Using the Right Hand Thumb (Guitar Lesson)

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Evan Taucher

Using the Right Hand Thumb

Taught by Evan Taucher in Classical Guitar for the Modern Guitarist seriesLength: 18:39Difficulty: 2.5 of 5

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Classical Guitar for the Modern Guitarist

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

In the classical guitar world, there seems to be a lot outdated instructional advice. And while this type of information can be helpful for some, the road to technical and music fluency can be traveled much quicker when you are supplied with modern technical ideas combined with scientific thought.

Series Introduction: Classical Guitar for the Modern GuitaristLesson 1

Series Introduction: Classical Guitar for the Modern Guitarist

In the classical guitar world, there seems to be a lot outdated instructional advice. And while this type of information can be helpful for some, the road to technical and music fluency can be traveled...

Length: 4:28 Difficulty: 0.0 FREE
Positioning the GuitarLesson 2

Positioning the Guitar

Before we play any notes, let's get back to the basics of just sitting with the guitar and exploring proper body alignment. While it's tempting to skip this section, it's important to know that even Evan...

Length: 7:57 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Setting up Your Picking HandLesson 3

Setting up Your Picking Hand

Aligning your right hand might be the most important part of setting up your playing position when starting classical guitar, especially if you’re coming from playing another style of guitar playing....

Length: 18:05 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Nail ShapingLesson 4

Nail Shaping

Nails are the way that classical guitarists make a louder and more clear and accurate sound. That being said, it is actually possible to play without them, but with using nails, you also learn to use the...

Length: 7:36 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
How to Create a Good SoundLesson 5

How to Create a Good Sound

Now, lets talk about some perspectives about sound and our instrument. Perhaps the three most important characteristics of a good sound are consistency, the direction the string is pushed, and the release...

Length: 21:00 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Rest StrokeLesson 6

Rest Stroke

The rest stroke is a critical part of plucking hand technique, as well as a key component of the sound we get from our instrument. Evan shows us what a rest stroke is, and how to execute it properly.

Length: 17:21 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Free StrokeLesson 7

Free Stroke

Free stroke is when a plucking hand finger is free from any obligation of resting on the next string. After releasing the string, it floats back into position without touching other strings. Since we often...

Length: 19:59 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Alternating Picking FingersLesson 8

Alternating Picking Fingers

You can think of the idea of not alternating fingers as trying to walk down the street while just using your left foot. It’s impractical. That being said, walking takes us quite a while to learn as children,...

Length: 14:38 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Pluck and Release of TensionLesson 9

Pluck and Release of Tension

Not releasing tension, or not quickly relasing tension after plucking in the right hand may be one of the most common limiting factors guitarists have. Holding tension creates all sorts of problems musically...

Length: 9:39 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Evan's PIMAMI EtudeLesson 10

Evan's PIMAMI Etude

Now we come to our first etude. This etude encompasses all the concepts and techniques we've talked about so far in the series. Evan teaches the etude, and gives advice on how to approach the more difficult...

Length: 19:34 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Using the Right Hand ThumbLesson 11

Using the Right Hand Thumb

The right hand thumb can be used for a variety of tasks - it’s definitely the most versitle of the right hand fingers. It’s mostly used for bass lines, but is also used to play parts of chords, full...

Length: 18:39 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Evan's Thumb EtudeLesson 12

Evan's Thumb Etude

In this etude it’s important to make a musical line out of the repeating thumb strokes. It’s all too common to just pluck away with no musical thought in the bass line. Since we are using very few...

Length: 16:07 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Developing the Common Arpeggio PatternsLesson 13

Developing the Common Arpeggio Patterns

Guitar, from its origins was and is all about patterns - in the left and the right hands. It’s quite a unique instrument in that way. That being said, there are a few patterns we need to master by practicing...

Length: 19:21 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Evan's Arpeggio EtudeLesson 14

Evan's Arpeggio Etude

In this etude you have a mixture of some of the arpeggio exercises that we practiced in the previous lesson. This etude is quite beautiful and should prove to be a great way to practice these patterns...

