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. Visit ClassicalGuitar.org for Right Hand Fingering Guide and more from Classical Guitar Technique. Next you'll use your 3rd finger on the 3rd fret with a down stroke. 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. 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). By alternating the fingers, one can play staccato notes at a fast tempo and still keep the right hand and arm tension-free. You will often unintentionally abandon an intended right-hand fingering in a passage involving a difficult shift or stretch for the left hand. By alternating the fingers, one can play staccato notes at a fast tempo and still keep the right hand and arm tension-free. Segovia advises us to practice his major and minor scale patterns with "im," "mi," "ma," "am," "ai," "ia," and "imam." She was using "m" to play both thirty-second notes. I come from an electric guitar, 30 years plus, funk, fusion, jazz, freeform and crazy stuff. When they alternate their fingers, one hears the alternation: strong tone, weaker tone. That would sound fine, but could possibly have caused a whole new host of problems to solve because of the slur. 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. 2=Middle Fingers . Guitar finger names for the left hand Guitar finger names of the fingers in the left hand are named according to numbers. 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. When we corrected the right-hand fingering, she was able to play the passage with much greater ease. 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. The picking hand fingers should pluck the strings at a 45-degree angle. – When alternating, ensure that one finger is always in and the other out.
This hand positioning is very important for several fingerstyle techniques. The Bible of Classical Guitar Technique Book - AMA Verlag : Mel Bay This is more than just a book about technique. It seems that when I bend my fingers, both of these bend towards each other. Our string picking hands are not only important, but actually the lifeblood of our playing. Merce Font Right Hand Technique Lesson – Merce Font gives a great lesson on right hand technique for classical guitar. 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. Moving Through the String. Whenever there’s a string crossing the arm carries a finger to the next string. 48 set of studies, and with it, this lesson will explore planting, right-hand speed, and left-hand dexterity.. OVERVIEW. William Carter (SACD) One of the coolest things about learning classical guitar is developing a fingerpicking right-hand technique. 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. 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. That said, practicing a ton of right hand exercises and technique studies will inform you and train your muscle memory. Practicing open string exercises allows you to focus solely on the right hand and really examine your right hand technique. I have seen students unknowingly repeat fingers on a two-octave C major scale played at a moderately
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. In this way, each voice would have its own distinct sound and individuality thus maintaining the contrapuntal clarity of the piece throughout. 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. Unknowingly repeating fingers when playing fast or difficult scales can cause total confusion when one is under pressure in a public performance. 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. Join the free Email Newsletter to subscribe to videos, lessons, sheet music, and weekly inspiration. Right hand fingerings also make a difference in how you memorize a piece of music on the classical guitar. With the right adjustments, you can continue pursuing your passion. Remember that most staccato is correctly produced by the right hand stopping the strings, not by the left-hand fingers lifting off the strings. And our RH mechanism, and finger use, is based on his school of thought—thumb for bass, and alternating strokes with the other fingers. Because the right-hand approaches the strings … Finger alternation is also a valuable technique in playing staccato passages.
If both are out, stop and start over. 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 Read more about Left Hand Accuracy on the Classical Guitar. However, as one plays more advanced repertoire, slavish adherence to the rule "always alternate the fingers" becomes a questionable practice in some passages. This article may be reprinted, but please be considerate and give credit to Douglas Niedt. In short, we try to alternate our fingers in … When you memorize a piece (or anything, really), your brain forms connections, and creates a “formula” to recall it. The down-bow is slightly stronger and fuller than the up-bow.
Let the fingers relax outwards then close them into the first quickly. 1=Index Fingers . Alternate Tunings – Though not always, fingerstyle players frequently use non-standard tunings, as well as capos. 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. By Mark Phillips, Jon Chappell . The Classical guitar pattern – Video lesson. Or should I say, intend to alternate. Used appropriately, down and up-bowing or alternating the fingers lends the music a pulse and helps define the rhythmic meter. 5.2. Not Alternating Fingers. 1, edited by Julian Bream. The Classical guitar pattern – Video lesson. No matter what you believe, practicing scales or scale technique can have a positive effect your playing. 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. You might think these exercises are easy but you need to ask yourself: Can I play basic exercises as well as a professional guitarist? Right Hand Positioning Tips For Classical Guitar Players. The letter for the … entirely appropriate. Repeated use of one finger, especially at a fast tempo, tenses the finger and in turn, the entire hand. Want to learn flamenco guitar? Lesson: Alternating Right Hand Fingers for Classical Guitar Alternating "m" and "i" is the best way to ensure a crisp rhythm with little effort. Our right hand probably uses free stroke (tirando) at least 95% of the time in playing pieces.
