Right Hand Fingering Lesson for Classical Guitar

Right Hand Fingering Lesson for Classical Guitar – How to choose right hand fingering is a common question for classical guitar students. Below is an overview lesson and a 4-part lesson series covering concepts and ideas related to choosing right hand fingering. The biggest takeaway: practice technique patterns that you can apply to your repertoire.

Refresher Lesson and Overview – The basic idea is that 90% of fingering should conform to regular patterns in your technique practice and the other 10% might need specific practice. That means, most of the time we just play through scale and arpeggio work regardless of awkward string crossings and other common patterns. The technique practice we’ve solidified allows us to simply play through most textures via our muscle memory without thinking too much about it. The remaining fingering gets worked out to avoid awkward string crossings and utilize ergonomic fingering and alternation. Here’s the Youtube link if you want to watch it there. My technique book with the 100 open string exercises is here: Classical Guitar Technique (PDF or Hardcopy).


Four Part Lesson Series on Right Hand Fingering

Part 1 – YouTube Link – This is Part 1 of a 4 part lesson series on right hand fingering for classical guitar. In the first overview lesson I cover 3 main concepts: alternating right hand fingers, right hand string-crossings and awkward string-crossings, and how practicing technique will help secure good habits and offer a model for good right hand fingering.

Part 2 – YouTube Link
In the second video I discuss a number of specific ideas and pieces. Don’t worry about playing them, just soak in the talk for future reference. The main theme is to consider concepts, ergonomics, and special considerations of the piece when deciding on a fingering.

Part 3 – YouTube Link
In the third video I discuss the variables in regards to choosing free stroke or rest stroke. This video explores the topic to give an idea about how to make informed decisions.

Part 4 – YouTube Link
This is Part 4 of a 4 part lesson series on right hand fingering for classical guitar. In this final overview I discuss how to become confident about choosing right hand fingering and the process of going from beginner to advanced in the topic. I also introduce some possible materials.

Recommended Technique

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. These 100 open string exercises teach your right hand all the combinations (both regular and awkward crossings) to turn your right hand into a well working tool for playing through most passages.

3 Comments

  1. Hi, I wonder if you could comment on a problem I’ve been having since I grew my thumbnail. I find in order to strike the string with the thumb I need to alter my right hand position and ‘arch’ the wrist. Is this something you find yourself doing, or perhaps my nail needs to be longer. I realize, not seeing my nail or hand position, there is little you can say specifically about this problem, but wonder if your students have had a similar problem. I was quite secure in playing with the flesh, but now I’ve taken the trouble of grow my nail, I find it destabilizes my usual hand position.

Leave a Reply