Beginner classical guitar lesson 4 : Notes on the G string

All these free beginner classical guitar lessons have the same format. Have a look at how this page is layed out and become familiar with where things are. The heading tells you what the aim of the lesson is and the coloured box contains tips and guidelines. Below the coloured box are your guitar pieces that support the aim of the lesson and supporting resources which include accompaniment in mp3 format and free sheet music in pdf format.These lessons, designed for the beginner classical guitar player, build step by step with each lesson building on the previous lesson in the following ways: (i) knowledge of guitar technique; (ii) familiarity with music reading and (iii) strengthening - and in a safe way - your hands. Try and play through all the exercises provided at the bottom of the page. Remember that the house with the solid foundation is stronger in the long run.

Beginner Classical Guitar Lesson 4 - Aims

  1. Become familiar with and practice using the notes located on the G string (3rd string).
  2. Consolidate working with dotted notes
  3. Your first introduction to music with two voices.
  4. Adding the p-i combination
to the right hand fingering which till now has focussed only on the i-m-i-m-i-m fingering pattern.

Exercise 8

Exercise 1 to 7 are included in previous lessons

Score with different voices

On the surface of it, this score looks a lot more difficult than the score that you've seen before. It isn't really once you understand how to count it and how to understand it. One of the big differences between solo classical guitar and other guitar genres such as folk or jazz is that classical guitarists play the melody, the rhythm and the accompaniment all at the same time whereas folk guitarists play the accompaniment and sing the melody and jazz guitarists - when playing with a band - will take up the role of either melody, rhythm or accompaniment (or combinations of these) at different moments. You've probably heard classical guitarists playing in the past and have wondered how it is that they sound as if their are more than one people playing. The secret lies in being able to seperate voices. The ability to do this well is one of the best kept secrets to classical guitar playing. Here is your first opportunity to get into voice seperation. Conceptualise the score - and in fact play it and sing it - as two different voices as indicated in the score below. Once you've made friends with each of the voices, you can put them together into once piece of music. This is a habit that you will need to use whenever you are confronted with a score with two voices. Always play through each voice seperately and become thoroughly familiar with each. Play through Exercise 12 and listen carefully for each of the voices. The mp3 below of the exercise and of the accompaniment will also be useful.

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Play along accompaniment for beginner classical guitar lesson 4

Two mp3s are provided for this lesson. The one contains both parts of the music and the other contains the accompaniment. Listen to both parts of the music played together so that you can get a feel of the song. Then practice by setting your metronome at a very slow pace. Slowly push up the speed until you can play it confidently at a metronome speed of 100. When you can play it confidently at this speed, you can play along to the accompaniment provided.

Listen to the song by playing this midi Play along with the accompaniment

A good metronome is the Korg TM-40 which combines a metronome with a tuner.

Place your left hand fingers right behind the frets to get a good, clean sound. If you are hearing a buzz then your finger is probably not correctly placed.

- Use the correct fingers in the correct fret (see the diagram).

- Alternate between the i-m-i-m-i-m fingers of the right hand when plucking the strings.

- Where indicated, use the p-i combination. The movement is similar to a pincer movement with both the p- finger and the i- finger moving at the same time in a pincer like movement.

See the diagram below for notes on the G string and check which fingers to use in each fret.

Alternately, review the notes on the fretboard provided.

Take care with the note values - particularly in the context of playing music with two voices as you will be doing in these exercises. If you need to revise the note values go to music theory.

Great! Let's keep moving forward.

Okay, now you know the drill. The exercises provided below aim at developing the i-m-i-m movement of your right hand and your familiarity with the E string. Play through them by listening to the song and then playing along with the accompaniment. The sheet music can be downloaded by clicking on the PdF.

Exercise 13 Listen to the song by playing this midi Play along with the accompaniment
Exercise 14 Listen to the song by playing this midi Play along with the accompaniment

Well done!

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  1. You've finished your first 14 exercises, are now familiar with and practiced in using the notes of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd strings.
  2. You've practiced alternating between i-m-i-m-i-m with the right hand and have added using p-i combinations with the right hand
  3. You're now comfortable with the whole note, half note, quarter note and the dotted half note.
  4. A new aspect of your musicality was the introduction of music in multiple voices. You've now learnt how to approach these scores - remember to separate the voices and play them separately before attempting them together.
That's great progress and in a short period of time!

Let's move on to Lesson Five where you'll start using the eight note (or quaver) Just three more lessons and you'll be ready to play your first solo piece. Keep going through each of the lessons systematically. They've been designed to build up your technical capacity, your knowledge of the guitar and your understanding of the musicality that you will need. Remember, a solid house needs a good foundation.

Click to move to the next lesson from Beginner Classical Guitar - Lesson 4.


Alternately, look through the lessons below and move to your preferred lesson

Lesson 1 - The E String: Start by familiarising yourself with the notes on the E string (1st String) by playing the pieces provided with the MP3 accompaniment. Practice alternating the i-m fingers of the right hand.

Lesson 2 - The B String: Learn and practice the notes on the B string (2nd string) by following the guidelines and playing the pieces with MP3 accompaniment provided. This lesson will help your fingers strength and the i-m right hand alternation will start becoming a little easier too.

Lesson 3 - The E and B String Together: Consolidate your learning of the E and B string by playing through the exercises which provide the opportunity to practice these notes to music arranged with accompaniment in MP3 format. Progress from whole notes, half notes and quarter notes which were used in previous lessons to dotted notes in this lesson.

Lesson 4 - The G String : Learn and practice the notes on the G string (3rd string) by following the guidelines and playing the pieces along with MP3 accompaniment. Enjoy your first introduction to playing music in two voices while allowing the i-m right hand finger combination to become second nature.

Lesson 5 - The D String Together: Become familiar with the D string (4th string) by playing the exercises with the accompaniment provided. Consolidate further working with dotted notes and working with music in two voices. Practice the p-i-m and i-m-p right hand combinations while using the quaver note for the first time.

Lesson 6 - The A String: Become familiar with the A string while you consolidate further your work with two voices and begin, for the first time, working in a new time signature. Practice the p-i-m and i-m-p right hand combinations while using the quaver note for the first time.

Lesson 7 - The E String: Your final lesson. On completion of this lesson you should be ready to prepare for your classical guitar examination Grade 1.

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