Primary Colors

Aside from the human voice and the drum, the world’s favorite musical instrument is the guitar, and few things remind us of that fact more than the return addresses on submissions for this column. GP receives entries from all over the globe, including this one, which crossed the Mediterranean Sea to get here. “Classical guitarists love to play chord études because they help them develop skillful fretting-hand shifts,” says Ramzi Mikhail of Cyprus, who sent in the progression below.
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“It’s made up of primary chords—the I, IV, and V—in the key of A major, and makes a great daily exercise, no matter what style you play. Notice that certain fretting-hand fingers can conveniently glide on the same string to their new pitches as the new chord arrives, which is crucial for executing smooth transitions between fingerings. Once you get the fretting-hand moves down, feel free to come up with various plucking patterns with your other hand. There are endless possibilities.”