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