classical guitar, with it’s nylon strings, has a unique
sound, along with it’s own characteristic technique,
repertoire and stylistic approach. Playing this
nylon-string guitar is very different from the many
"plectrum" (with a pick) styles of guitar playing.
pick-hand technique involves the thumb (T), index (1),
middle (2) and ring (3) fingers working independently,
allowing polyphonic pursuits. The main and obvious
advantage that finger-style has over playing with a
"flat-pick," is the ability of each finger to "control"
a string. This finger-style method enables a player to
produce melody, harmony and (rhythmic) bass line
simultaneously, on any string set. You can easily play
arpeggios (used in all styles of music) with numerous
finger and thumb combinations, that can provide an
endless source of melodic and rhythmic variations.
Finger-style playing opens a world of musical
possibilities that the flat-pick simply can’t deliver.
(conversely, flat-picking has its advantages) Despite
their differences in technique, a large percentage of
ALL guitar repertoire is in the keys of G, C, D, A, E,
(F), and their related minor keys. This is because these
"idiomatic" keys are related to the open strings. The
open-string chord, with its resonating sound, is the
heart and soul of blues, folk, rock, and C&W, as well as
flamenco and classical guitar music.
who has picked up a guitar has tried their hand at some
or all of these 1st position chords: G, C, D, A, E, Am,
Em, Dm, (G7, C7, D7,A7, E7, B7). With their
progressions and related keys, these open-string chords
are the essential elements in the structure and creation
of "pop" music.
Perhaps the relative ease with which these chords are
learned, along with the portability and global
popularity of the instrument, may explain in part, why
the guitar has dominated popular music for the last 50