Nylon Guitarist

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Finger Robotics

Everybody is different

In my quest to improve my technique I have read lots of books and tried out lots of methods. I have also watched many players close up to see if I can steal a few secrets. I use to believe in the "one cap fits all" myth but I now know that no two hands on the planet that are exactly the same. Everybody who plays a guitar will end up with a unique way of moving the fingers to get the sounds they want. You can start by practicing "standard" techniques from guitar books and different teachers, but your fingers will soon be telling you what is best for you.


There is no point in continuing with a technique that causes pain or discomfort just because it seems to perfectly suit someone else. A good teacher should be able to detect when tension occurs and make the necessary adjustments to your technique. The single, most important key to effortless playing is keeping the fingers relaxed when they are not actually plucking or striking the strings. Muscle tension is a guitar player's worst enemy.


3 things to not do

Don't rest fingers on the sound board when you play. I've seen people who seem to have their pinky or "a" finger (or both) stuck to the body of the guitar with super glue when they play arpeggios or play picado or strum with the index finger. Lift the fingers OFF the guitar. Chances are you are pushing with some pressure onto the wood to get stability and creating unnatural tension in the fingers.

Don't rest the thumb on the guitar body above the E bass string. Rest it ON the E string when you're not playing with it.

Don't play notes by swinging at them from a great height above the strings. Taking a run up to play a note is a waste of energy and a hit and miss affair. Keep the fingertips as close to the strings as possible at all times.


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Rafael Marin - Free flamenco guitar method 
Rafael Marin
Flamenco guitar method 1902