Developing the Right Hand (RH)

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
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Paul Nicholas
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Developing the Right Hand (RH)

Postby Paul Nicholas » Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:12 am

Good Evening!

Hope everyone is doing well!

In many pieces I play, the desired/suggested RH alternation pattern is provided and I often struggle to get it right while paying attention to everything else. I also read that as a guitarist, we need to be able to read the music and determine the best plan of attack for both hands that works for us. So, on occasion, i, m, and even a, may duplicate once in a while as needed. This makes sense for LH fingerings, as your choices may help or hinder your ability to play certain measures. For the RH though, how important is it that I follow the suggested RH pattern? Is it really just a practice of discipline and focus and once it's ingrained, I'm free to play around? I presume there is a hidden reason behind the madness. I just haven't figured it out yet!

Also, if it is important, are there any good exercises to practice? I have been doing the open string RH exercises and have gotten fairly comfortable...that is right up until I need my LH to do something at the same time! LOL!

So, as always any wisdom is greatly appreciated!

Thx!

Paul
2016 Cervantes Hauser Concert (SP/IN)
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2003 Seagull Coastline S6 (Folk Cedar)

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guitarrista
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Re: Developing the Right Hand (RH)

Postby guitarrista » Tue Nov 29, 2016 5:03 pm

Hard to give specific advice without provided details but it sounds like you are on your way and just have to stay patient and keep at it - it will get better with practice. As to right-hand fingerings - they are usually good suggestions but you do not absolutely have to follow it. However, if you are at the beginning of your journey it will probably be best to follow what is suggested as it is likely one of the best ways to play through that passage. For more specifics, please post or describe the fingering in question.
Konstantin
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1982 Anselmo Solar Gonzalez

Desperado
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Re: Developing the Right Hand (RH)

Postby Desperado » Wed Nov 30, 2016 6:51 am

Learn and memorise a simple piece then play slowly enough to think through every note making sure you have absolute control of the fingers of both hands.The important ting is economy of movement and consistency of movement both imo need repeated practise.

Jack Douglas
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Re: Developing the Right Hand (RH)

Postby Jack Douglas » Wed Nov 30, 2016 2:05 pm

This is just a thought; I'm not a teacher, but for me simple is the best. Try practicing the right hand finger alterations on just open strings. Make that your warm-up exercise. When you're comfortable with your right hand add the left hand fingerings measure by measure. Don't go to the next measure until the one you're working on is comfortable.
If you're used to going at a whole page or piece in one sitting this method may at first frustrate you, but I'm betting you'll experience faster results.
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Salvador
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Re: Developing the Right Hand (RH)

Postby Salvador » Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:42 pm

For beginners, alternation of fingers is very important. It's hard at first, but you will get used to it. For me it's good to follow the fingerings that's suggested. Once you progress, and have experience already, that's the time to make your own style. But at the same time you are aware of the rules and the basics in playing classical guitar. But i still suggest to watch classical guitarists on Youtube and what fingerings they use in playing a certain piece.

kl31
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Re: Developing the Right Hand (RH)

Postby kl31 » Wed Nov 30, 2016 8:32 pm

Just use your thumb until you get comfortable with the LH. I find bad habits are harder to correct in the LH than the RH. and its not like you're gonna develop a habit of using only your thumb. hell you can use your pinky if you wanted to. On the cello and violin, I never follow the bowing when I'm trying to learn a new piece of music.

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Larry McDonald
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Re: Developing the Right Hand (RH)

Postby Larry McDonald » Thu Dec 01, 2016 2:06 pm

Hi,
Here is a little essay regarding what I feel are the conventions for right-hand fingering.

http://www.larrymcdonaldguitar.com/info ... ns-54.html

All the best,
L.A. McDonald
Dr. Lawrence A. McDonald, D.M.A., Art Kaplan Fellow
Author of The Conservatory Tutor for Guitar
2008 Michael Thames Cd/Br
Royal Conservatory Advanced Guitar Instructor
Royal Conservatory Advanced Theory Instructor

dtoh
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Re: Developing the Right Hand (RH)

Postby dtoh » Sun Dec 04, 2016 3:04 am

It's very hard for the brain to do two things at once so learning the RH while learning a piece is very difficult. IMHO the RH is just a lot of hours of practice mostly on open strings (or with very simple LH fingering) until the RH becomes ingrained. After that when you learn pieces your RH fingers should naturally move in the most efficient and economical manner without much thought. That said, it's important where the fingering is indicated to occasionally check to make sure you're doing it right. If you find your fingering and the indicated fingering are different, this can sometimes become the basis for a mini-exercise to help develop even more fluency in the RH. As others have said, practicing correctly is really important so you don't ingrain bad habits and poor technique.... forearm placement on the guitar, straight wrists, avoid hand movement, follow through with your fingers to the palm on free strokes, etc.

Personally, I do a few other things that I think help develop feel and agility. One is to vary nail length and angle. Another is to practice crossing over where I play high strings with the thumb and low strings with the fingers.

