Classical Techniques

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Sun Jun 03, 2012 11:42 pm
by pebberbrown • 926 Posts

Here are some prime examples of 100% pure Classical guitar technique that I teach. The idea of keeping your fingers down on the note (which so many little YouTube and Facebook trolls think is "Useless and a waste of time") comes directly from Classical and Flamenco guitar. Its all right here look for yourself! The reason is very simple = most all of the flamenco and classical repertoire has notes that RING INTO ONE ANOTHER (such as a pedal tone occurring as the other notes are played in succession.)
The legato technique of ringing one note into another has been done for 400 years and its what gives the COLOR and AMBIENCE to a lot of the Flamenco and Classical guitar music - quite removed from being a "useless" technique!

The classical form that I teach is nothing other than what was taught to me by top level classical and jazz players whom I have studied with myself over the years. So what I show people in my videos is nothing new at all - its barely classical technique! These guys HERE have EXTREME Classical technique, which is hundreds and hundreds of years old. All the little wankers on YouTube and facebook who say its "useless" and "unnatural" have obviously never seen any Classical or Flamenco masters like these. These techniques - are the refinement of pure discipline and concentration and practice for many decades. I hope you guys enjoy this and can glean something important from it.

Here are the basic technique ideas - This is really all I teach and this is really all there is to it!
1.) Thumb behind the neck
2.) Curl all 4 fingers evenly
3.) Play with the tips of the fingers
4.) Dont lift the fingers up far away from the string (like SO MANY Do!)
5.) And for legato - dont lift the finger off the note until you need it.

Now here are the EXTREME Masters of technique!!! Enjoy!
At the end I have included a very small list of modern Electric players
who have the technique skills as well.

Christopher Parkening

Gaspar Sanz

John Williams

Andres Segovia

Andres Segovia

Narsisco Yepes

Pepe Romero

Pepe Romero (Extreme!)

Ana Vidovic

Ian Watt (The BEST technique)

Carlos Montoya

Carlos Montoya (Extreme!)

Paco De Lucia

Paco De Lucia

Paco De Lucia

Manolo Sanlucar

Juanjo Dominguez


Andres Segovia (Master Class 1965)

Juan Serrano

Paco De Lucia

John Williams

Chris Broderick (Megadeth)

Emanuele Buono

Viktor Van Niekirk

Can Baldan (Turkish Flamenco Guitarist)

Pablo Sainz Villegas

Chris Broderick (Megadeth)


Chris Broderick (Megadeth)

Chris Broderick

Marshall Harrison

Shawn Lane

Tiago Della Vega

Shawn Lane


Allan Holdsworth

Last edited Mon Jun 04, 2012 10:46 am | Scroll up


RE: Classical Techniques

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:33 am
by John567 • 156 Posts

This is the best playlist that I've come across. This has to be part of anyone's listening homework. Very inspirational.

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RE: Classical Techniques

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Wed Jun 06, 2012 1:30 am
by Slashiepie • 118 Posts

Does Toni Abasi classify for the last part of the list ?


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RE: Classical Techniques

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:33 am
by pebberbrown • 926 Posts

Abasi has a problem with his ring finger.

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RE: Classical Techniques

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Wed Jun 06, 2012 11:00 am
by deltadiscos • 321 Posts

No expert only what i've learnt from here but kept thinking walrus flapper, and more on the tips of the fingers... just looks awkward
still miles better than me though.........for now.........lol

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RE: Classical Techniques

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Wed Jun 06, 2012 8:48 pm
by pebberbrown • 926 Posts

Guys who are trained by a pure Classical teacher wont do that. He is not on the list!

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RE: Classical Techniques

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:53 pm
by Zippoarm (deleted)

Zitat von pebberbrown
Abasi has a problem with his ring finger.

Although not my favorite player, I've seen Abasi live countless times with Animals as Leaders now. Saying he has any sort of technical problem is just flat out dumb, the man's technique has been VERY CLEAN every time I've seen him. In comparison to Buckethead (who I've also seen countless times) play very hit & miss sometimes (once, so incredibly sloppy that I was wondering if he was drunk that day ....). It should be noted, I'm a massive fan of the mighty Buckethead. He's an incredibly gifted musician and I would never hold his technique against him.

To the Walrus flappers comment: Tosin Abasi plays an 8 string electric guitar in a progressive metal band. I'll leave it to you to figure out how those strings are going to be muted through the distortion. Plain and simple, a lot of this classical technique has to be severely altered for shred-metal styles or any style really.

