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The TRUTH about Learning Guitar
Improve Your Skills > Fingerstyle/Classical > The Classical Right Hand

The Classical Right Hand

The Classical Right Hand: Beauty, Grace, and Power


Very often, players are drawn to study of the classical guitar because of the belief that training in the classical style will give them the best possible command over their right hand for fingerstyle playing-and that belief is correct.

With the proper training, each finger is capable of quite independent control, and when we have that control in each finger, the possibilities are endless and exciting.

However, achieving this control, this ability for relaxed yet powerful use of the right hand is quite a perilous undertaking. A lot can and does go wrong during the course of its development. The good news is that even a little bit of development in the right direction puts you miles ahead of the usual fingerpicker.

The Right Side of The Right Hand

One of the hardest things to conquer is the tension that develops in the right side of the hand during practice and playing. I noticed early on that all the great players had very relaxed looking ring fingers and pinkies. Usually, the ring finger was out and forward from the others, and as the hand played, the pinky stayed relatively relaxed. Although it may move "naturally along with the ring finger" as recommended by Segovia, it did not curl into a tight ball of tension, as is so often seen. I have always found a well developed right hand quite a beautiful sight to watch!

I believe that these qualities are highly to be prized if we wish to achieve a high level of playing ability with our right hand, especially if playing the classical repertoire is our goal. If that is your goal, then I recommend you consider our online "Classical Fingerstyle Course".  In it I have put the information and practice methods you need to achieve this development of the right hand for yourself,the kind of development that leads to maximum power and speed in the right hand.

Here is a video clip showing the right hand being used for one of the more challenging pieces at the end of the course. Notice that when I play slow, the pinky and ring finger are very relaxed and remaining in position as the other fingers are being used. They do not curl into the hand with tension, or otherwise lose their position. Also notice that they stay that way when the right hand is playing fast!

Etude in Am

See the right hand action close up.....


The piece is Mauro Giuliani's Etude in Aminor. Here is the whole piece at a fast pace......


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