Introduction To Classical Guitar Right Hand Technique

Posted on December 15, 2010

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Although many techniques in classical, flamenco and other fingerpicking guitar styles employ the right hand ring finger and occasionally the right hand pinky, you may begin studying these techniques using your three strongest right hand digits: your thumb, pointer and middle fingers. Here is example 1:

Even if you’ve never played guitar before, you can attempt this example. Set your right hand thumb up over the G string, your pointer finger over the B string and your middle finger over the high E string. Play each open string in succession in a triplet pattern. As you play each string, do not move your hand out of the initial position. Stabilize your right hand over your three thinnest strings, and draw your fingers into your hand as if you were making a fist. The idea here is to avoid extraneous motion.

Once you get this pattern together, you can apply chords with your left hand while continuing this pattern with your right hand. Here is example 2:

This is an easy set of left hand chord positions that work nicely with this technique. Watch the accompanying video for an explanation of the left hand fingering.

Next time, we will explore the flamenco technique “tremolo” and begin incorporating the right hand ring finger.

Lefties, just switch the words “left” and “right” in this article and everything here will apply to you.

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