L303 Left Hand Preparation

//L303 Left Hand Preparation

L303 Left Hand Preparation

Left hand preparation improves legato playing and will help to make rhythms smooth and exact. If you have ever had a chance to watch a master guitarist’s hands close up, you may have noticed that it almost seems like the are playing ahead of what you are hearing. That is because of left hand preparation.

The left hand has four fingers working together, but very rarely are they all used at the same time. So, when there is a finger free, it should be moving towards the next place it needs to be or preparing in position to play the next note. This kind of preparation requires good independence in the fingers but will greatly improve the legato nature of your playing. Which is great.

Developing this skill should be done in two ways, technical work and building good habits in your repertoire playing.

To start off with, we should practice left hand preparation with scales.

Now to find places in your repertoire:

Begin by slowly go through one of your current pieces and identify the places where left hand preparation is possible. I did it here in the Lágrima workbook, and I marked all of the places where you can prepare the left hand and improve the legato.

Grab a highlighter and get to marking up your score.

In the long run, however, you should be able to identify places on the fly and build it in to your general left hand technique so that the fingers are always searching for their next landing spot.

2016-10-24T00:20:02+00:002 Comments


  1. David Jones November 15, 2016 at 3:32 pm - Reply

    Hi Simon,

    I am trying to locate a video you posted not too long ago (I think) where you demonstrated a left-hand technique for developing the third and fourth fingers. You started high on the fretboard and worked your way down.

    Any help in locating this would be much appreciated, as I’ve searched your free lessons and cannot locate among the videos.

    Am I dreaming or did you in fact post such a video?



    • Dave Belcher November 17, 2016 at 12:46 am - Reply

      Hi David,

      I think you may be referring to this video, called “Boardwalk”: https://www.classicalguitarcorner.com/boardwalk/

      Is that the right one? It came through the newsletter a couple months back. If not, let me know and I’ll see if I can dig up the right one.


      Dave B (CGC team)

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