Classical Guitar Technique and Posture: Videos of Four Artists


Matteo Carcassi

We’ve come a long way since Mr. Carcassi (left) propped his foot up on that cushion! We have bigger instruments and more variety in styles that we need to accomplish. Technique and posture matter a great deal, especially to beginner students who need to have healthy and positive experiences if they wish to continue. I often tell students to go on YouTube and find examples of technique and posture. Well, instead of sending them blindly onto youtube, which is filled to the brim with horrible technique, here are some videos of artists I truely believe have amazing technique and posture. I did not necessarily choose my favorite artists or just Canadians as I wanted videos with specific camera angles and a certain type of player for this post. Instead these players are for visual study more than anything. I’ve also written a few words about each example to explain why I’ve included it. If you’re looking for a technique book you can check out my review of classical guitar technique and exercise books.

Denis Azabagic

Denis Azabagic is my first choice because his hands remain extremely compact and economic in their movement while his body remains in a state of constant movement combined with relaxation. I don’t think everyone can sit still like John Williams and still remain relaxed.

Right-hand: very small movements with the thumb extended away from the fingers.

Left-hand: again, small movements with his fingers always curved and hovering over the next note. His pinky finger is really in perfect order as well.

Video: Make sure to watch the whole video to see the right-hand camera angles in the last movement.

Video link:

Vladimir Gorbach

Vladimir Gorbach just won the 2011 GFA competition. His technique is not as compact as Azabagic but he pulls everything off with total ease and he digs into the strings a good deal too. He moves around a bit but his guitar remains quite still. He really taps that foot which always a good sign of feeling the rhythm…

Right-hand: check the good deal of anchoring of the right-hand thumb on lower strings for security.

Video link:

Susana Prieto from Duo Melis

Many of my students own the Pumping Nylon Book/DVDbut there is one small issue. For example: a fourteen year old girl who weights under 100 pounds uses a full grown man to base her technique from she might have a hard time relating the visual lesson. You need to seek out body types that are similar to your own.

Susana Prieto has a posture with the guitar that is growing more popular with many woman (plenty of exceptions to this of course). The guitar is quite close and vertical with the foot stool high. She is playing strong and aggressively here but still remains relaxed…amazing performance.

Video Link:

Jean-François Desrosby

Canadian guitarist Jean-François Desrosby has this great video with excellent angles of the right hand as well as the back (thumb) of the left-hand. Notice his left-hand thumb relaxing on a regular basis. You can really see it apply a small amount of pressure for a few seconds and then release immediately. Also check his right-hand movements which are strong but economic. Dr. Desrosby also has a great book on guitar: Classical Guitarists: Unlock Your Potential!

Another reason I choose this video is the ergo-play guitar support.

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  1. We all have different views and “takes” on playing, but your starting point is musicality. When the intent of playing begins with expression everything else seems to fall into place. Thanks for providing such great examples in the sea of less artistic attempts on the internet.

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