Guitar Technique Tip of the Month

Your Personal Guitar Lesson

Douglas Niedt




Last month's tip was about practicing scales. At the end of the article, I cited 19 technical problems one could cure with the careful practice of scales. This month's tip is a video explaining each problem, followed by a short segment demonstrating how to use scale practice to fix it. The video runs 38 minutes, so you might want to watch it in small doses.

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Classical Guitar Technique

SCALES, Part 2: The Video

By Douglas Niedt

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

Last month's tip was about practicing scales. At the end of the article, I cited 19 technical problems one could cure with the careful practice of scales. This month's tip is a video explaining each problem, followed by a short segment demonstrating how to use scale practice to fix it.

The video runs 38 minutes, so you might want to watch it in small doses. Here is a list of the technical problems/solutions with the time code for each:

  1. Keep your left-hand fingers close to the strings 00:34

  2. Keep unused fingers pointing down down at the strings 02:35

  3. Keep fingers spread apart in a four-fret span 04:10

  4. Place the fingers close to the frets 05:33

  5. Lift fingers in the correct direction. Lift the fingers in the direction where they are needed next 07:05

  6. Learn to execute inaudible shifts 09:02

  7. Lift fingers from the back joints, not the tip or middle joints 11:20

  8. Learn to place a finger on the very tip close to the fingernail or off the tip depending on the situation 12:45

  9. Learn how to play past the 12th fret 15:03

  10. Use correct left-hand thumb technique and positioning 16:05

  11. Learn to exert as little pressure as needed to play a given note 18:07

  12. Learn to play loudly and softly and learn to control crescendos and decrescendos. Also work on tone color changes 19:22

  13. Learn basic right-hand finger control and technique such as moving from the correct joints, making small finger movements, and maintaining strict finger alternation 23:37

  14. Work on tone production and the correct use of the fingernails 27:17

  15. Maintain consistency of tone and volume from finger to finger 29:21

  16. Work on independence of movement of each finger from the other fingers 31:00

  17. Work on vibrato technique 33:28

  18. Learn to play legato (all the notes connected smoothly with no dead space between them) 34:57

  19. Learn to play something flawlessly 36:10


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