Right Hand Classical Guitar Technique

I spend a lot of time explaining my take on correct right hand classical guitar technique. In truth there is no one correct way but here we can go over the basic ideas. I will also show some examples of different players’ right hands and what I like about them.

1. The arm sits on the guitar with contact before the elbow.

2. The right wrist is is not too bent.

3. Big knuckles above strings with some downward pressure. This is should be the natural weight of the arm. The amount of weight will be decided by how forward your arm is sitting on the guitar.

4. slight curve of wrist counter -clockise to assist strong contact the nail has with the strings.

5. Thumb  resting on bass strings.

John Williams

John Williams uses a fairly straight right hand. There is a slight bend in the wrist to allow the fingers to spread straight across the strings.  Many players’ wrists are straighter (eg, David Russell) which allow the fingers to be at a slight angle to the strings.



Manuel Barrueco

Manuel Barrueco’s right hand is more natural. The wrist is straighter and overall the guitar sits higher, The arm sits comfortably on the guitar at about half way down the fore arm.

Kazuhito Yamashita

Kazuhito Yamashita has an unorthodox technique.  His right hand tends to move a lot sometimes sitting quite high up on the 6th string resulting in a strong rest stroke technique. His tone tends to be very powerful but slightly harsh at times. He has an incredible scale speed so what he does is very effective.