Monday, August 13, 2007

Online Classical Guitar Lessons - Lesson 1

I created this blog to share my knowledge of classical guitar with my students and others interested in this art. I hope you enjoy them. I'll be creating and posting video lessons soon.....

Kevin Gallagher

Lesson 1 - Hand Coordination

One of the topics that is rarely discussed in classical guitar technique is true hand coordination. Basically, this means that when one hand moves, the other must move at the same time with the same speed.

On paper this seems easy, but it is rare to find someone with absolutely flawless hand coordination in their playing. Without proper training of this technique, the player will experience non-legato playing, clicks, and "ghost" notes from the lifting of the left hand too soon. These unwanted sounds are common among students of the classical guitar.

The following are 5 exercises that I use to improve hand coordination- repeat them on many different strings in many different positions.






These are left hand fingerings. The Right Hand should do ALL of the following fingerings- im,mi,am,ma,ami,ima,pm,pi.

The key is listening- when you play the exercise at a slow tempo- do you hear clicks? Do you hear a tiny space? Do you hear the left- hand lift before you play the right- hand?

In any of these cases it means that your hands are not totally coordinated! You have to move the right-hand fingers through the string at the same time your left-hand frets the string. Do not stop the string before you play it! The movements should be very fast and together- like a fine machine.

Once you start understanding this principle better- try to incorporate it into your pieces.

This technique is essential for good sound and rhythmic vitality for any style of music.

classical guitar lessons, music and philosophies at


william said...

How does this fit in with the idea of planting? I was taught to plant my fingertips just before playing the string. not necessarily a long time before, but it obviously interrupts legato longer than not planting at all would. On the other hand, it helps maintain a sense of control.

halve regal king said...

hi william, you should be able to plant and not plant when playing. learn both ways so that your technique is fully flexible.



william said...

D'oh... I should have known.

I've been thinking about this a lot, as I have been trying to record a fairly easy piece that I've been working on for too long. There are some runs that should be totally legato, but they weren't coming out as such. After too much time examining my right hand technique, I realized that the amount of time between when my left hand fingers touch the strings and when the strings coming in contact with the frets was too great. It was a matter of milliseconds but they added up to an eternity.

halve regal king said...

great - glad to help. now you have developed the awareness (that's the hard part). now just listen and you'll hear those passages get better.



essemei9 said...

I personally fell into both categories. I always wanted a Les Paul but affording a real Gibson Les Paul was out of my reach so I set my sights on a Les Paul Copy that would give me the 'best bang for my buck'. Lucky for me I found Agile guitars. I settled on an Agile Al-2000 and I was really blown away by how much guitar I got for the relatively little money I paid. That is the main reason I decided to promote these cheap electric guitars on this website.

guitar lessons online
online guitar lessons