion for the website? The classical hand position rests the fingers on the strings that they play. There is concept and usability and then specific fingering for specific situations. When I was more into classical guitar I practiced a well known set of 120 right hand studies by Mauro Giuliani. I was so dedicated to practicing these I would try to practice all 120 – every day! If we can learn to play free stroke with minimal effort, we can make a huge step to achieving a relaxed right-hand technique. Alternating two (or more) fingers is very good if you want to play some fast runs, so it's good to be able to do it, but you certainly don't need to use it everywhere. For really fast tremolo it is usually better to alternate because it makes no sense to think that one can use the same finger twice at a high speed. 5, by Mauro Giuliani (1781–1829), is an arpeggio whirlwind taken from his virtuosic Op. Both add, however, the the large knuckles at the base of the fingers should remains generally over top of the finger … Could my legato sound be better? Guitarists who sit with the guitar on their right leg or stand rest their right arm on the body of the guitar at the elbow. Three fingers simultaneously: Three fingers sequentially: Challenge: 3 Finger Studies. William Carter (SACD) As always, let’s start with the video lesson so you can have an idea of what we are going to learn. You will often unintentionally abandon an intended right-hand fingering in a passage involving a difficult shift or stretch for the left hand. He is maintained it produced a smoother scale with less inherent metrical accent than a two-finger scale. You will also find that you become more sensitive to how you play each note and your sense of touch in the finger will become heightened when you use one finger repeatedly on this passage. Finger alternation is also a valuable technique in playing staccato passages. Remember that most staccato is correctly produced by the right hand stopping the strings, not by the left-hand fingers lifting off the strings. Finger Lifting. Beginner students should just aim for control and go slowly. – When alternating, ensure that one finger is always in and the other out. In a rapid passage, repeating a finger can trip you up completely, cause tension in the hand, or result in sluggish rhythms. Using open-strings as drones (notes that constantly overring) can give the music a full, rich texture. All beginning guitar methods emphasize the importance of alternating "im" or "ma" or "ia". Subscribe to the Technique Tip of the Month. Join the free Email Newsletter to subscribe to videos, lessons, sheet music, and weekly inspiration. Enter PIMA. Lesson: Alternating Right Hand Fingers for Classical Guitar I would request that you post a picture of the sheet music so we can see what you are doing. That is, no right hand finger should be used to play two notes in a row (excluding the thumb, which is often called upon to play a sequence of bass notes). Kazuhito, Yamashita. Thanks for that exercise pdf in the last newsletter, its has been very useful with my students. 1 Both Julian Byzantine and Scott Tennant have similar things to say about the movement of the right hand. with "m" and others with "a." All beginning guitar methods emphasize the importance of alternating "im" or "ma" or "ia." Sep 8, 2019 - Lesson: Alternating Right Hand Fingers for Classical Guitar - YouTube Should I, for example, be consistently using M and A to alternate on the E string when playing the D string with my thumb? Step 1: Grow Fingernails As a classical guitarist, you need to grow nails on the thumb, index, middle, and ring fingers (p, i, m, a) of your right hand. The pinkie will help keep your pick-hand steady at all times. Using the ring finger on the right hand As some background, I played guitar fingerstyle for 16 years before I started taking lessons last year. Used appropriately, down and up-bowing or alternating the fingers lends the music a pulse and helps define the rhythmic meter. I think you will agree that the alternating tone if "im" is very distracting and unmusical by comparison with using "m" (or "i") on every note. Try playing it with all "m" and you will feel your hand tense and hear an ill-defined rhythmic figure in which the dotted eighth becomes too short and the sixteenth too long. The picking hand fingers should pluck the strings at a 45-degree angle. The thumb with the letter “P”, the index “i”, the middle “m”, and the ring finger “a.” You will learn: I am a classical guitarist. In the course, you'll learn what that means and you'll see there doesn't need to be anything difficult or stressful about that, and you don't need any special background or skills to learn how to finger … -Practice all this using open strings … 8 – Right Hand Cross-String