10 things that can happen when learning to play the classical Spanish guitar

  • Learning to play the classical guitar will give you a lifetime of joy and ecstasy, but there will also be times that you will want to throw your guitar in the skip and weep as you look at your blister covered fingers. Learning is not always fun, but any art worth learning will have some element of suffering!

    1. Difficulty in keeping rhythm with the song. If you have never played a musical instrument before or have no musical training this will be a recurring problem.


    2. Lifting up your thumb from the neck of the guitar when you change notes. When you lift your thumb off the neck you lose stability of the guitar. Once the guitar is unstable you will have difficulty hitting the next note correctly.


    3. Not putting pressure on the fret with the softest part of your finger tip. If you want to play the note ‘fa’, you will get an approximation of the note but not the full sound if your fingering is not solid enough. Only once you are putting the full pressure on the fret will you get the correct sound.


    4. If the note doesn’t sound right, you may hit the note harder to get the sound. Hitting the strings with your right hand harder will not make up for not having solid finger position on the fret board. The sound will be louder but not better.


    5. Losing the feeling of the music. As you advance you will learn more technical things about how to play with your fingers on the fret board. Every fret has its finger; make sure you are consistent.


    6. Using different fingers for plucking notes. Make sure you always use the correct finger for every string.


    7. Holding your playing hand too far away from the strings near the sound hole. Your strumming hand should always be as close as possible to the strings.


    8. Not having a consistent distance or movement of the hand nearest the sound hole. Make sure your strumming and plucking movements are efficient and consistent.


    9. Being too mechanical with your movements when using the pluck. It’s ok to experiment.


    10. RAGE!!! You will get angry and frustrated, it’s part of the learning process. Make sure you put the guitar down and go outside for a walk if you feel the anger creeping up on you.