Introduction to Exercises

a picture of keolaWhen you thoroughly understand the basic playing position, the free stroke and the rest stroke, the next step is to train the right and left hands to function smoothly in preparation for the pieces in this tutorial.

To this end, the more you practice these technical exercises, which are designed to improve the coordination of both hands, the sooner will the basic movements become comfortable. What’s more, your playing will become more accurate and considerably more enjoyable.

In order for the left hand to function smoothly and accurately there should be as little movement of the left hand and arm as possible. Excess movement increases the chance of making mistakes while playing.

Prepare a mental checklist before attempting the exercises in this section.

  1. Be sure the guitar is held correctly
  2. Check to see that the thumb of the left hand is placed in the correct position for the type of guitar being played.
  3. Make sure that the right hand is relaxed and positioned over the sound hole.

Later, these steps will become automatic, but until they do, it is important to think through them carefully before beginning to play.

Exercises in this section: