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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.

guitar exercise 1

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


guitar speed exercise 2

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


classical guitar speed exercise 3

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.

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10 Responses to Speed and Precision Exercises for Classical Guitar

  1. William A Lampley Jr August 14, 2018 at 4:18 pm #


    “Rubber baby buggy bumpers”

    Deceptively simple exercise!

    Right hand wants to devolve from “imim” to “imma”. Must not let left hand #1 finger repose on the fret. Must lift every finger when the next one goes down. If #1 reposes, it sends a signal to the right hand to sync m with 2 AND3 of the left, and “a” with 4.

    Very cool routine for not only the fingers, but for rewiring the circuit between brain hemispheres.

    Thank you for this one.


    • Allen August 15, 2018 at 5:44 am #

      Thanks, Bill!

  2. Suzanne August 4, 2018 at 1:11 pm #

    Very helpful. I appreciate the different camera angles. You’re a terrific teacher. Thank you for being so clear in your explanations and for sharing so much knowledge with the world.

    • Allen August 4, 2018 at 2:58 pm #

      Thanks so much, Suzanne!

  3. John August 4, 2018 at 11:58 am #

    Thanks for the info, love it. I find I can use this exercise practicing the bass guitar. You are a wonderful teacher.

    • Allen August 4, 2018 at 12:22 pm #

      Hi John,
      Thanks so much! I’m sure this would be completely appropriate for bass guitar.

      Thanks again,

  4. peter August 4, 2018 at 8:48 am #

    great exercise thanks

    • Allen August 4, 2018 at 8:54 am #

      Thanks, Peter,
      I hope you enjoy it.


  5. Carolann August 4, 2018 at 4:05 am #

    Thank you Allan, that was really helpful. Makes sense inasmuch as I see how great this is for hand co-ordination, and for speed. Often, for me, the two fight against each other! I know these exercises work, even if you don’t notice it at first. Focus is the thing. Your videos are invaluable.

    • Allen August 4, 2018 at 8:54 am #

      Thanks for the note, Carolann!
      All the best,

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