Here are a few lessons on right hand alternation for the classical guitar. This is one of the most important concepts of right hand fingering for classical guitar and essential for beginners to accomplish. Intermediate students should also review this because repeating fingers by accident is such a common intermediate mistake. For more free weekly lessons join the Email Newsletter for updates and please consider donating to the site or sharing this post to support.
In the above video I’m using an example exercise (No. 1 – Right Hand Walking) from my PDF eBook 20 Favorite Exercises for Classical Guitar. It’s a great exercise for working on your fundamental right hand technique. Beginner students should just aim for control and go slowly. Never repeat a finger, always alternate. Advanced students may wish to bring the metronome up to 120 beats tot he quarter note. 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
The above exercise is from my new book Classical Guitar Technique: Essential Exercises, Scales, and Arpeggios. 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.
Practicing open string exercises allows you to focus solely on the right hand and really examine your right hand technique. You might think these exercises are easy but you need to ask yourself: Can I play basic exercises as well as a professional guitarist? Could my legato sound be better? Am I truly relaxed and accurate when I play? Always alternate the fingers in all the combos:
Two finger combinations: i-m / m-i / m-a / a-m / i-a / a-i
Three Finger Combinations: a-m-i / a-i-m / m-i-a / m-a-i / i-a-m / i-m-a
Books to consider
- Classical Guitar Method – Vol. 1, Notation, Video Lessons, 100 pages, Free PDF
- Classical Guitar Method Vol. 2, Notation, Video Lessons, 89 pages.
- Classical Guitar Repertoire Lessons Grade 1 – Eight pieces at the grade one level with dedicated lessons preparing you for each piece.
- Classical Guitar Technique: Essential Exercises, Scales, & Arpeggios – Notation, 122 pages, Gr. 1-9. Video lessons, hundreds of exercises. Includes Giuliani’s 120 arpeggios and 100 open string exercises to learn good fingering habits.
- 20 Favorite Exercises, Notation + TAB, Video lessons, Gr.1-6, Great for crossover or a quick boost.
- Ten Classical Etudes, Gr.4-7, videos lessons, Notation & Notation + TAB