Technique Fo cus
Alternating the picking-hand fingers is an integral part of classical guitar technique and is essential for efficient and fluent performance. A favourite exercise of mine is this: on open strings play the following with p and i fingers alternating on the following strings: 2-2-1-2-2-1-2-2-3-2-2-3 then repeat (also practise with m and a). This exercise forces the fingers to switch from a lower string to a higher string (and visa versa) in the combinations ‘first-second’ then ‘second-first’. There is often the temptation to ‘drag’ a finger from a higher to a lower string rather than alternate and, although this is not always necessarily wrong, it is still an essential discipline to work on alternating the fingers with consistency and control. This exercise can be continued to the lower strings.