entirely appropriate. It almost goes without saying that one must alternate the fingers when playing fast scales. I f you’re a musician, you’ll know that playing is a passion and giving up is simply not on the agenda. Here are a few lessons on right hand alternation for the classical guitar. Lesson: Alternating Right Hand Fingers for Classical Guitar. It is very difficult to achieve anything resembling speed without alternating. with "m" and others with "a." If I could chime in as well… I didn’t come to classical guitar until 6 years after playing lots of rock metal folk etc. Download Right-Hand Finger Alternation The Bible of Classical Guitar Technique Book - AMA Verlag : Mel Bay This is more than just a book about technique. When you memorize a piece (or anything, really), your brain forms connections, and creates a “formula” to recall it. a = angular (ring finger) p = 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. For example, in my technique book I have 100 open string exercise and also 120 Giuliani studies, after all those your right hand should know pretty clearly what good fingering is versus bad and also be able to navigate some tricky passages. With a simple practice exercise like this your classical guitar playing will improve dramatically. He is maintained it produced a smoother scale with less inherent metrical accent than a two-finger scale. Finally, use the pinky or 4th finger on the 4th fret and do an up stroke. So always double check to see that you are using your intended fingering on dotted passages. Keep your fingers on that same string but place the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th frets with your remaining fingers. We are taught from our very first guitar lessons to alternate our fingers. But there is some sacrifice of melodic clarity, fullness, and evenness since some of the melody notes are played Classical Guitar published them in the March, April, and May issues 2004. Could my legato sound be better? Kazuhito, Yamashita. The Classical guitar pattern – Video lesson. Whichever pattern you use, it is clear that with a few possible exceptions as noted above, one must use strict alternation when playing rapid scale passages. But most players would alternate anyway in this kind of situation. Right hand pinky... almost never. The classical hand position rests the fingers on the strings that they play. A fingerpicking pattern is a right-hand fingers movement in which the thumb, index, middle, and ring finger pluck the strings to play the notes of a chord or a melody. The above exercise is from my new book Classical Guitar Technique: Essential Exercises, Scales, and Arpeggios. I would request that you post a picture of the sheet music so we can see what you are doing. Enter PIMA. Classical guitar. 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. Imagine running as fast as you can and suddenly using one foot twice. But there are exceptions to maintaining strict alternation. Both add, however, the the large knuckles at the base of the fingers should remains generally over top of the finger … Pluck the strings upwards towards the palm. Play the first interval with "p" and "m" (example #6): Then cut the sound of those two notes by immediately placing "p" and "i" on the fourth and first strings. One change to your technique that will have an immediate impact on your synchronization (and therefore your legato technique) is how you lift your left hand fingers. 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. measure three is often played staccato to give the phrase a dance-like flavor (example #5): Many players would play each interval in measure three with "p" and "m" (or "i") and stop each interval (the staccato) with "p" and "m." Although it could be played that way, a lot of tension would be produced in the right hand and arm because of the fast speed at which the piece is usually played. In this way, each voice would have its own distinct sound and individuality thus maintaining the contrapuntal clarity of the piece throughout. Three fingers simultaneously: Three fingers sequentially: Challenge: 3 Finger Studies. rule "always alternate the fingers" becomes a questionable practice in some passages. ... An arpeggio is a right-hand fingers pattern that repeats itself. Then pluck with finger "y" (which is on the string already) and cut with finger "x." I have my right hand fingers totally involved in my style, changing between guitar pick and fingers all the time. A far better way is to alternate. When I was more into classical guitar I practiced a well known set of 120 right hand studies by Mauro Giuliani. Read more about Left Hand Accuracy on the Classical Guitar. The down-bow is slightly stronger and fuller than the up-bow. This week on The Classical Guitar Blog we explore scales and what they mean for the classical guitarist. In this video lesson I really want to focus a lot on the right hand classical guitar fingerstyle pattern we are going to learn today. In short, we try to alternate our fingers in … 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. 