We’ve just released a tutorial on the left-hand mechanics which introduces the concepts that will help you use your left hand (and arm) in a more efficient and relaxed way.

So why do we need a tutorial on the mechanics of the left hand?

It’s a cliché that classical players obsess over their left hands and flamenco players obsess over their right hands. And as with most clichés, there’s a certain amount of truth in there. But flamenco players also need to consider their left hand technique as much as their right hand, and we generally don’t…

Over the years very few of my flamenco teachers stressed the left hand, so I didn’t give it too much thought either. What opened my eyes was when I was asking Viejín about playing faster scales and he said that my right hand was doing fine, but my left hand needed some work. I hadn’t been expecting this of course, and so I began paying more attention to my left hand.

For ten years now I’ve also been hanging out with classical guitarists over at Guitar Salon International, whose YouTube videos I produce and record. And so I’ve seen very close-up just how much attention they do in fact pay to the left hand. If anything, they ignore the right hand the way we flamenco players ignore the left. And of course they tell me how jealous they are of the flamenco right hand and I realize how jealous I am of the classical left hand.

Obviously, the best guitarist would be the one who pays attention equally to both hands!

What I’ve learned over the years is essentially that if you use your hand and arm to place your fingers where they want to go (rather than asking your fingers to do all the work) life gets easier. Understanding the mechanics of the arm and hand is what gets you to this point, and my robot-arm exercise seems to help students understand just what I mean by ‘mechanics’. The Left-Hand Mechanics video is my attempt to illustrate the most basic (and important) elements of how the arm works.

We look at moving the arm and then placing the fingers where they need to go, before even thinking about actually fretting a note. We also look at how to learn to shift from one chord to the next and finally we look at bar chords.

Check out the tutorial now!

Click here and check out this tutorial.This is by no means a comprehensive study of left-hand technique, but it does introduce concepts that will help you use your left hand (and arm) in a more efficient and relaxed way. Which lets you get back to all that fun right hand stuff!