speed and precision exercises for classical guitar

Speed and Precision Exercises for Classical Guitar

Whether we’re practicing scales, exercises, or a piece of music, it helps to have well-synchronized hands.

When our hands work well together, we can play more beautifully, and create more flowing melodies.

And to develop solid timing between the hands, we can use specialized exercises.


Precision and Speed Exercises for Classical Guitar

We can use “chromatic speed bursts” to build speed and agility.

For this exercise, we begin using four adjacent frets on one string, played with left-hand fingers 1,2,3, and 4.

In the right hand, use quick-prepping with I and M alternation (index and middle fingers alternating back and forth). Quick-prepping combines the playing of one note with the preparation for the next.

Begin with steady, evenly spaced notes, focusing on synchronizing the hands.


Next, alternate between slow steady notes, and bursts of the pattern at double-speed.


When you’re ready, increase the length of the fast bursts.

As you become better at these exercises, you can add to the exercises for more challenge. You can practice moving between strings. You can increase the speed using a metronome. And you can increase the duration of the workout by moving up and down the guitar neck.

Enjoy this simple exercise in your daily practice, or bring it out when needed.

And like any classical guitar practice, these work best when we bring absolute focus and attention to each note. The more precisely and accurately we play each note, the more benefit we’ll notice in our pieces and other technique practice.

allen mathews classical guitar

About Allen Mathews

Allen Mathews learned guitar as an adult, and has been a full-time guitar teacher for almost two decades to students age 4 to 96.  He has taught classical guitar at Reed College and Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon, and has been a guest lecturer and clinician at schools and universities throughout the U.S.  Allen is often praised for his creative teaching abilities, and his dedication to helping adults learn classical guitar.  He has a popular Youtube Channel offering regular classical guitar tutorials, and has gained fans worldwide for his weekly emails and articles at ClassicalGuitarShed.com.

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