I started to learn the tremolo technique (the p-a-m-i-variant) from classical guitar, and for example used in the famous Recuerdos de la Alhambra piece by F. Tarrega, a month ago. As far as good, but I do one exercise where my thumb goes from the lowest E to the highest e while tremolo picking on the the high e string. But every time I came to the high e, and start to use all my fingers one this one string, I came out of rhythm. As soon as my thumb and my fingers are on different strings its quite fine, but the difficulties came when I play everything on one string.

I tried to vary the hand position, came in from a 90 degree angle with my fingers and to hit the string with my thumb so that it does not interfere with my other fingers. But I does not work out quite well. So, do you have any advice what I could try out, and maybe an idea why it is more difficult on a single string?

1 Answer 1


I do the same exercises. "more difficult" relative to what, I'd ask. Everything is easy once you've mastered it and difficult until you do. Practice slow with the metronome until you can keep the pattern going w/o losing the flow. The typical problem most classical guitarists report is that the steady stream of notes becomes a gallop.

If you can do it smooth with the other patterns then likely this one just needs practice. However, look at your hand in a mirror while you play and be sure that you are not changing the angle of attack of the other fingers significantly to accommodate the thumb. If your posture changes significantly this may add to the problem. You can either adjust or keep the hand posture as is, but you will need to get used to it.

Sometimes we get lucky on a particular technique, it seems to happen easily then we think they should all be that easy. Drill that one that isn't working out well at a very slow pace with each note perfectly expressed. Take your time with it (weeks or longer) gradually upping the metronome speed. It will come eventually.

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