Sunday, June 15, 2008

Hand Coordination

One of the topics that is rarely discussed in classical guitar technique is true hand coordination. Basically, this means that when one hand moves, the other must move at the same time with the same speed.

On paper this seems easy, but it is rare to find someone with absolutely flawless hand coordination in their playing. Without proper training of this technique, the player will experience non-legato playing, clicks, and "ghost" notes from the lifting of the left hand too soon. These unwanted sounds are common among students of the classical guitar.

The following are 5 exercises that I use to improve hand coordination- repeat them on many different strings in many different positions.


These are left hand fingerings. The Right Hand should do ALL of the following fingerings- im,mi,am,ma,ami,ima,pm,pi.

The key is listening- when you play the exercise at a slow tempo- do you hear clicks? Do you hear a tiny space? Do you hear the left- hand lift before you play the right- hand?

In any of these cases it means that your hands are not totally coordinated! You have to move the right-hand fingers through the string at the same time your left-hand frets the string. Do not stop the string before you play it! The movements should be very fast and together- like a fine machine.

Once you start understanding this principle better- try to incorporate it into your pieces.

This technique is essential for good sound and rhythmic vitality for any style of music.

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