Classical Guitar Basics Workshop Notes

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Workshop Notes:

Goals for Classical Guitar Technique

  • Simple (not complex)
  • Elegant – a few, high quality components
  • Versatile – works in most situations
  • Evergreen – works at easy and advanced levels
  • Safe for the hands/prevents injury
  • Beautiful tone/sounds good

Primary Right Hand Movements:

  • Close the hand (from big joint)
  • Open the hand
  • Combine the above = alternation

Troubleshoot by comparing all movements to these primary movements.

8 Primary Patterns:

  • Chunks (IMA all at once, with or without P)
  • P-IM
  • P-MI
  • P-MA
  • P-AM
  • I-MA
  • A-MI
  • Alternation (any two fingers)

All other arpeggio patterns can be created from these primary patterns

Core Elements of Classical Guitar Practice

  • Right-hand patterns (arpeggios and alternation)
  • Synchronizing the hands (Scales)
  • Chords
  • Exercises
  • Reading Music
  • Pieces (combine all above)
  • Other knowledge and skills


Allen Mathews

Hi, I’m Allen Mathews. 

I started as a folk guitarist, then fell in love with classical guitar in my 20’s. Despite a lot of practice and schooling, I still couldn’t get my music to flow well. I struggled with excess tension. My music sounded forced. And my hands and body were often sore. I got frustrated, and couldn’t see the way forward. Then, over the next decade, I studied with two stellar teachers – one focused on the technical, and one on the musical (he was a concert pianist). In time, I came to discover a new set of formulas and movements. These brought new life and vitality to my practice. Now I help guitarists find more comfort and flow in their music, so they play more beautifully. Click here for a sample formula.

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