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.

chromatic scales

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

chromatic speed burst

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

chromatic exercise guitar

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

Hi, I’m Allen Mathews. 

I started as a folk guitarist, then fell in love with classical guitar in my 20’s. Despite a lot of practice and schooling, I still couldn’t get my music to flow well. I struggled with excess tension. My music sounded forced. And my hands and body were often sore. I got frustrated, and couldn’t see the way forward. Then, over the next decade, I studied with two other stellar teachers – one focused on the technical movements, and one on the musical (he was a concert pianist). In time, I came to discover a new set of formulas and movements. These brought new life and vitality to my practice. Now I help guitarists find more comfort and flow in their music, so they play more beautifully.
Click here for a sample formula.

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