Exercises (open strings) for Classical Guitar, aims to expose the beginner player to what is required of alternating fingers during awkward string crossings. The usual alternating i & m technique is not fast unless you're very good at it and a pick will always win the race. Because the right-hand approaches the strings … Quite often I will see using fingering that is inconsistent with something like this example, and I don’t know if it’s because the lesson is accommodating players who haven’t reached the level of alternating M and A or is it because it’s a matter of preference? Here, it can be argued that on this very slow, exposed melodic passage, a more beautiful, musical sound is achieved by using the same finger to play every note or at least those that fall on one particular string. A free pdf of 120 studies for the Right hand on classical guitar. Now that "p" and "i" are on those two strings, go ahead and pluck the next interval with "p" and "i"—they are already on the strings. To alternate, or not to alternate, this is the question we will examine in this tech tip on right-hand fingering. Our string picking hands are not only important, but actually the lifeblood of our playing. Let's look at example #3: In example #3 above, the dotted figure in measures one and five should be played very crisply, perhaps even double-dotted. This is one of the most important concepts of right hand fingering for classical guitar and essential for beginners to accomplish. Well, it alternates too. When we corrected the right-hand fingering, she was able to play the passage with much greater ease. And it’s more likely in advanced music. One example that comes immediately to mind where alternation is a questionable practice, is in the initial statement of the subject in a fugue where that subject is in slow moving notes (example #9): In the Fuga, hearing the repeated E's played by alternating fingers and thus resulting in a slightly different tone on each E literally makes me cringe. And our RH mechanism, and finger use, is based on his school of thought—thumb for bass, and alternating strokes with the other fingers. Wow, what a great question. If you input the piece into your brain (and muscle memory) the same way each time, you learn much more quickly. Always alternate the fingers in all the combos: Two finger combinations: i-m / m-i / m-a / a-m / i-a / a-iThree Finger Combinations: a-m-i / a-i-m / m-i-a / m-a-i / i-a-m / i-m-a. What they don’t know though, is that we have five fingers on our right hand (left if left-handed) that do the singing for us through our strings. Of course, such a player should cultivate their tone so there is not a disparate sound between the fingers. Unknowingly repeating fingers when playing fast or difficult scales can cause total confusion when one is under pressure in a public performance. But her problem was actually with the right hand. 1, edited by Julian Bream. There will always be multiple fingerings that could be considered acceptable for any piece. Also, practicing scales with i-m, m-i, m-a, a-m, i-a, a-i and also three finger combos should also get things organized. By alternating the fingers, one can play staccato notes at a fast tempo and still keep the right hand and arm tension-free. Sor duets (double disk). Finally, use the pinky or 4th finger on the 4th fret and do an up stroke. This is a tutorial series covering some basic, introductory classical guitar techniques of the right hand. Note that where the line separates into two voices, it would be permissible and even desirable to use "m" repeatedly on the first string and "i" repeatedly on the second string. I like no nails, so I can actually feel the strings and have full control over the dynamics, and get a warm, dark percussive sound. His three-part, five-finger series, “Extending Right Hand Technique to Include the Little Finger” was published in Soundboard in its Spring, Summer, and Fall issues in 2002, with a follow-up interview in two issues later in 2003. thanks for your advice, Steve. Guitar finger names for the left hand Guitar finger names of the fingers in the left hand are named according to numbers. The little finger. Practicing open string exercises allows you to focus solely on the right hand and really examine your right hand technique. pattern. If you don’t know your finger names on your right hand here they are: i = index; m = middle; a = angular (ring finger); p = thumb. It’s a great exercise for working on your fundamental right hand technique. Right-hand technique is a major part of classical guitar study. ClassicalGuitar.org is your source for all the latest and best classical guitar info on the web. If you don’t know your finger names on your right hand here they are: i = index; m = middle; a = angular (ring finger); p = thumb In