Lesson: When is it okay to repeat right hand fingers?

When is it okay to repeat fingers in the right hand on classical guitar? Plus some context about learning to alternate your fingers and my thoughts as a teacher. Short answer, if you choose to repeat fingers for a specific musical reason it’s probably fine but if you are repeating fingers accidentally you should examine the reason why. Here’s the YouTube lesson link if you want to watch it there.

Need right hand practice and good habits? Check out the 100 exercises from my technique book. All the individual lessons are also listed below the description on the book page. After those exercises you can proceed to Giuliani’s 120 Right Hand Studies, also in my book: Classical Guitar Technique: Essential Exercises, Scales, & Arpeggios


Ask a Question or Leave a Positive Comment

  1. I’m coming to Classical Guitar from Bass, and am much more inclined to use rest strokes than free strokes. With the bass, using rest strokes, I was taught to use the same finger to cross down a string. Especially when doing scales, actually. So I watched this video with much interest, since I’ve been trying to break that habit on the guitar. But when I’m using rest strokes I fall back into same finger lower sting crossing. Whether that counts as “on purpose” or not, it was definitely on purpose for a few years of bass lessons. Thoughts?

    • There are special occasions when we will play a double rest stroke with the same finger but in generic/general flowing passages we don’t. It’s more to do with how light and relaxed a right hand we are aiming for and also the difficulty beginner students have just learning alternation.

  2. Hi Bradford, firstly thank you for your always informative and very useful videos, as well as your excellent transcriptions. It is great to hear your thoughts on this. The strict alternation issue is something that I have begun to relax in my teaching approach over the past few years, even though it does feel like I am straying from tradition!
    Rest assured I will be drawing on your well explained reasonings.
    Cheers form Australia.

  3. I have been trying to control my Left Hand “pinky”. It always jets out on me. It does not effect my playing its just annoying and looks untrained. I have starred at it a lot while plying and rained it in as much as possible. But if I am not conscious of it it jets out. I even tried to tape it down with duck tape. Any suggestions?


    • I have the same issue. First though, do not use tape or restraints. Many players have injured themselves or caused tension issues, it has to be worked out naturally.

      I think the elements involved are reexamining your positioning, relaxation, and finger dexterity. So include lots of 4th finger exercises in your technique routine and also start lots of relaxation exercises such as muted left hand exercises.