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Classical Guitar Lessons: Writing Out Your Fingerings

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Hello this is Jason Vieaux with
a public service announcement for
all of you students out there.
To please write down your fingerings.
Right-hand and left-hand, when you're
learning a new piece especially.
[COUGH] you know when I was growing up, I
mean I can sympathize with,
with many of you out there.
When I was growing up, when I learn a new
piece, I'd often find an instinctive
fingering either right-hand or left-hand
that felt good and worked right away.
And thus, you know, just didn't feel the
need to write it down.
And then as I got busier with my career in
my 20s, I, I felt that I just didn't
have enough time, there wasn't really
enough time, so, to, to write things down.
I would only really write a fingering
When it was a particularly complex
And of course for any kind of Bach pieces
I wrote my fingering's down there because
that was really necessary for figuring out
the counterpoint and
figuring out how to execute it with the up
most, utmost clarity for me.
But I've actually you know I,
I really feel that writing your fingerings
down in any situation even in a,
in a, in a simple piece is very healthy
exercise and
it really cuts down on your learning time.
And it really cuts away the time, because
there's a visual element to there's,
there's there's a mental element to
the fingering that you're going to write
down on your, on the, on the sheet music.
And it forces you to make a decision where
you wouldn't normally make that decision.
You would just go with the first thing
that came to mind in terms of a theory.
But, but actually, the act of writing it
down gets, stops you for
a second to actually get you to think
about how many options are there, for
a particular fingering and that's a very
good process.
And then when you choose that, you can
always change it later.
You should write them in pencil so that,
you know, as you, as you grow and
progress, you may come back to that piece
later and
not feel the same way about those
That's, that's just a natural part of, of
of getting better and
progressing on the instrument.
But, but actually writing them down and
then learning,
working with your score, as we've said in
many other lessons, to stay with
your score well beyond the point of where
you think you might have it memorized.
There's just, it, it, it, it helps you to
memorize those,
those fingerings that much more deeply,
and it's just a very health,
a very healthy habit to get into, so.
This is a little bit of a eat your
vegetables kinda lecture on
making sure that you write down your
Thank you very much.