Right Hand Technical Workout Part 2

Here is the second installment of our right hand technique series. After a solid warmup of the larger muscle groups and gross motor skills in our right hand through chords and rasgueado (see Part 1), we’ll start building movements in the right hand from two finger movements up to four finger movements.

To start we’ll use movements involving the thumb with one other finger (pi, pm, pa) and movements involving the thumb with two other finger movements (pim, pmi, pma, pam, pia, pai). The primary goals with the following drills are to develop a strong sense of how the fingers fall across the strings which will reinforce our default right hand position and to develop a strong sense of independence from finger to finger (i.e. the movement of one finger or stroke should not displace the hand from this default position).

Step 1 – Thumb with one finger movements (pi, pm, pa)

The fingers of the right hand not involved in the movement should passively rest by very lightly touching their respective string. If this is too difficult at first, have them float as close as possible above their respective string (p=4, i=3, m=2, a=1).

right hand pi 2.jpg

right hand pm 2.jpg

right hand pa 2.jpg

Step 2 – Proceed to alternation

right hand pi 2.jpg

right hand pm 1.jpg

right hand pa 1.jpg

Step 3 – Proceed to work on the following thumb with two finger movements (pim, pmi, pma, pam, pia, pai). Note that each line contains six different movements to develop.

right hand pim 1.jpg

right hand pma 1.jpg

right hand pia 1.jpg

That should keep you all busy! Stay tuned to Part 3.

Right Hand Technical Workout Part 1

Just like in our Left Hand Technical Workout, I’m going to break this post into a few parts. This first part focuses on developing the macro movement of the hand as a unit.

Right Hand Movements

For all of the following movements, begin with the right hand positioned over strings 4, 3, 2, 1 with fingers p, i, m, a, respectively. Later, to expand into tremolo movements, p can remain on a different string and i, m, a can be used on the same string.

This part of the workout for the right hand involvies larger gross-motor skill requiring movements: chords and rasgueados.

Go through all fingerings for each movement.

Step 1

Chordal Movements – pima, pim a, pi ma, pma i, pm ia, pia m, pa im

Groups of fingers that are underlined move together and alternate with the next finger/fingers. Below is an example of pim a. I tend to use a simple scale of thirds or if you are craving dissonance, a diminished 7th chord (think Villa Lobos) as I ascend and descend the fretboard.

right hand chord 1.jpg

Focus on keeping the right hand relaxed but still. All movement must originate from the knuckles as if lightly closing your fist. I really have to get some short videos demos of this stuff…

Step 2

Rasgueado movements – cami, amii, pai, camii, im mi

For the movements below, rest the thumb (p) on string 5 when not using it in the pattern. Movement should originate from the knuckles outwards. Time to develop those flexors. Don’t overdo it though!

right hand rasgueado.jpg

Stay tuned for part 2!

New Editions of Bach and Nárvaez

Little by little, I’ll be posting new editions of pieces I’ve played over the years. From Bach to Barrios to Technical Workouts and a Technique Book, stay tuned. The first two are finally up…

BWV999 Graphic.jpgGuardame Vacas graphic.jpg