ON A SIDE NOTE: I love linking this video of Tosin, I have the utmost respect for him. Technique like this isn't just randomly bullshitted I'm sure he worked his ass off to reach this level. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpXmWG5qKIk

Last edited Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:57 pm | Scroll up


RE: Classical Techniques

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:21 am
by AceLuby • 63 Posts

The thread is about 'classical technique', not severely altered shred-metal technique, and from the videos it seems that Abasi does not have good classical technique. It doesn't make him a bad or sloppy player as many w/ bad technique have worked through it via sheer determination, but you can tell right away because his ring finger is almost never in line w/ his other fingers and curled over the string, which is proper classical technique.

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RE: Classical Techniques

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:34 am
by pebberbrown • 926 Posts

You call my comment "FLAT OUT DUMB?" Fuckin RUDE and OBNOXIOUS INSULT! I don't tolerate little snide remarks like that here this is MY forum and its not YouTube or Facebook. You dont get to talk to ME like that here. So now you are gone you disrespectful little fool! Just like that. AMF.

Last edited Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:56 am | Scroll up


RE: Classical Techniques

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:54 pm
by AceLuby • 63 Posts

HUGE thanks to you Pebber for providing these videos. I've already used them with my own students to show what proper classical form looks like. Can't even begin to thank you enough for all of your free videos, worksheets, and forum as I've been able to apply this to my playing, teaching, and life in general.

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RE: Classical Techniques

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:48 am
by Slashiepie • 118 Posts
Last edited Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:48 am | Scroll up


RE: Classical Techniques

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Sat Jun 16, 2012 7:42 am
by uderoche (deleted)

Thanks Slashpie. Seems to be confusion still on the classical left hand from others? The fingers must be curved. All players say, "Of course I am playing on the tips of the fingers!!!!" But they are not. The curvature of the fingers is more extreme than you think. They must be curved and coming DOWN onto the string. All of them, even the 3rd and 4th fingers. This is for maximum control of the string. Proper intonation, etc.

Rock guitarists seem to have the worst time with this. Because they feel they cannot play their licks this way. I have seen people comment on Pebber's videos that they cannot play their canned "rock/blues/Jimmy Page" licks this way. But you most certainly can with the proper amount of practice and dedication to your craft.

Left hand technique has not changed for many hundreds of years. Maybe thousands going back to the great Indian classical masters. Picking styles change and evolve, but sarod is another ancient style.

Rock guitar, punk rock, grunge, whatever you want to call it, most of these player are largely unschooled but they are on TV and YouTube so what they do gets perceived as the "proper" way.

As far as Toshin Abasi, I like his playing. Love his ideas. Don't have anything to say about him really. He does what he wants to do or has to do to make his "thing" happen. This is great. There are many ways to play guitar.

Really, there is no "this" or "that." Everyone has to follow their own muse.


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RE: Classical Techniques

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:33 am
by uderoche (deleted)

Also, the fret hand fingers must recoil back towards the palm of the hand. Not into the air away from the fretboard but back in towards the palm. Again, this is for economy of motion. It puts the finger back in correct striking distance with the most minimal of effort. Hence, it is much more efficient. You may think the fingers going into the air and then coming back down seems more efficient, but actually you are using much more force and muscle by doing this and when you slam the fingers back down this way, you are losing quite a bit of string control and intonation.

Again, many famous rock players do not play this way. Their fame gives the perception to the student that their way is the proper way. But, what Pebber is talking about is centuries old techniques that have not changed due to the fact that they need not be changed. They can be elaborated upon, of course. You can put your own spin on them. But, the true fundamental basics of fretting a note and producing sound, this has not changed.

You cannot think of playing fast, playing this style. You must go back to being like a child and thinking "What is the most efficient way to play a note." Not a chord, but one single note. And play it with perfect control, tone, and intonation. From the initial strike to the decay. What is the best way to do this? That philosophy has not changed for many hundreds of years. And if we go back to the ancient Indian musicians, thousands of years.

More later.



