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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......


article 1
Before You Begin Or Continue Your Classical/Fingerstyle Studies - Critical Information
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article 2
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This lesson shows you every detail of how to train your fingers to play this guitar classic easily! You get the notes, tab, and complete fingering for "Spanish Romance". Special tips on chord changes.
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A student wants to know if "bracing" the right hand on the guitar, like his teacher does, will be a good or bad thing.
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The Thumb Up Exercise
A big problem for fingerstyle guitar players is controlling the thumb. The action of the fingers greatly affects the thumb, causing it to tense and miss bass strings. This exercise will help!
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article 9
Etude in Bm By Fernando Sor
This beautiful guitar piece is one of the 20 Essential Studies handpicked by Andres Segovia for all classical guitar students. A wise choice!
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