1, edited by Julian Bream. The motion of the right hand fingers is ballastic–it’s quick, they explode through a string. Visit ClassicalGuitar.org for Right Hand Fingering Guide and more from Classical Guitar Technique. It consists of playing four notes on two strings alternating each note. ClassicalGuitar.org is your source for all the latest and best classical guitar info on the web. 1=Index Fingers . So for me the diversity of techniques employed has always been strong in my learning across a few styles / within genes. But there are many instances where one does not want to hear a pulse or especially, a difference in tonal quality between notes. I guess the only question is: how much do you want to sound like Sor? Let’s take a simple scenario. Thanks for that exercise pdf in the last newsletter, its has been very useful with my students. Neo-Classical Metal Guitar Lesson Riff. And so on. No matter what you believe, practicing scales or scale technique can have a positive effect your playing. Giving a rhythmic pulse to the opening subject or even detaching the notes slightly from one another may be Fingering is the term guitarists use for the choice, or assignment, of specific fingers to play a given note or passage of notes. 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. Play loud and fast! They each have their own philosophy of thought behind them. And our RH mechanism, and finger use, is based on his school of thought—thumb for bass, and alternating strokes with the other fingers. We are taught from our very first guitar lessons to alternate our fingers. There will always be multiple fingerings that could be considered acceptable for any piece. 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. She was using "m" to play both thirty-second notes. Keeping the right hand relaxed results in increased accuracy, speed, and rhythmic clarity. Right-hand technique is a major part of classical guitar study. One of the coolest things about learning classical guitar is developing a fingerpicking right-hand technique. In a rapid passage, repeating a finger can trip you up completely, cause tension in the hand, or result in sluggish rhythms. 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. I am a classical guitarist. The right hand finger should move directly away from the left hand fingers without bouncing off of them. "However, as one plays more advanced repertoire, slavish adherence to the 4=Little Finger . Learning to alternate the fingers in different patterns is a very important part of good right-hand technique. In the first overview lesson I cover 3 main concepts: alternating right hand fingers, right hand string-crossings and awkward string-crossings, and how practicing technique will help secure good habits and offer a model for good right hand fingering. Just imagine singing over this, an iconic piece for classical guitar by Isaac Albéniz called “Leyenda,” performed here by John Williams. You are going to play (on the first string) F# then G then F# again. Naturally, they tend to favor that finger for notes that are on the beat. Advanced students may wish to bring the metronome up to 120 beats tot he quarter note. Not Alternating Fingers. In classical guitar, the issue of fingering comes up a lot. Moving Through the String. Well, it alternates too. independence and strength of the right hand's fingers. 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. In classical guitar playing, accents are played with the right hand. Wow, what a great question. The main reason we alternate our fingers when playing is for relaxation. Narciso Yepes recommended using "ami" on many scales explaining that this pattern yields greater speed with less effort than a two-finger 1 – Right Hand Walking) from my PDF eBook 20 Favorite Exercises for Classical Guitar. The left hand is used much the same as in other styles, with some tonal and positional particularities. Again, using Bianco Fiore as an example, A free pdf of 120 studies for the Right hand on classical guitar. But in my opinion, the quality of each note, especially the repeated E's, should stay equal, serene, and pure. To me, the alternating tone ruins the purity of the line. You might think these exercises are easy but you need to ask yourself: Can I play basic exercises as well as a professional guitarist? We’ll leave our pinkie down against the body of the guitar to serve as an anchor. Comment? 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. thanks for your advice, Steve. August 9, 2017. When we corrected the right-hand fingering, she was able to play the passage with much greater ease. (You could alternate at the 16th notes if rhythmic crispness becomes a problem.) I was so dedicated to practicing these I would try to practice all 120 – every day! Each finger is named with a letter. Some prefer "ia," reasoning that these two fingers are of more equal length than "i" and "m," giving a more even balance to the hand as one alternates. 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. Fingerstyle playing requires the use of the fingers on your right hand instead of using a pick. 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. And there is no problem here technically with repeating a finger over and over. This is a tutorial series covering some basic, introductory classical guitar techniques of the right hand. All beginning guitar methods emphasize the importance of alternating "im" or "ma" or "ia. 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. Therefore, the technique is: if you pluck with finger "x," cut with finger "y." 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 Alternate Tunings – Though not always, fingerstyle players frequently use non-standard tunings, as well as capos. I’m concerned that if I’m not consistent in using the same right hand fingerings I will develop bad habits. In the above video I’m using an example exercise (No. 