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Classical Guitar Right Hand Control

"Staccato - Characterized by performance in which the notes are abruptly disconnected"

The word is an Italian one meaning "detached" or "separated". It is, in effect, the shortening of the duration of a note or notes. It is a very useful guitar technique but often very poorly executed. I've seen many students, especially in beginner guitar lessons, over the years try to play this way with their left hand! That is, releasing the notes of a chord or melody rather than stopping them with the fingers of the right hand.

As you can imagine, it can make for a very sloppy and careless performance indeed. Practicing this guitar technique separate from performance is recommended to ensure the proper sound is produced. This will stand you in good stead if under pressure when playing in public.

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Back to Staccato...

This technique is normally indicated in music by the use of a small dot over a note or group of notes. It can also be indicated by a pointed dash (much like an upside down triangle) and a series of dots and slur lines.

If dots and slur lines are used, it means that the passage to be played is more moderately. Here is a little graphic to show what I mean...

And here's a little example on the video to show right hand control when either playing chords or single notes as in a scale...

If you've ever played the Twenty Studies for Classical Guitar by Sor (Arranged by Segovia), I'm sure you would have been tempted to play Study No.9 in a very staccato fashion. Although not indicating it in the above mentioned traditional way, most classical guitarists tend to play it that way because of the 8th note, 8th rest nature of the notation.

Playing it even a little more so can often be a lot of fun, especially at a higher speed (even though it is indicated to be played "Tranquillo"). Try it sometime if you're up to that intermediate level of classical guitar or any style of guitar for that matter. It really is a lot of fun.

Good luck!

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Welcome to LCG! I'm Trevor Maurice, owner of this site. I hope you find inspiration in these pages to help you with  your journey of learning to play the classical guitar. You can read more of my story here...

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