Classical Guitar Finger-Picking: Right Hand Arpeggios

Learn how to pick with your right hand fingers accurately and confidently with this easy- to- follow course
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Instructed by Brian Riggs Music / Instruments
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  • Lectures 19
  • Length 2 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
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About This Course

Published 7/2014 English

Course Description

This is a short, easy-to-follow course where you will learn how to use your right hand fingers to pluck the strings in a variety of musical contexts so that you'll be able to play the pieces that you love with accuracy and confidence.

The sounds and the music that you can make on the guitar with your right-hand fingers is beautiful and complex, but that doesn't mean that playing with your right-hand needs to be complicated or difficult. You'll start by learning the most important principles of using your right hand fingers to play, and by then gradually building on these skills, you'll be able to play guitar better and express yourself with more interesting and complex music.

You're going to really enjoy this course if you would like:

  • to start playing guitar with your right-hand fingers
  • to learn the correct way to play the strings with your right-hand fingers and avoid bad habits
  • to learn how to sound like 2 people at once by playing a melody and a finger-picked accompaniment at the same time
  • to impress others with your ability to play guitar music that's sounds more challenging and interesting

The premise of the course is straightforward, that if you want to play music that has more than 1 part going on at a time, then it's necessary to use your right hand fingers to play the strings. The most common way to use your right-hand fingers to finger-pick on the guitar is to play an arpeggio. In the course, you'll learn what that means and you'll see there doesn't need to be anything difficult or stressful about that, and you don't need any special background or skills to learn how to finger-pick.

You'll start by learning the basics of playing an arpeggio with your right-hand fingers, then you'll move on to playing an arpeggio pattern while you have a melody playing at the same time, first in the highest voice, and then in the lowest voice. You'll move on to some useful picking patterns and approaches, and you'll wrap up with a bonus section on a more challenging technique called tremolo.

By the end of the course, you and everyone who listens to you play will be able to hear a difference as you play music that sounds more complex and interesting.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Play the guitar strings with your right-hand fingers, using one the most common and important musical textures
  • Sound like 2 guitar players playing at the same time by playing a melody and a background texture at the same time
  • Use common techniques that are the stock-in-trade of all serious classical and finger-style guitarists

Who is the target audience?

  • This course is for you if you would like to learn how to use your right-hand fingers to pluck the guitar strings
  • This course for guitarists who are looking for answers and how to build good technique and avoid bad habits
  • This course starts off very basic, but that being said, if you've never played guitar before this course isn't for you right now

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Introduction

This is the introduction lecture, you can jump right in to one of the lessons, but it would be good top take a quick look.

Section 2: Basic Arpeggio Technique

This lecture starts with some basic information on playing arpeggios on the guitar. This lesson, and the whole course in fact, focus on your right hand and how you can use your fingers to pluck the strings one at a time in an arpeggio texture.


Planting is a very important technique in a guitar playing. Don't neglect it (as I did when I was first learning).


All the sections have a study piece written by yours truly to demonstrate the concepts. I admit that some of these study pieces are more inspired than others, so feel free to make up your own songs, or to apply the technique to a chord progression that you're already playing.

Section 3: Playing an arpeggio while playing a melody at the same time

This technique is cool because you can start to create the impression that there are 2 people playing when in fact it's just you. Amazing.


Another study piece, if you like this song, then check out "Spanish Romance" (That's where I stole the idea from).


Basically the same idea, but now the melodic voice is in the bass (lowest-sounding) voice.


Make sure the melody sings out, I recommend playing the bass notes that you pick with your right hand thumb all by themselves to warm up.

Section 4: Thumb and Finger Arpeggio- A common technique used by all types of guitarists

This is one of those things that are kind of unique to the way I play and think about playing. A lot of really good guitarists play this way but you never see this talked about in books or in video lessons so I thought, what the hey, I'll include it here.


Same thing, a lot of people play this way but you never see popular lessons books or videos talk about it.


I actually like this study piece, make sure the transitions between chords are all smooth.

Section 5: Drag Finger Arpeggio

This section continues the theme of a technique that a lot of advanced guitar players use, but that isn't really taught outside of private lessons with high-profile teachers. I'm not high-profile, but here it is anyway.


Feel free to make up your own study piece, I do like the idea of using open strings to make the left hand shifts easier.

Section 6: Tremolo Technique- A Introduction to a more challenging technique

I know that tremolo is actually distinct from arpeggios, but this is a topic that is similar in terms of right hand technique, and I think you need either a video or live lesson in order to be able to see how the technique is done.


These are some practice strategies that I've found helpful.


A short study piece to help you develop your tremolo technique.

Section 7: Important things to remember so that you get the most out of your practicing

I'll probably include this video with every course I do in the future. You don't have to always practice with the metronome, but you need to be able to keep time.


Basically, you've got to use your ear and develop your skill at tuning the way that you would develop any other technique.

Section 8: Conclusion

This lecture is the conclusion lecture.

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Instructor Biography

Brian Riggs, Guitar Teacher

My name is Brian Riggs and I am a classical guitarist and guitar teacher from Chicago, IL. I have a degree in classical guitar performance from the Chicago College of Performing Arts, and I've played in master classes with some amazing guitarists, most notably Christopher Parkening at his class at Montana State University.

I want to share what I've learned from those experiences with as many people as possible; Some of my most satisfying musical experiences have been seeing students make progress and become musicians in their own right. I've taught thousands of lessons in person and I've had the great experience of helping people fulfill their musical goals and realizing their potential as guitarists.

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