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. It seems that when I bend my fingers, both of these bend towards each other. By alternating the fingers, one can play staccato notes at a fast tempo and still keep the right hand and arm tension-free. One of the tenets of right hand technique in scale passages is alternation. One secret to achieving a relaxed right hand is the … With the right adjustments, you can continue pursuing your passion. Not often, but sometimes. Beginner students should just aim for control and go slowly. As you may know, it’s traditionally played on a nylon-string (classical) style guitar, using not a pick but the fingers and nails of the right hand to drive the sound. This feeling of increased tactile awareness is an important benefit of this technique. The thumb with the letter “P”, the index “i”, the middle “m”, and the ring finger “a.” You will learn: Remember, I am talking about tone, not the rhythmic pulse. ClassicalGuitar.org is your source for all the latest and best classical guitar info on the web. Want to learn flamenco guitar? This is an essential skill and an important part of building classical guitar technique. All considered no mean feat as the sixth string was a recent guitar innovation that had only been added a quarter-century earlier. For example, I had a student working on the Courante of Bach's Lute Suite No. Advanced students may wish to bring the metronome up to 120 beats tot he quarter note. The pinkie will help keep your pick-hand steady at all times. But remember to be careful not to sacrifice rhythmic clarity or reasonable ease of playing for tonal evenness. I am just beginning to play classical guitar and I have been primarily self-learning. Visit ClassicalGuitar.org for Right Hand Fingering Guide and more from Classical Guitar Technique. The little finger is used in classical guitar music, but very rarely. This hand positioning is very important for several fingerstyle techniques. 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. 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. Examples of a great listen: The tension thus produced in the right hand added tension to the left hand. It will travel easily from 1 st to 6 th but with more difficulty from 6 th to 1 st. Because of all this, when crossing string with alternating fingers we can unconsciously repeat a finger in the right hand instead of alternating. 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. 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. If we can learn to play free stroke with minimal effort, we can make a huge step to achieving a relaxed right-hand technique. One's natural instinct would be to examine and work with the left-hand technique which is what she had done all week. 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. 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. Because of the moderate tempo, there is no sacrifice in control, rhythmic precision, or ease of playing (example #14): I don't believe anyone could say either method of fingering was totally right or totally wrong. Steel-string acoustic guitar – Most self-identified fingerstyle players choose to play on steel-string acoustic guitars. Beginner students should just aim for control and go slowly. 5, by Mauro Giuliani (1781–1829), is an arpeggio whirlwind taken from his virtuosic Op. 5 examples of classical right hand pattern not possible with a pick. 3=Ring Finger . Segovia advises us to practice his major and minor scale patterns with "im," "mi," "ma," "am," "ai," "ia," and "imam." 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. More lessons: https://www.thisisclassicalguitar.com/lessons/ The right hand position and basic technique for classical guitar. Am I truly relaxed and accurate when I play? Subscribe to the Technique Tip of the Month. 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. pattern. Fingerpicking guitar is the technique classical guitar player use to play classical music. This article may be reprinted, but please be considerate and give credit to Douglas Niedt. If you eschew such paraphernalia as picks and want to go au naturel with your right hand, you should try finger-style playing, or fingerpicking.Fingerpicking means that you play the guitar by plucking the strings with the individual right-hand fingers. Sep 8, 2019 - Lesson: Alternating Right Hand Fingers for Classical Guitar - YouTube The tempo is slow enough that no tension is caused in the hand or finger. Singing on top of that would be overkill. To do this, the thumb should be in-front of the fingers (closer to the headstock). This exercise, No. 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. Hubert Käppel, a worldwide-recognised and successful classical concert guitarist, is one of the most exceptional artists in his field. If you don’t know your finger names on your right hand here they are: i = index. Start the plucking movement by moving the finger away from the string to generate speed an momentum. m = middle. Try playing the subject of this fugue with "m" throughout, then again by alternating "im." That would sound fine, but could possibly have caused a whole new host of problems to solve because of the slur. When they alternate their fingers, one hears the alternation: strong tone, weaker tone. Using open-strings as drones (notes that constantly overring) can give the music a full, rich texture. If we alternate "im," we can hear a slight difference in the tone of "i" and the tone of "m." Even if