Right Hand Technique in Classical Guitar

Right-hand technique is a major part of classical guitar study.  The right hand creates the sound.  And to play all the musical parts of classical guitar music (melody, bass, accompaniment), the right hand needs to move consistently well.

In classical guitar music, most of the right-hand technique falls into two categories: arpeggios and scales.

  1. Right-hand Arpeggios – These are “fingerpicking patterns”, and make up ~80% of classical guitar music.  If you only study one technique, arpeggio technique is the most versatile right-hand technique.
  2. Right-Hand Technique for Scales – This is the melodic playing, using more than one note on the same string.  These make up another ~19% of classical guitar music
  3. Special Techniques – Special techniques make up the last ~1% of classical guitar right-hand technique.  Most players would do best ignoring this until they reach at least the intermediate level.

Other Areas Right-Hand Technique Study

In addition to the main three listed above, there are also other common techniques, issues and areas of study.

  • Tone Quality – Tone is the sound your fingers make when they play a string.  It could be lush or bright, rich or brittle.  Here’s how to get great tone.
  • Strumming – Playing chords by moving one or more fingers quickly across the strings.  Worldwide, and when we include all genres (not just classical), this is the most-used technique for the right hand on guitar.  But strumming is not just for folk and popular music. It’s also in Spanish flamenco, Brazilian, and music dating back centuries.
  • Exercises – Here you’ll find activities to add strength, dexterity and flexibility.
  • Right-Hand Fingering Rules in Pieces – Here are the best practices for right-hand fingerings in pieces of music.  These “rules” allow for the most speed and elegance.  Should you use consistent fingerings?  Yes.
  • Speed – Practice methods to speed up your playing.  (Tip: focus first on playing clean and smooth, then speed afterward. Much better results that way.)
  • The Right Thumb in Classical Guitar.
  • The Right Little Finger in Classical Guitar.
  • Pain and Injuries – Here you’ll find tips on avoiding and relieving pain, as well as tips on how to safely keep practicing if you do become injured.

Below you’ll find all the articles tagged Right Hand Technique.

  1. 3 Tips for Better Harmonics on Guitar
  2. 5 Top Classical Guitar Technique Mistakes
  3. A Guide to Classical Guitar Thumb Technique
  4. Adding Variation to Arpeggio Practice on the Classical Guitar
  5. Advancing Your Classical Guitar Technique
  6. Balance Ratios: A Way to Quantify Musical Expression and Phrasing
  7. Classical Guitar Nails: a Basic Primer
  8. Classical Guitar Speed Bursts
  9. Classical Guitar Technique Off-Guitar Exercises for Travel, Strength, and Stretch
  10. Classical Guitar Technique Right Hand Fundamentals
  11. Classical Guitar Tone Production
  12. Classical Guitar Tremolo Technique: Free Short Course
  13. Do I Really Have to Use Consistent Fingerings in Classical Guitar Pieces?
  14. Guitar Tremolo Exercise: Use Accents for Smoother Tremolo
  15. How to Learn Classical Guitar – A Free Course on Right Hand Technique
  16. How to Master Chord Balance on Classical Guitar
  17. How to Play (and Practice) Accents on Classical Guitar
  18. How to Play Pizzicato Technique on Classical Guitar (pizz.)
  19. How to Play Rasgueados: the Basics
  20. How to Play Right-Hand and Artificial Harmonics on Classical Guitar
  21. How to Play Rolled Chords Musically on Classical Guitar
  22. How to Relieve Guitar Tendonitis
  23. How to Strum Guitar Songs
  24. How to Warm Up for your Classical Guitar Practice
  25. I and M Alternation (Classical Guitar Right Hand Technique) w/ video
  26. I and M String Crossing
  27. Keeping Arpeggios Fun on Classical Guitar
  28. Play Legato Guitar! Synchronize the Hands for More Fluidity
  29. Quick-Prepping Technique for Scales, Speed, and Solidity
  30. QuickStart Guide to Practicing Scales on the Classical Guitar
  31. Right Hand Fingerings for Guitar (Classical Guitar Fingering Rules)
  32. Scale Fragments, for Fluid Scales and Melodic Mastery
  33. Scissors Exercise for I and M Alternation
  34. Should You Learn the Segovia Scales?
  35. Speed Up You Guitar Playing, Using Dotted Rhythms
  36. The Basics of Classical Guitar Technique
  37. The Dangers of Speed in Classical Guitar Practice
  38. The Play-Prepare Double-Movement: The Two Actions of Every Note
  39. The Right-Hand Little Finger: What About the Pinky?
  40. Using the Arpeggio Patterns in Your Classical Guitar Pieces
  41. Warmer Tone on Classical Guitar, Using Attack
  42. What’s the point of practicing scales on guitar?
  43. Why You Should Avoid Rest Strokes on Classical Guitar (for now)