Get the Right Hand Right, and the Left Hand Comes Along

Posted on

If you look around the web, you can probably find variations on the same sentiment. What it means is that if you focus on developing your playing hand, then your fretting hand will naturally develop alongside it. Therefore, it's critical that you choose a private guitar teacher based on the right-hand playing style you wish to learn.

As you search for private guitar lessons, whether you're a total novice or an advanced player, keep the above statement in mind. This may mean doing some more research on your favorite guitar players. However, once you know what right-hand style you want to learn, you'll be ready to find the perfect teacher.

Plectrum Guitar

Plectrum is a fancy word for a guitar pick. These come in all different shapes, sizes, and thicknesses, but the basic playing technique is mostly the same. Picks are used in every genre of guitar music.

You can further narrow plectrum guitar playing into different approaches such as alternate, efficiency, sweep, and cross-picking. If there's a particular picking approach that you wish to learn, make sure your teacher plays that way.

Fingerstyle Guitar

Instead of using a loosely held guitar pick to play the string, fingerstyle guitarists use their fingers or specialized picks that attach to the individual fingers of their playing hand.

Playing this way offers several "advantages" over playing with a plectrum, especially when it comes to playing individual notes within guitar chords. However, the basics of it can be considerably more difficult to learn, especially if you've already been playing plectrum style.

Also note that generally, fingerstyle refers to the method of fingerpicking a steel-string guitar. If the guitar has nylon strings, the playing style can also be called fingerstyle, Spanish, or Latin. Although Spanish guitar is in all actuality its own thing.

Spanish Guitar

The guitar evolved in Spain from older instruments like the baroque lute. The two Spanish guitar styles, classical and flamenco, are still commonly taught today. Although, it may be more difficult to find a private teacher.

These two playing styles have very distinct postures and right-hand playing techniques that undoubtedly produce beautiful music. Additionally, guitarists who learn to play this way often emphasize the reading and playing of composed music, which is still an extremely useful skill!

Hybrid Guitar

There are many hybrid styles of guitar playing that involve some combination of plectrum and fingerstyle playing. One of the more common ones is "chicken picking." This style got its name from country guitar players who were trying to make their electric guitars sound like clucking chickens.