Finally listening is very important.

FauxFox
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Re: Developing the Right Hand (RH)

Postby FauxFox » Sat Dec 17, 2016 1:41 pm

Larry McDonald wrote:Hi,
Here is a little essay regarding what I feel are the conventions for right-hand fingering.



I personally found that very helpful. The conventions and exceptions particularly so,. Thank you for posting.

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Tom Poore
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Re: Developing the Right Hand (RH)

Postby Tom Poore » Sat Dec 17, 2016 2:08 pm

I’ve read that Manuel Barrueco, when learning a difficult piece, will practice with the right hand alone, to ensure he’s correctly memorized the fingerings. A former student of mine did her bachelors and masters at the Peabody Conservatory, where Barrueco teaches. So I asked her if it was true that he did this. She replied that it was true, and she had seen him do it.

Personally, doing that would drive me nuts. I do memorize right hand fingerings, but practicing the right hand alone for an entire piece is, for me, a bridge too far. And it’s probably another reason why Barrueco is a virtuoso and I’m not.

Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA

astro64
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Re: Developing the Right Hand (RH)

Postby astro64 » Sat Dec 17, 2016 3:17 pm

Tom Poore wrote:I’ve read that Manuel Barrueco, when learning a difficult piece, will practice with the right hand alone, to ensure he’s correctly memorized the fingerings. A former student of mine did her bachelors and masters at the Peabody Conservatory, where Barrueco teaches. So I asked her if it was true that he did this. She replied that it was true, and she had seen him do it.

Personally, doing that would drive me nuts. I do memorize right hand fingerings, but practicing the right hand alone for an entire piece is, for me, a bridge too far. And it’s probably another reason why Barrueco is a virtuoso and I’m not.

Tom Poore
South Euclid, OH
USA


Memorizing the right hand I also find very hard to do for entire pieces. On the other hand, I do use the technique to dampen the strings and then just play through pieces with the right only. This can do wonders in identifying awkward RH patterns and produces a much more secure and solid feeling in the right hand after a while.

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Larry McDonald
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Re: Developing the Right Hand (RH)

Postby Larry McDonald » Sat Dec 17, 2016 4:51 pm

FauxFox wrote:
Larry McDonald wrote:Hi,
Here is a little essay regarding what I feel are the conventions for right-hand fingering.



I personally found that very helpful. The conventions and exceptions particularly so,. Thank you for posting.


I'm happy to help.
Lare
Dr. Lawrence A. McDonald, D.M.A., Art Kaplan Fellow
Author of The Conservatory Tutor for Guitar
2008 Michael Thames Cd/Br
Royal Conservatory Advanced Guitar Instructor
Royal Conservatory Advanced Theory Instructor

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Yisrael van Handel
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Re: Developing the Right Hand (RH)

Postby Yisrael van Handel » Sat Dec 17, 2016 5:33 pm

Paul Nicholas wrote:the desired/suggested RH alternation pattern is provided. <snip> how important is it that I follow the suggested RH pattern? Also, if it is important, are there any good exercises to practice?
Paul

Paul,
I cannot provide wisdom; that requires more experience than I have. I can share my experience with you.
  • Larry MacDonald already offered his essay, which I recommend as your starting point.
  • My advice is do no exercises until you need them and fully understand exactly how to do them and what you will get out of them. Exercises can do more harm than good if you do not have a thorough understanding of what to do and what the objective is.
  • To develop correct right-hand technique and awareness, I recommend the detailed treatment of right-hand technique (57 pages, 13 chapters, covering basic technique only) in Stanley Yates' Classical Guitar Technique from Foundation to Virtuosity. For now, you only need book 1, the foundations. Awareness is just as important as technique. Technique is knowing how to do it in the most efficient way. Awareness is knowing exactly what it is that you are doing.
  • This thread http://www.classicalguitardelcamp.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=109053 is a group of people learning Sor's Opus 60, his easiest set of exercises together. Opus 60 #1 is very elucidating. It took me several minutes of going through all the options to figure out the best fingering for the first three notes. Much easier to see the issues in this music, which is as easy as it gets. Start your study of the right hand on pieces of this level, regardless of how well you play.
Yisrael van Handel
Modi'in Ilit, Israel

DaveLeeNC
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Re: Developing the Right Hand (RH)

Postby DaveLeeNC » Sat Dec 17, 2016 8:45 pm

What do folks think about building RH technique using Guiliani's 120 RH exercises (at least from an arpeggio perspective)?

dave
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1971 Sherry-Brener (Cedar) Garcia No. 1 CG
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Yisrael van Handel
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Re: Developing the Right Hand (RH)

Postby Yisrael van Handel » Sat Dec 17, 2016 9:35 pm

DaveLeeNC wrote:What do folks think about building RH technique using Guiliani's 120 RH exercises (at least from an arpeggio perspective)?

dave

See my post right before yours. It applies exactly to your question.
Yisrael van Handel
Modi'in Ilit, Israel


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