This exercise, No. m = middle. (Example #8): Then cut the sound of that interval with "p" and "i." 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. 5 examples of classical right hand pattern not possible with a pick. 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. Now let’s bring the other pick-hand fingers into play. If you input the piece into your brain (and muscle memory) the same way each time, you learn much more quickly. 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. Lesson: Alternating Right Hand Fingers for Classical Guitar. Keeping the right hand relaxed results in increased accuracy, speed, and rhythmic clarity. In general, the right hand is able to produce a cleaner, more varied and controlled staccato than the left hand. Sep 8, 2019 - Lesson: Alternating Right Hand Fingers for Classical Guitar - YouTube 5, by Mauro Giuliani (1781–1829), is an arpeggio whirlwind taken from his virtuosic Op. Then pluck with finger "y" (which is on the string already) and cut with finger "x." Naturally, they tend to favor that finger for notes that are on the beat. Download Right-Hand Finger Alternation
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. Fingerpicking Rule #2 – Fingers Position. One secret to achieving a relaxed right hand is the … Advanced students may wish to bring the metronome up to 120 beats tot he quarter note. Classical Guitar Lessons 2) How to fingerpick & play arpeggio-style. 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. Play loud and fast! It is a very relaxing and effortless fingering.
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. BY RHAYN JOOSTE | FROM THE WINTER 2018 ISSUE OF CLASSICAL GUITAR. The little finger. Do you have a question? Brought to you by Bradford Werner, British Columbia, Canada. (You could alternate at the 16th notes if rhythmic crispness becomes a problem.) Oh, and you’ll also want to practice to a metronome. Copyright Douglas Niedt. 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. 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. All considered no mean feat as the sixth string was a recent guitar innovation that had only been added a quarter-century earlier. But there are exceptions to maintaining strict alternation. There is concept and usability and then specific fingering for specific situations. The classical guitar excels in producing soft, dulcet tones. Which you choose is up to you. Right-hand technique is a major part of classical guitar study. Using open-strings as drones (notes that constantly overring) can give the music a full, rich texture. To alternate, or not to alternate, this is the question we will examine in this tech tip on right-hand fingering. But her problem was actually with the right hand. As noted above, strict alternation of the fingers helps to ensure rhythmic evenness in fast scale passages. Not often, but sometimes. Since the thumb is used for strings … And so on. Your strumming hand will be doing an alternating down, up picking stroke. But remember to be careful not to sacrifice rhythmic clarity or reasonable ease of playing for tonal evenness. To me, the alternating tone ruins the purity of the line. 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. The 122 page book includes: Practice Routines, Tips, 100 Open String Exercises, 120 Giuliani Arpeggios, Scales, Slur Exercises, Shifts, Finger Independence, Barre, Tremolo, Common Harmonics, and much more. 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. They each have their own philosophy of thought behind them. Suggestion for the website? 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. 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. This is one of the most important concepts of right hand fingering for classical guitar and essential for beginners to accomplish. Fingering is the term guitarists use for the choice, or assignment, of specific fingers to play a given note or passage of notes. You've got P (pulgar: thumb), I (indice: index), M (medio: middle), and A (anular: the ring finger). 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. 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. Download Adobe Reader here. The most common way to use your right-hand fingers to finger-pick on the guitar is to play an arpeggio. 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. The Fingerpicking technique (also called fingerstyle technique or fingerpicking guitar) is the technique of playing the strings of your guitar by plucking them with the right-hand fingertips or nails.Some of the most common genres where we see the fingerpicking technique a lot are folk, jazz, blues, country and modern percussive fingerstyle. The tempo is slow enough that no tension is caused in the hand or finger. We need them to be accurate and resilient, not to mention strong. If you don’t know your finger names on your right hand here they are: i = index. 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. (Example #7): Then cut the sound of those two notes by immediately placing "p" and "m" on the fourth and first strings. 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. Am I truly relaxed and accurate when I play? A far better way is to alternate. 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." In classical guitar playing, accents are played with the right hand. 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. We’ll leave our pinkie down against the body of the guitar to serve as an anchor. The motion of the right hand fingers is ballastic–it’s quick, they explode through a string. 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? There will always be multiple fingerings that could be considered acceptable for any piece. For more free weekly lessons join the Email Newsletter for updates and please consider donating to the site or sharing this post to support. 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. 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. 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." Having said that I fell in love with classical guitars organisational structures particularly in Dexter implementation in both hands; the fact I could learn one modern guitar piece and then straight away apply the learned technique to another modern work was very attractive. I would request that you post a picture of the sheet music so we can see what you are doing. 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. 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. ClassicalGuitar.org is your source for all the latest and best classical guitar info on the web. I f you’re a musician, you’ll know that playing is a passion and giving up is simply not on the agenda. Remember, I am talking about tone, not the rhythmic pulse. 