Classical Guitar Instruction with Douglas Niedt

Douglas Niedt's
Fabulous Fingerings

Douglas Niedt, guitarist



  • My fabulous fingerings are not necessarily the easiest fingerings to play.
  • They may be easier or they may be much more difficult than other standard fingerings.
  • But, they are what SOUND BEST.

Classical Guitar Technique

FABULOUS FINGERINGS

Recuerdos de la Alhambra by Francisco Tárrega

By Douglas Niedt

Copyright Douglas Niedt. All Rights Reserved.
This article may be reprinted, but please be considerate and give credit to Douglas Niedt.



In Recuerdos de la Alhambra by Francisco Tárrega, we have a 5th-string F in the bass voice of measure #9. It is part of a bar at the 8th fret. Tárrega notated the F as a dotted half note. However, his own fingering does not permit this F to be held for three beats. It must be lifted on the third beat, leaving a dead space of silence in the bass.

Here it is, starting from measures #7 and 8:



Recuerdos Original



Let me show you the problems with Tárrega's fingering in this video:




Fabulous Fingering #1

My Fabulous Fingering uses a technique called the cross-fret bar on the 3rd beat of measure #9:



Douglas Niedt's Fabulous Fingering for Recuerdos de la Alhambra


The cross-fret bar makes it possible to hold the 5th-string F in the bass for the entire measure, even as the tremolo B’s are played.

The cross-fret bar also enables one to play the chord change into the next measure very smoothly.



But most importantly of all, it permits the player to properly execute
the gorgeous harmony in the 3rd beat of measure #9.



This example shows the harmony you will hear if you use the Fabulous Fingering:



Recuerdos de la Alhambra Chords Extracted from measure 9



Here, I will show you what it sounds like. Plus, I will show you how to learn and practice the cross-fret bar:




Now that you understand how the cross-fret bar is used and how it permits the gorgeous harmony of measure #9 to be heard, watch me demonstrate the entire passage with my Fabulous Fingering #1:




That is one of my all-time favorite Fabulous Fingerings!



Fabulous Fingering #2

But that's not all! I have a second Fabulous Fingering for this same passage. This one also makes it possible to keep the 5th-string F in the bass ringing through the entire measure. So once again, this permits the the gorgeous harmony to be heard in the 3rd beat of measure #9:

Unfortunately, this fingering requires a bar with the 4th finger at the 12th fret while holding the rest of the chord. That can be difficult for many players. Here is the fingering:



Recuerdos de la Alhambra Doug's Fabulous Fingering No. 2, measure 9



Let me show you how the bar with the little finger is used and how this fingering sounds:




Either fingering, the one with the cross-fret bar or the one with the little-finger bar, is a tremendous improvement over other fingerings. They both sound fantastic. Try them out and choose the one you can play most reliably.