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