The Classical Guitar is an instrument that requires left-right hand coordination. This kind of complex task demands the brain to utilize the opposite hemispheres in different ways, forcing the performer to focus in a quite particular way. When playing classical guitar, the left hand is in charge of the notes while the right hand is in charge of the tone (left handed players are the opposite). For this reason, playing classical guitar is a quite challenging endeavor and it requires practice, patience and most importantly a very clear objective in technique and artistry so the brain knows what to do and how to approach the learning process.
The Left Hand (Note Control)
When playing guitar, the left hand fingers are fretting the strings to generate the notes desired. The left hand fingers require independence from one another to be able to sustain notes on one melody as a different melody moves. Therefore, the left hand is the one that demands the most work in coordination to perform the following:
- Extensions - Where the hand reaches more frets from the index to the pinky.
- Compression - When all the fingers are on the same fret.
- Bars - When a finger is fretting 2 or more strings.
- Finger independence - to play counterpoint.
- Accurate fretting - to make sure that the string is ready to be plucked by the right hand.
The Right Hand (Note Control)
On the other side, the right hand performs one simple task: vibrating the strings. The tone of the guitar depends solely on the right hand and the variables one can encounter can be reduced to four elements:
- Pluck Location - Often the plucking is typically done slightly behind the sound hole but it can move to "ponticello" or to the "tasto
- Pluck Strength - This is a simple way to control the volume. However, the real efficiency of strenght lays on playing on the string antinodes.
- Pluck Angle - The finger can attack the string at 90 degrees or almost parallel to the string. The tone quality changes significantly.
- Nail Shape - The nails are the contact point with the instrument. Keeping nails in good shape and free from debris and tear is very important.
The brain will be ultimately directing and evaluating the results as it listens. Knowing which hand factor requires adjustment is a quite powerful weapon because now the brain can make decisions faster to improve the quality of the performance. There are numerous studies about the brain hemispheres and which side is in charge of making decisions. Knowing your brain and playing guitar is a quite cerebral acrobatic that balances artistry and strategy.
The GTR courses are certified Online Music Guild Classes. The objective of the Classical Guitar Webinars is to help you develop as an active performing classical guitar player. This means that our objective is for your education to be productive and fruitful. Classical Guitar is a beautiful instrument that can fit in innumerable venues. Your mentor will guide you on how to develop your talent and deliver beautiful sets of music to your audiences. The differences you will find between the levels of GTR is for us to separate the 4 levels of students we encounter.