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. 2-Finger Rasgueado Strumming for Spanish Flamenco Music
  2. 3 Tips for Better Harmonics on Guitar
  3. 5 Top Classical Guitar Technique Mistakes
  4. 7 Dreadful Right-Hand Mistakes on Classical Guitar
  5. A Classical Guitar Tone Experiment – How to Change Your Sound
  6. A Common (and Versatile) Folk Fingerpicking Pattern
  7. A Guide to Classical Guitar Thumb Technique
  8. Adding Variation to Arpeggio Practice on the Classical Guitar
  9. Advancing Your Classical Guitar Technique
  10. Balance Ratios: A Way to Quantify Musical Expression and Phrasing
  11. Classical Guitar Fingernails – A Guide to the Guitarist Nail
  12. Classical Guitar Right Hand Exercises for Strength and Control
  13. Classical Guitar Speed Bursts
  14. Classical Guitar Technique Off-Guitar Exercises for Travel, Strength, and Stretch
  15. Classical Guitar Technique Right Hand Fundamentals
  16. Classical Guitar Technique Tips for Fingerstyle Players
  17. Classical Guitar Tone Production
  18. Classical Guitar Tremolo Technique: Free Short Course
  19. Do I Really Have to Use Consistent Fingerings in Classical Guitar Pieces?
  20. Guitar Tremolo Exercise: Use Accents for Smoother Tremolo
  21. How to Create Guitar Exercises from Pieces of Music
  22. How to Learn Classical Guitar – A Free Course on Right Hand Technique
  23. How to Master Chord Balance on Classical Guitar
  24. How to Play (and Practice) Accents on Classical Guitar
  25. How to Play Pizzicato Technique on Classical Guitar (pizz.)
  26. How to Play Right-Hand and Artificial Harmonics on Classical Guitar
  27. How to Play Rolled Chords Musically on Classical Guitar
  28. How to Play Tremolando Scales on Classical Guitar
  29. How to Relieve Guitar Tendonitis
  30. How to Strum a Guitar
  31. How to Warm Up for your Classical Guitar Practice
  32. I and M Alternation: Classical Guitar Scale Technique
  33. I and M String Crossing
  34. Keeping Arpeggios Fun on Classical Guitar
  35. Play Legato Guitar! Synchronize the Hands for More Fluidity
  36. Quick-Prepping Technique for Scales, Speed, and Solidity
  37. QuickStart Guide to Practicing Scales on the Guitar
  38. Right Hand Fingerings for Guitar (Classical Guitar Fingering Rules)
  39. Scale Fragments, for Fluid Scales and Melodic Mastery
  40. Scissors Exercise for I and M Alternation
  41. Should You Learn the Segovia Scales?
  42. Spanish Flamenco Guitar Technique: How to Play Rasgueado Strumming Patterns
  43. Speed Up Your Guitar Playing, Using Dotted Rhythms
  44. The “Dead-Handing” Exercise for Less Guitar Tension and More Stamina
  45. The Basics of Guitar Technique
  46. The Dangers of Speed in Classical Guitar Practice
  47. The Play-Prepare Double-Movement: The Two Actions of Every Note
  48. The Right-Hand Little Finger: What About the Pinky?
  49. Thumb-Muting Exercise to Mute Bass Strings in Guitar Music
  50. Using the Arpeggio Patterns in Your Classical Guitar Pieces
  51. Warmer Tone on Classical Guitar, Using Attack
  52. What’s the point of practicing scales on guitar?
  53. Why You Should Avoid Rest Strokes on Classical Guitar (for now)