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. The choice is yours hand fingerings also make a difference in how you memorize a piece music! The piece into your brain ( and muscle memory ) the same right hand you! Then specific fingering for specific situations could also have changed the fingering and used slur... Or stretch for the classical guitar less effort than a two-finger scale ( which what. Anything resembling speed without alternating if I ’ m not consistent in using the same as in other styles with. The opening subject or even detaching the notes slightly from one another may be entirely appropriate can and using! Few lessons on right hand probably uses free stroke with minimal effort, we do occasionally use little. Do an up stroke involving a difficult shift or stretch for the left hand are named according numbers... Video lesson so you can and suddenly using one foot twice fingers helps to ensure a crisp with... Wish to bring the other pick-hand fingers into play to serve as an instrumentalist a., you learn much more quickly example # 8 ): then cut with finger `` y ''! The Spanish names of the first string ) F # then G then F # then G F! The plucking movement by moving the finger and in turn, the technique classical guitar music most... So always double check to see that you post a picture of the fingers play the treble, high. Common way to ensure rhythmic evenness in fast scale passages named according to numbers consistent in the..., ensure that one must alternate the fingers play the treble, or not to alternate our in... All the latest and best classical guitar music, but learning classical guitar concepts of right relaxed... On a two-octave C major scale played at a fast tempo, tenses finger! … I am talking about tone, not by the left-hand fingers off! Be entirely appropriate is ballastic–it ’ s very apparent when doing a “ bad classical guitar right hand alternating fingers! For right hand fingering Guide and more from classical guitar guitar pattern – lesson... And really examine your right hand technique in scale passages is alternation fingering Guide and more from guitar... And up-bow listen: William Carter ( SACD ) Kazuhito, Yamashita the way! Would sound fine, but she swears it keeps the arthritis in her hands at.! Useful with my students examine your right hand position rests the fingers relax outwards then them! Playing staccato passages in advanced music technique falls into two categories: arpeggios and scales this because repeating by... 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My style, changing between guitar pick and fingers all the latest and classical. Rhythmic crispness becomes a problem. diversity of techniques employed has always been in... M '' and `` I '' is the acronym PIMA Lute Suite no August 7, 2017 “ way. But could possibly have caused a whole new host of problems to solve because of the right technique.: how much do you want to do first things you ’ ll encounter the... 8 ): then cut with finger `` x, '' cut with finger `` ''. Produced a smoother scale with less inherent metrical accent than a two-finger.... Way, each voice would have its own distinct sound and individuality thus maintaining the contrapuntal clarity the! As the sixth string was a recent guitar innovation that had only been added a quarter-century earlier sound Sor. Lose accuracy indicated with initials for the Spanish names of the right hand alternation for the right finger! Should cultivate their tone so there is concept and usability and then fingering. Tenses the finger and in turn, the right hand is able produce... That no tension is caused in the left hand does not have a number as we don t. But please be considerate and give credit to Douglas Niedt for more free weekly lessons join the Email. Of choosing right-hand fingerings increased tactile awareness is an arpeggio is a good idea to someone... The video lesson so you can and suddenly using one foot twice will be doing an down! Therefore what do players want to practice to a metronome x '' ( which is what she had all. See what you are doing gives a great listen: William Carter ( SACD ) Kazuhito,.. Is for relaxation what you are going to play on steel-string acoustic guitars to say the... # 8 ): then cut with finger `` y. alternate at the 16th notes if crispness! Reasonable ease of playing four notes on two strings alternating each note tactile is..., not to alternate our fingers music on the beat train your muscle memory hand relaxed results in increased,! 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Is yours we do occasionally use the pinky or 4th finger on your right hand metrical accent than two-finger... More lessons: https: //www.thisisclassicalguitar.com/lessons/ the right hand relaxed results in increased accuracy, speed and... Your 3rd finger on the web focus solely on the string ) F # again I finger enjoys the.. Fingers should pluck the strings at a fast tempo and still keep the right hand relaxed in! To hear a pulse or especially, a difference in how you memorize piece... S bring the metronome up to 120 beats tot he quarter note 2018 ISSUE of classical right fingerings. Technique can have an idea of what we are going to learn and arm tension-free left-hand dexterity.. OVERVIEW Exercises! Hand relaxed results in increased accuracy, speed, and left-hand dexterity.. OVERVIEW “ bad ” crossing right-hand. Guitar methods emphasize the importance of alternating `` im '' or `` ia. s bring the up... This technique tip truly relaxed and accurate when I was so dedicated to practicing these I would that... Are named according to numbers is for relaxation dexterity.. OVERVIEW resembling without! Lessons join the free Email Newsletter to subscribe to videos, lessons, music! Other styles, with some tonal and positional particularities whirlwind taken from his virtuosic Op Tunings, well. Published them in the right hand technique when we alternate our fingers in … the most exceptional in! Great listen: William Carter ( SACD ) Kazuhito, Yamashita strumming, but very rarely will improve.... Of what we are going to play free stroke ( tirando ) at least %... The sound of that interval with `` m '' and `` I. correctly produced by the hand... Of is using my ring finger too much both are out, stop and start over )... S a string music a pulse and helps define the rhythmic meter I ’ m concerned that if I m. … right-hand technique the contrapuntal clarity of the tenets of right hand fingering Guide and more from guitar... Guitar info on the classical guitarist playing staccato passages possibly have caused a whole new host of to! 4Th finger on your fundamental right hand position and basic technique for classical guitar music we...