Left Hand Technique for Classical Guitar

Introducing left hand technique for guitar.  For most of us, the left hand is our non-dominant hand (most of us are right-handed).  So training our left hand to what it’s told can be challenging.

Here you’ll find links to resources on training and developing your left hand for classical guitar.

  • The Basics – Start here for general rules of form, positioning and movement.
  • How to Sit and Hold a Guitar – For the left hand to work at its best, we need to get the guitar neck at the proper angle.  This article will help. (If short on time, scroll down the page and look at the pictures.)
  • Left-Hand Exercise (Slurs) – Slurs are perhaps the best all-around exercise for the left hand. They have it all – strength, control, dexterity, independence…. If you do just one left-hand exercise, slurs should be it.
  • Scales – Scales synchronize the hands, and train accuracy and precision.
  • Chords – In classical guitar music, the left hand spends most of the time playing chords (or fragments of chords).  Chords are the patterns that occur in classical guitar music, and are therefore well worth the practice.

Left Hand Technique for Positioning, Form, and Function


All Articles on Left-Hand Technique

  1. 1234-4321-1434-2434
  2. 3 Tips for Better Harmonics on Guitar
  3. 3 Tips for Comfortable Slurs: Easier Hammer-Ons and Pull-Offs
  4. 5 Top Classical Guitar Technique Mistakes
  5. A Guide to Classical Guitar Thumb Technique
  6. A Quick Guide to Musical Ornaments on the Guitar
  7. Advancing Your Classical Guitar Technique
  8. Beautiful Ornaments and Trills: Exercises for Practice
  9. Classical Guitar Speed Bursts
  10. Complete Guide to Vibrato on Guitar
  11. Do I Really Have to Use Consistent Fingerings in Classical Guitar Pieces?
  12. Free the Left Hand Wrist for Comfort and Mobility
  13. Guitar Squeak: Get Rid of Guitar Noise
  14. Hammer-ons
  15. How to Develop Left Hand Finger Independence
  16. How to Make Bar Chords – More Comfortable Barres
  17. How to Play Guitar with Less Left-Hand Tension
  18. How to Relieve Guitar Tendonitis
  19. How to Use Corrective Pauses to Speed up Chord Changes
  20. How to Warm Up for your Classical Guitar Practice
  21. Keep the Left Hand Fingers Low for More Guitar Speed and Fluidity
  22. Left-Hand Finger Independence and Stretch, with Odair’s Favorite Drill
  23. Play Legato Guitar! Synchronize the Hands for More Fluidity
  24. Practice On the Go, with Guitar Finger Games
  25. Pros and Cons of Looking at Your Left Hand on Guitar
  26. Pull-offs
  27. QuickStart Guide to Practicing Scales on the Classical Guitar
  28. Reduce Tension and Improve Your Touch, with Buzzed Notes
  29. Sergio Assad’s Left Hand Independence Workout
  30. Should You Learn the Segovia Scales?
  31. Slurs: The Classical Guitar Equivalent to 6-Pack Abs
  32. Smooth Shifts and Leaps on the Classic Guitar
  33. The Basics of Classical Guitar Technique
  34. The Chord Shift Formula: How to Shift Cleanly to a Chord
  35. The Dangers of Speed in Classical Guitar Practice
  36. The Play-Prepare Double-Movement: The Two Actions of Every Note
  37. What is a Capo? How and Why to Use a Capo on Guitar
  38. What’s the point of practicing scales on guitar?