Many classical guitarists find that to play better scales on classical guitar, that is, clear, fluid, and very fast scales, is something unattainable, something that only a few great players can achieve. It is interesting that many classical guitar majors in colleges are unable to play the scale passages fluently above quarter note above 120 M.M. in sixteenths. Yet some are able to play easily past 160, even 175.
Guitar is a difficult instrument. Playing great scales is primarily a right hand issue. The left hand is relatively more natural with proper positioning and eliminating unnecessary movement. However, classical guitar right hand technique is very particular, because the tolerances are so small. Comparing, for example, to the relatively large size of a piano key, the guitar string is about one millimeter thick, and you need to strike at a precise point on your fingernail and padding of the finger to get a great tone every time. The margin of error is very small. So first you need to reduce the extraneous movement when playing. Your hand can not wobble when you play scales. Proper understanding of rest stroke mechanics is a must. Also, the alternating of the fingers has to be perfectly synchronized, which is not easy since the flexor and extensor sides are not equally developed in different fingers. The continuous use of the finger extensor side as well as the flexor in flamenco technique is one of the reasons why fast scales are not considered something extremely special in that style. Other factors that work for them are lower string tension in the flamenco guitar and lower action compared to classical. But special rasgueado exercises for classical players can do wonders for your scales.
Another important element of scale technique is string crossing. String crossing uses similar finger position in relation to the palm of the hand on all strings. In simple language, if your scale went up by one string, the palm of your hand has to move the same distance in that direction. When we master string crossing the right hand just glides smoothly in continuous motion in the direction of the scale.
To make fast scales sound even faster, consider detached articulation. Fingers would arrive a hair earlier on the string than usual, making the scale sound a bit more staccato, and thus more exciting and pearl-like.
It is amazing how one can improve the scale technique on classical guitar in short time. In my experience I have seen people who start top burst speeds below 120 M.M. move above 160 M.M. in one session with proper guidelines.
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