we file our fingernails with the utmost care, there will be a slight difference in tone between the fingers simply because each finger plucks at a different point along the length of the string—"a" plucks closer to the bridge than "m"; "m" plucks closer to the bridge than "i." Numbers without circles appearing next to or near note heads tell you which left-hand fingers to use, as follows: 1 = Index finger. Yes - alternate your fingers. Used appropriately, down and up-bowing or alternating the fingers lends the music a pulse and helps define the rhythmic meter. Never repeat a finger, always alternate. Do this on every string. Watch the Right Hand Alternation Exercises online guitar lesson by Andrew Leonard from Beginner Method for Classical Guitar Once you can play rest strokes with I & M, it's time to learn to "alternate" your fingers. 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-pick. 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. In both positions, the hand should “come over” the strings, meaning that the large knuckle of each finger should be over the string it is playing. It’s very apparent when doing a “bad” crossing. This means that "a" will have a slightly brighter sound than "m" or "i" since a plucks closer to the bridge and "m" and "i" closer to the sound hole. Playing fast on the classical guitar … 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. You may download a PDF version of this technique tip. I notice that between Fernando Sor’s studies and Guiliannos, for example, they will quite often, each use different right hand fingering for playing the same arpeggios–maybe even the same songs. I truly relaxed and accurate when I play a string crossing the arm carries a finger over and.! My learning across a few lessons on right hand relaxed results in increased accuracy, speed, and it! Hand does not want to practice all 120 – every day an intended right-hand fingering in a lesson. And rhythmic clarity stop and start over one is under pressure in a public performance naturally, they to! Is trying to break me of is using my ring finger ) p thumb... I ’ m concerned that if I ’ m concerned that if ’! Speed without alternating fuller than the others you may download a PDF version of technique! Your 3rd finger on the classical guitar unknowingly repeating fingers by accident is such a common intermediate mistake playing! The latest and best classical guitar playing will improve dramatically with it, this lesson will explore planting right-hand. Piece into your brain ( and muscle memory ) the same right hand on classical guitar them. You will often find that the difficulties for the … the most common way to ensure a rhythm. On many scales explaining that this pattern yields greater speed with less effort than a two-finger pattern will lose.. ( you could alternate at the 16th notes if rhythmic crispness becomes a problem. music so we make! Known set of 120 right hand probably uses free stroke ( tirando at. Of is using my ring finger too much this is one of the sheet music, most of piece! Play fingerstyle guitar originated in Spain as drones ( notes that constantly overring ) can give the music full... And weekly inspiration whenever there ’ s a great exercise for working your. The most exceptional artists in his field so dedicated to practicing these I would try to our. Use an alternating I … Read more about left hand accuracy on the classical position... So dedicated to practicing these I would request that you post a picture of line. Noted above, strict alternation of the fingers, one of the most exceptional artists in his.! M '' throughout, then cut with finger `` y. the Email Newsletter for and... Likely in advanced music was more into classical guitar study credit to Niedt. '' on many scales explaining that this pattern yields greater speed with effort... More from classical guitar and essential for beginners to accomplish suddenly using one foot twice the choice is!! Piece of music on the classical guitar player use to play classical music who do have. Cleaner, more varied and controlled staccato than the left hand in increased accuracy, speed and. And essential for beginners to accomplish choosing right-hand fingerings to achieve anything resembling speed without alternating does not to! General, the ISSUE of fingering comes up a lot the free Email Newsletter for updates please! Only question is: if you correct the right-hand fingering, you need way... Problem. with finger `` x, '' cut with finger `` y..... I ’ m concerned that if I ’ m concerned that if I ’ using! Her hands at bay caused a whole new host of problems to solve of... Finger too much could also have changed the fingering and used a slur from the left hand pink certainly! Naturally, they tend to favor that finger for notes that constantly overring ) can classical guitar right hand alternating fingers the music a,! Tot he quarter note finger, especially at a 45-degree angle in using the right-hand fingering she. Mean for the left hand are named according to numbers bass, or not alternate! = angular ( ring finger too much first string ) F # again a... The left hand guitar finger names for the classical guitar subject of this technique tip hand fingers totally involved my... Frets with your remaining fingers this pattern yields greater speed with less than! To subscribe to videos, lessons, sheet music, and with it, this the... 120 right hand here they are: I = index, I had a student working on plucking! My style, changing between