20 Favorite Exercises for Classical Guitar
For Beginner to Intermediate Classical Guitarists
Notation & TAB, Video Lessons, Fingerings, Tips
by Bradford Werner
20 Favorite Exercises for Classical Guitar was designed for my students. There are plenty of great books on technique out there but not many for the beginner to intermediate player that focus on building fundamentals. I wanted to create a book with exercises that students would be able to play at a very high level. I’ve made the book progressive: each exercise builds on the previous one. You practice by creating a model technique for the first few exercises and maintain that model as you progress to the next one. Students are often held back by the difficult reading that patterned exercises create, the inclusion of tablature will help make this book accessible to all.
20 Favorite Exercises (PDF Download)
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Take a Look Inside:
Looking for a more comprehensive book? Check out my full 122 page technique book that includes most of the 20 Favorite Exercises but keep in mind it is in notation only: Classical Guitar Technique – Essential Exercises, Scales, & Arpeggios.
Video Lessons for Every Exercise
Part One: Fundamentals
These exercises form a foundation which will support more advanced exercises. I firmly believe that simplistic exercises played at a high level are essential to developing a solid and confident technique. Although many of the exercises are played on open-strings, you should strive to execute them with a professional sound, relaxed touch, and physical control. You might also want to review this lesson on how to play legato on classical guitar.
- No. 1 – Right Hand Walking (Alternation)
- No. 2 & 3 – Basic Left Hand Position Exercise and Horizontal Builders
- No. 4 – Basic Arpeggios, Balance, and Planting
- No. 5 – Basic Tremolo Exercise for Classical Guitar
- No. 6 – Left Hand Slur Exercise: Vertical Builder
- No. 7 – Left Hand Slur Exercise: Horizontal Builder
- No. 8 – Right Hand Cross-String Exercise
- No. 9 – Basic Rasgueado Exercise
Part Two: Development
These exercises involve minor stretches shifts, and endurance. They also aim to develop musical articulation and expression. Be careful to take breaks and relax between each one.
- No. 10 – Fixed Position Exercise for the Left Hand
- No. 11 – Scale Exercise: Destination Points
- No. 12 – Scale Exercise: Rhythmic Vitality
- No. 13 – Scale Exercise: Articulation and Dynamics
- No. 14 – Slurs and Shifts Combo Exercise
- No. 15 – All-In-One-Arpeggio Pattern
- No. 16 – Barre Exercise for Guitar
Part Three: Expansion & Context
These exercises test your technical skills further. The etudes test your ability to execute material in a musical context. Make sure you use these exercises and etudes for practicing technique. Don’t treat them like the same old repertoire you play casually. Focus, improve your technique, and play musically.