Length: 22:54 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Proper Use of the Left HandLesson 15

Proper Use of the Left Hand

Now that we’re getting a bit more complex with adding the left hand into the mix, it’s important to talk about some of the fundamentals of this hand. These concepts are fairly intuitive, but are shockingly...

Length: 13:51 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Placement of the Left Hand FingersLesson 16

Placement of the Left Hand Fingers

It’s time to start developing some good habits regarding where we place our fingers. On the guitar, we unfortunately have to be very careful about how we place our fingers due to the strings being so...

Length: 16:16 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Preparing Plucking Hand FingersLesson 17

Preparing Plucking Hand Fingers

One of the most valuable ways to train our plucking hand to be efficient is by practicing preparing our fingers on the strings before plucking the string. What this does, is it elimates any excess movements...

Length: 21:17 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Combining Elements EtudeLesson 18

Combining Elements Etude

Now Evan is going to teach you one of his favorite pieces by M. Carcassi. This is a particularly useful piece because it combines and rapidly alternates between repeated notes and arpeggios. Working on...

Length: 11:53 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Right Hand Voicing BalanceLesson 19

Right Hand Voicing Balance

One of our biggest struggles as classical guitarists is balancing the voices. Imagine a piano, it’s pretty easy to make the left hand louder than the right or vice-versa. But on the guitar, That balance...

Length: 15:05 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
String CrossingLesson 20

String Crossing

In an ideal world, we would only have to cross the strings in the easiest way, where our natural hand position compliments the way we move from one string to another. However, in reality, we always have...

Length: 19:12 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Ascending SlursLesson 21

Ascending Slurs

Quality Slurs (hammer-ons and pull offs) are an essentail skill for guitarists to develop in order to play legato. The most common problem with slurs is uneveness. So, when we begin to play fast, it sounds...

Length: 18:45 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Descending SlursLesson 22

Descending Slurs

In general, we can think of descending slurs as a left hand rest stroke through the string. However, we don’t stay resting on the next string, we just touch it and go. It’s a sort-of snapping motion....

Length: 14:44 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Introduction to ScalesLesson 23

Introduction to Scales

This subject is something guitarists obsess over. We play an instrument that is unusually difficult to play scales on. Scales are all about the perfect coordination between your left and right hand....

Length: 22:24 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Scale BurstsLesson 24

Scale Bursts

We might have heard the advice that practicing scales in bursts is a good idea, but we lightly grasp the concept. Why is this a good idea? Because we can only begin to imagine being able to play fast...

Length: 45:21 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Pressure and Release: Buzz ExerciseLesson 25

Pressure and Release: Buzz Exercise

“Buzzing” is a fantastic way to measure how much pressure you’re applying in your pieces, and it’s a great exercise for mindful practice. Most of the time as guitarists, we’re oversqueezing especially...

Length: 7:46 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Octave Chromatic ScaleLesson 26

Octave Chromatic Scale

How your fingers traverse the fingerboard vertically is directly related to how smooth and legato you are able to play. It sounds too simple, but the grace that you have when moving from note to note is...

Length: 21:23 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Introduction to TremoloLesson 27

Introduction to Tremolo

The mythical tremolo! As they say, tremolo encapsulates most guitar technique. If you have good arpeggios and scales, you’ll likely have good tremolo technique in no time. Tremolo is all about right...

Length: 30:20 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Introduction to RasgueadosLesson 28

Introduction to Rasgueados

Now let's take a look at rasgueados, which is when you flick the strings from the opposite direction than usual. It creates a percussive and aggressive sound. Even if we're not flamenco guitarists, us...

Length: 19:54 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Introduction to AMI ScalesLesson 29

Introduction to AMI Scales

AMI scales are trending once again - about 20 years ago, it was much more rare to incorporate these. Essentially, it’s a way to play faster without increasing your i-m speed. It does come with some HUGE...

Length: 16:05 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Dealing with Performance AnxietyLesson 30

Dealing with Performance Anxiety

In this lesson, Evan gives us some practical advice for overcoming performance anxiety, something that he himself has struggled with in the past. The key is to have a performance mindset when you're practicing!

Length: 9:38 Difficulty: 0.0 Members Only
Evan Taucher

About Evan Taucher View Full Biography

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