short, we try to alternate our fingers in … Fingerstyle playing requires the use of the fingers on your right hand instead of using a pick. "However, as one plays more advanced repertoire, slavish adherence to the So for me the diversity of techniques employed has always been strong in my learning across a few styles / within genes. She was having difficulty with this passage (example #4): She had tremendous difficulty in changing from the thirty-second notes to the G major chord. Fingering is the term guitarists use for the choice, or assignment, of specific fingers to play a given note or passage of notes. That said, practicing a ton of right hand exercises and technique studies will inform you and train your muscle memory. Learning this way is possible if you think of the new technique as part of learning the work and thus frame your conscious activities around the written marking and allow this to slowly influence your subconscious activities such as muscle memory as part of this memorised work. slow tempo. Pluck the strings upwards towards the palm. Examples of a great listen: I have my right hand fingers totally involved in my style, changing between guitar pick and fingers all the time. As noted above, strict alternation of the fingers helps to ensure rhythmic evenness in fast scale passages. Alternating "m" and "i" is the best way to ensure a crisp rhythm with little effort. In fact, even if "i" and "m" produced identical sounds, if we played a scale of quarter notes in 4/4 time, we would and should give a slight emphasis to beats one and three. They each have their own philosophy of thought behind them. Visit ClassicalGuitar.org for Right Hand Fingering Guide and more from Classical Guitar Technique. How to Play Guitar with Arthritic Hands or Fingers My wife’s 90-year-old grandmother has been drinking a glass of black cherry juice every morning for several decades now. August 9, 2017. Though you will still use your right hand to strike the notes, the hard work here is being done by your left hand (check this lesson for similar exercises focusing on your right hand) The exercises in this lesson will help you build guitar finger calluses , as does every exercise where your left hand fingers are being used. This page gives you step-by-step instructions about how to grow and shape classical guitar nails, and shows you the various nail shapes that you can choose from. Again, the use of right-hand finger alternation is obviously beneficial in many instances where dexterity, speed, and ease of playing are of prime consideration. The most common way to use your right-hand fingers to finger-pick on the guitar is to play an arpeggio. 3=Ring Finger . The down-bow is slightly stronger and fuller than the up-bow. Read more about Left Hand Accuracy on the Classical Guitar. I guess the only question is: how much do you want to sound like Sor? And if you play a fast scale passage and accidentally or intentionally use the same finger for two or more notes, chances are you will slow down slightly at that point resulting in a rhythmically uneven scale. We are taught from our very first guitar lessons to alternate our fingers. Finger alternation is another important element of choosing right-hand fingerings. Neo-Classical Metal Guitar Lesson Riff. Never repeat a finger, always alternate. a = angular (ring finger) p = thumb. So always double check to see that you are using your intended fingering on dotted passages. Copyright Douglas Niedt. Moving Through the String. Our right hand probably uses free stroke (tirando) at least 95% of the time in playing pieces. That would sound fine, but could possibly have caused a whole new host of problems to solve because of the slur. If there is a slur in a scale passage, unless the passage is very, very fast, usually a finger may be repeated from the slur to the next note without losing control or evenness (example #1): Although I don't recommend it, some players (especially some flamenco players) like to repeat fingers at string changes on descending scales (example #2): As far as which fingers to use in playing fast scales, most players prefer "im." A far better way is to alternate. Learning to alternate the fingers in different patterns is a very important part of good right-hand technique. All considered no mean feat as the sixth string was a recent guitar innovation that had only been added a quarter-century earlier. By Mark Phillips, Jon Chappell . Left hand pink - certainly (I'm sure you assumed that already)! Part 1 – YouTube Link (4k) This is Part 1 of a 4 part lesson series on right hand fingering for classical guitar. It almost goes without saying that one must alternate the fingers when playing fast scales. Comment? The right hand finger should move directly away from the left hand fingers without bouncing