spanish guitar tremolo technique

Guitar Tremolo Exercise: Use Accents for Smoother Tremolo

Classical guitar tremolo is a beautiful and lyrical technique.  It can offer contrast and variety to any set of music.  And it makes us look like virtuosos!

But tremolo can be tricky.  The rhythm can lilt and gallop.  The volume of the notes can be uneven.  We can hit the wrong string.  And the list goes on.

Here’s an exercise we can use to smooth out our tremolo, and play more flowing, accurate and precise tremolo.

 

 

Classical Guitar Tremolo Technique

Taking a step back, it helps to practice tremolo with a specific technique in mind, such as the one in the video below.  When we carefully consider our PAMI movements, we’re more likely to avoid injury. And we’re also more likely achieve our desired tone quality.

 

Tremolo Accent Exercises

We can use accents to gain control and consistency in our tremolo.  In this exercise, we accent each note of the pattern in turn.

The key to effective accents is to both play the accented note louder, and also play the unaccented notes quieter.  This creates more contrast between accented and unaccented notes.

TIP: The note just after the accented note is the “Danger Note”.   The tension from playing the accent will want to carry over to the next note.  By keeping the pace slow, we can continue to hear each note.  This will allow us to create a large contrast in volume between the accent and the note just after.

Practice Tremolo in Short Bursts

As a general rule, it’s safest to practice tremolo in short bursts, instead of for long durations.  Keeping practices short will encourage us to keep focused and aware.  It will also reduce the chance of repetitive stress injuries.

Guitar tremolo is a long-term project.  This is a technique we practice on an ongoing basis for years.  So slow practice and short-duration practice are effective strategies to develop a smooth, consistent and beautiful tremolo.

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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