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RE: Classical Techniques

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Sat Jun 16, 2012 4:34 pm
by jvieira72 • 21 Posts

I'm a rock/blues player and I've started doing the classical left hand for a week or so now. It does feel awkward because I've been doing a different way for 20+ years, but I can tell just by looking at my fingers when I play it's a more efficient and possibly more natural way of playing. My ring and pinky finger are already staying closer to the fret board than before just because of the positioning of the hand alone. Also my fingers are travelling a lot less distance so my hammers and pulls are better, which for me is huge because I don't think my legato can get any worse lol. Where the awkwardness and difficulty comes in is when trying to bend strings. But I figure there will just be a long transition and after enough repetition eventually it will just work. I've been focusing on timing, basic left hand technique and doing trills for strengthening my hands and I've seen big improvement in rhythm, dexterity, finger independence and musicality in just a week or so of focused practice. So I can absolutely support that it works and you improve faster trying to do things properly.

I think that rock and especially blues players tend to have a fear or aversion to classical technique and discipline in general. There's a lot of folklore attached to modern music and people accept those things as a part of the music and assimilate it into their style and even personality. I.E. Robert Johnson, Albert King, Johnny Winter, Jimmy Page, "insert guitar hero here" did it this way and they never new proper technique so that's how I'm going to do it otherwise I won't be a real blues man or rock player. It's like people want to pay their dues the same way their hero did regardless of whether it makes any sense. I get that and if that's what people are into and enjoy that's cool but that doesn't have to mean that they fear or criticize alternate or in this case the original and correct way of learning and playing. That's my 2 cents.

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RE: Classical Techniques

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Sun Jun 17, 2012 12:39 pm
by pebberbrown • 926 Posts

I was taught proper Classical form by my old teacher from the early 1970's, Joe Sandino. He was a "jazz cat" but also really good at Classical. Later I also studied regular Classical with some heavyweight pure Classical teachers (no name unknowns but perfect players).

Anyway - Joe Sandino showed me the technique. I tried it. It was awkward. It hurt. I complained abut it to him. He told me that its a much more efficient technique "because it uses the smaller muscles inside your forearm instead of the larger muscles and thats why its awkward because I have never used them before."

He had this ultra perfect classical technique along the lines of John Williams so I watched and paid attention and kept trying to do it. It didnt work. I was frustrated and complained again the following week to Joe Sandino. He just smiled and showed me his perfect technique while playing a really complicated classical piece. I blinked and scratched my head. Ok - I just at that point consigned myself to the fact that it was going to take a while to learn it. So I kept at it for a couple of years until it started feeling less awkward. Thats how long it took ME to not have it feel awkward. 3 years after that it felt more normal. So it took me about 5 years of working on it until it felt natural.

All these young wanker trolls on YouTube dont have any idea what its like to work on something for 5 years until you get it down. They dont even know what it like to work on something for 2 years or 2 months or even 2 days or even 2 HOURS!!!!!
As soon as something feels the least bit awkward to them and they CANT do it, they resort to blasting troll comments about how "useless" it is and how I am teaching "disinformation" and "unnatural techniques." ALmost 99% of the jokers on YouTube and now Facebook like to argue about how classical technique is obsolete because "John Petrucci" has his thumb over the top of the neck or whoever famous player they like does it. I would like to see Andres Segovia or John Williams reaction to some of their statements! Segovia would simply have his bodyguards grab them, and stuff them in the back of the van and take them to the sausage factory to make dog food out of them, shrug his shoulders and not even blink an eye!!!!!

Thats the difference between you guys and the rest of the crowd. All you guys understand what it takes and consign yourselves to he fact that its a daily thing for a few years to make it really work right. The Indian musicians practice a technique for 10 or 20 years to get it right. Thats the real realitt of making your technique perfect.

Last edited Sun Jun 17, 2012 12:48 pm | Scroll up


RE: Classical Techniques

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:32 am
by Slashiepie • 118 Posts

Thanks for the further clarification Ursin
You just dissipated every little doubt left i had.. :)

Last edited Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:32 am | Scroll up


RE: Classical Techniques

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Wed Jul 25, 2012 11:35 pm
by student • 146 Posts

An epic thread. I do have one question, while you were teaching yourself classical technique for 5 years, where you still playing electric/acoustic ? If so, how were you dividing up your time ?

Thanks again for this Monster of Thread!! Huge Eye Opener, learning from you

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RE: Classical Techniques

in PB Guitarstudio FORUMS Fri Jul 27, 2012 1:39 am
by pebberbrown • 926 Posts

Back in the 1970's? Well lets see- how did I divide my time...? I didnt. I was on the guitar as much as physically possible in a day.
I practiced all my lesson stuff and also all my jazz band stuff and also songs for my rock bands I was in. Had lots of lessons and lots of band practices and on and on... Partied a lot and hung out with a lot of chicks quite a bit as well - It was the 1970's man.

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