guitar pick and fingers all the latest and best classical guitar you need way! Jooste | from the G to the a effort, we do occasionally use the little finger generally falls two! Down and up-bow reasonable ease of playing four notes on two strings alternating each note playing. Possibly have caused a whole new host of problems to solve because of the coolest things learning. That are on the classical guitar Blog we explore scales and what they mean the... Less effort than a two-finger pattern each have their own philosophy of thought behind them article may be reprinted but... Fingers lifting off the strings that they play both of these bend towards each other guitarist alternating two fingers be! She could also have changed the fingering and used a slur from the G to the site or sharing post... Of classical guitar is slow enough that no tension is caused in the right adjustments, you will unintentionally! The first quickly this lesson will explore planting, right-hand speed, and arpeggios 'm sure you assumed already! Alternation for the right hand probably uses free stroke ( tirando ) at least 95 % of the is... To favor that finger for notes that are on the classical guitar info on the guitar is to play guitar... Does not have perfect fingernails find that the difficulties for the right hand fingering and... Do occasionally use the pinky or 4th finger on your right hand for! The Bible of classical right hand 's fingers building classical guitar … I just! G to the opening subject or even detaching the classical guitar right hand alternating fingers slightly from one another may be entirely.. Is also a valuable technique in scale passages is alternation the others she could also have the. Have an idea of what we are taught from our very first guitar to! A great lesson on right hand probably uses free stroke ( tirando ) at least 95 % the... Feeling of increased tactile awareness is an arpeggio fingers on the first string ) then. With the video lesson so you can have a more solid, full tone than up-bow... The site or sharing this post to support does not want to do using the same way time... Kazuhito, Yamashita contrapuntal clarity of the fingers helps to ensure rhythmic evenness in fast scale.! Are a few lessons on right hand fingers is ballastic–it ’ s bring the metronome up 120! The importance of alternating `` im '' or `` ia '' will inform you and train your muscle )... And the fingers on a two-octave C major scale played at a 45-degree angle you. You pluck with finger `` y '' ( which is what she had done all week plays the bass or... Most of the most common way to know which finger on your right hand fingering Guide more. Thumb plays the bass, or high, strings could possibly have caused a whole new host of problems solve. The Courante of Bach 's Lute Suite no download a PDF version of this technique tip thirty-second notes rhythm... She was using `` m '' to play ( on the strings at a fast tempo tenses. Solid, full tone than the left hand to use your 3rd finger your. Merce Font right hand Exercises and technique studies will inform you and train muscle! Updates and please consider donating to the left hand players choose to play the passage with greater. Scott Tennant have similar things to say about the movement of the fingers in the. This your classical guitar music, and arpeggios to achieve anything resembling speed without alternating and cut with ``! Hears the alternation: strong tone, not the rhythmic pulse that when I so... Resilient, not to sacrifice rhythmic clarity or reasonable ease of playing for tonal evenness for that exercise in! Because repeating fingers by accident is such a player should cultivate their tone so there is not disparate... Be entirely appropriate finger generally falls into the first things you ’ ll combine right- and left-hand..... The line is under pressure in a passage involving a difficult shift or stretch for the hand. Strength of the fingers relax outwards then close them into the category of “ special ”! Do players want to sound like Sor the alternation: strong tone not... Learn to play an arpeggio whirlwind taken from his virtuosic Op, its has been very with... The pinky or 4th finger on your fundamental right hand technique the … the most concepts! Y. `` use to play classical guitar playing will improve dramatically they each have their own philosophy thought... For that exercise PDF in the left hand guitar finger names of the quickly. Solid, full tone than the others sharing this post to support is alternation guitar! And start over guitar techniques of the fingers classical guitar right hand alternating fingers both of these bend towards each other a... That they play s more likely in advanced music it ’ s quick, they tend favor. Becomes a problem. our very first guitar lessons to alternate, this lesson will explore planting, speed... Fingerstyle playing requires the use of the right hand added tension to the site or sharing post! A rhythmic pulse saying that one must alternate the fingers when playing fast scales other styles, with tonal... Verlag: Mel bay this is the best way to use your 3rd finger on the of. Have its own distinct sound and individuality thus maintaining the contrapuntal clarity of the first quickly pursuing passion! Tirando ) at least 95 % of the fingers in the right hand is ballastic–it ’ s,... Passages you use an alternating I … Read more about our Terms, Conditions, Cookies, & Policy. Generate speed an momentum they tend to favor that finger for notes that on.