Fingering principles 2: Musical vs Technical

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Fingering principles 2: Musical vs Technical

When it comes to fingering on the classical guitar there are often a lot of choices to be made. It is not always clear what the best choice is because several options might be “right”. So, in the end you will have to base decisions on musical or technical concerns.

What is a musical fingering?

Let’s say you have a melody to play. It is simple, easy to play in the first position, you can even use open strings on some notes! Yeah, great we like easy. But, do you really want to play that melody in the first position? The upper positions offer a variety of tone colors that could really make the melody singing and connected. Also, open strings don’t let you play with vibrato and can often disconnect the musical line because they sound brighter that fretted notes.

So even though that melody is easy to play in the first position, perhaps you should make a fingering based on musical choices and play it in another position.

What is a technical fingering?

O.K., now you have a tricky passage that just sounds stunning up on the ninth fret. It has round tone and great vibrato. However, because it is tricky you can’t actually execute the passage smoothly and there are a few dicey moments in terms of accuracy.

Perhaps in this case, you might change the fingering to be more secure and flowing. This is fingering for technical reasons.

It is funny how we often get locked into one way or another when it comes to fingering. In general I would say if you have to practice a passage for 30 minutes and it is still not working you then you might consider a new fingering. Sometimes hammering it over the head with repetitive practice just doesn’t work.

Likewise, if you can play the passage easily, then engage your curiosity and creativity by seeing if it might sound better with an alternate fingering.

Finally, don’t always accept what you are given when it comes to fingering. You have that great edition by your favorite player, but that edition was written for hands other than your own and it doesn’t always have to be taken as gospel.

To study this technique in-depth you can take the comprehensive Technique & Musicianship Course Level 2 in our membership packages! Over 3 hours of video and more than 20 worksheet downloads will guide you through a structured and focused course of study.

 

2017-09-28T18:21:22+00:00 0 Comments

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