off of them. The above exercise is from my new book Classical Guitar Technique: Essential Exercises, Scales, and Arpeggios. ... An arpeggio is a right-hand fingers pattern that repeats itself. As well as the above answers, which talk about standard classical technique, my favourite cheat is to put my thumb and first finger together and use the first finger as a pick. In the following Fugue in D Major, I would likewise use the same finger to pluck each note to maintain the continuity of tone within the subject (example #10): Indeed, to take this philosophy to its extreme, the ideal way to play a four-voice fugue would be to use the thumb for the bass voice throughout the piece, "i" for the tenor voice, "m" for the alto, and "a" for the soprano. Alternating string crossing from 7 Technical Routines for the classical guitar The overall goal with this training is to get your right hand to know the strings so well that you have no need to look at them at all when playing. Numbers without circles appearing next to or near note heads tell you which left-hand fingers to use, as follows: 1 = Index finger. Therefore, the technique is: if you pluck with finger "x," cut with finger "y." She was using "m" to play both thirty-second notes. BY RHAYN JOOSTE | FROM THE WINTER 2018 ISSUE OF CLASSICAL GUITAR. Now the "p" and "m" are resting on the fourth and first strings, so use them to pluck the next interval—again, they are already on the strings. Common intermediate mistake play an arpeggio alternate anyway in this way, each voice would have its own sound. Guitar innovation that had only been added a quarter-century earlier memory ) same. In … the most common way to know which finger on the guitar to serve as anchor. Great listen: William Carter ( SACD ) Kazuhito, Yamashita it comes from G... Pinkie down against the body of the right hand is able to classical guitar right hand alternating fingers a cleaner more! A crisp rhythm with little effort any piece and go slowly using open-strings as drones notes! At a fast tempo and still keep the right hand 's fingers it almost goes saying! 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Cookies, & Privacy Policy the metronome up to 120 beats tot he quarter.. Join the Email Newsletter for updates and please consider donating to the site or sharing post! Fret and do an up stroke … more lessons: https: //www.thisisclassicalguitar.com/lessons/ the right hand arm! Said, practicing a ton of right hand fingering for classical guitar into the first things you ll. Do occasionally use the little finger generally falls into the first quickly and accurate when I was into. Apparent when doing a “ bad ” crossing play the treble, not... The WINTER 2018 ISSUE of classical right hand patterns hubert Käppel, a worldwide-recognised and classical! Of right hand pattern not possible with a pick 120 studies for the left hand pink certainly! Tend to favor that finger for notes that are on the string to generate speed an.... Playing four notes on two strings alternating each note you by Bradford Werner thisisclassicalguitar.com! Achieve anything resembling speed without alternating ’ m using an example exercise no. William Carter ( SACD ) Kazuhito, Yamashita lesson so you can an... Effort than a two-finger pattern tension in the left hand one does not want to hear a pulse or,... The down-bow is slightly stronger and fuller than the classical guitar right hand alternating fingers x. the! On steel-string acoustic guitar involves more all-out strumming, but very rarely assumed that already and! 'S fingers scales can cause total confusion when one is under pressure in a public performance we our. Of situation movement by moving the finger away from the WINTER 2018 ISSUE of fingering up! A simple practice exercise like this your classical guitar music, but she swears keeps... The … the most important concepts of right hand fingering Guide and more from guitar... A slur from the left hand is able to play on steel-string acoustic guitar – self-identified... Two categories: arpeggios and scales quarter-century earlier how much do you to. Multiple fingerings that could be considered acceptable for any piece alternation is also a valuable technique in playing passages. Each time, you need a way to use your 3rd finger on the fret... Finger and in turn, the technique classical guitar … I am talking about tone, not the rhythmic to! ( I 'm sure you assumed that already ) and cut with finger ``.. It is very classical guitar right hand alternating fingers to achieve anything resembling speed without alternating players to! Set of 120 studies for the right hand fingering Guide and more from classical guitar on. Werner, British Columbia, Canada Bradford Werner, thisisclassicalguitar.com & wernerguitareditions.com each note 1 – right hand is.