Group 1

Unlock the secret to mastering your right-hand arpeggios in this two-week intensive course with renowned guitarist Arturo Castro Nogueras. Designed for guitarists of all levels, this course focuses on essential techniques to relax your right-hand thumb, enhancing your fluidity and control.


  • Learn techniques to ease thumb tension while playing arpeggios.
  • Improve fluidity and control in your arpeggio patterns.
  • Understand the impact of thumb relaxation on overall arpeggio execution.
  • Practice a series of arpeggio-focused exercises and etudes.
  • Develop a balanced and efficient right-hand position for arpeggios.
  • Apply thumb relaxation techniques to various arpeggio patterns and musical excerpts.

Throughout the course, Arturo will provide detailed lessons and hands-on practice to help you refine your arpeggio technique and elevate your playing. Whether you’re looking to enhance your skills or achieve a more balanced right-hand position, this course offers the tools and insights you need to succeed.


  • Sign-Up : May 29th - June 2nd
  • Course Period: June 3rd - June 14th
  • Optional check-In via Zoom: June 10th, 10 am PST


  1. Arpeggio Exercise

    • Instructions: Position your fingers on the first four strings.
    • Pattern: Perform a simple P-I-M-A arpeggio.
    • Detail: Immediately after playing with your thumb (P), take an extra moment to relax.
    • Steps:
      • Play with thumb (P)
      • Relax
      • Play with index (I)
      • Play with middle (M)
      • Play with ring (A)
  2. Leo Brouwer's Estudio Sencillo No. 6

    • Instructions: Position your thumb (P) and ring finger (a) into playing position.
    • Detail: After playing with your thumb (P), immediately relax.
    • Focus: Ensure relaxation after each thumb stroke to maintain fluidity.
  3. Triple Thumb Exercise

    • Instructions: Place your thumb (P) on the sixth string.
    • Pattern: Play the last three strings in reverse order: 6th, 5th, and 4th, relaxing after playing each string.
    • Steps:
      • Play the 6th string with thumb (P) and relax
      • Play the 5th string with thumb (P) and relax
      • Play the 4th string with thumb (P) and relax

Exercise Instructions:

1. Arpeggio A Major

  •     Position your fretting hand to play an A major chord.
  •     Place your thumb (right hand) on the 5th string.
  •     Strum the 5th string with your thumb and relax your hand.
  •     Perform a hammer-on with your pinky on the 4th fret of the 5th string.
  •     Quickly place your thumb again on the 4th string.
  •     Strum the remaining strings of the chord.
  •     Focus on maintaining a relaxed posture and fluid motion throughout the exercise.

2. Carcassi Etude No. 25 (First Bar)

  •    Apply the same principles as the Arpeggio A Major exercise.
  •    Position your fretting hand according to the notation for the first bar of Carcassi Etude No. 25.
  •    Start with your thumb on the designated string.
  •    Play the notes as indicated in the etude, focusing on relaxation and precision.
  •    Emphasize the hammer-on technique if required by the notation.

3. Maintaining Right Hand Stillness and Relaxation

  • Practice playing the thumb strokes of various exercises or pieces slowly.
  • Focus on keeping the rest of your hand relaxed and still while playing the thumb.
  •  Avoid unnecessary tension in your hand and fingers.
  •  Gradually increase speed while maintaining relaxation and stillness.

4. Bonus Practice: Tremolo with Relaxation

  •  Position your hand for tremolo technique, typically with the thumb playing bass notes and fingers playing rapid repetitions on higher strings.
  •  Start slowly to ensure each finger movement is relaxed and controlled.
  •  Concentrate on keeping each finger relaxed as it alternates with the thumb.
  •  Increase speed gradually while maintaining relaxation and precision.
  •  Focus on a consistent, even tone with each finger stroke.



1. Villa-Lobos Etude No. 2 E7 Arpeggio using the Triple Thumb Exercise:


   - Start by reviewing the triple thumb

exercise demonstrated in the first video.

   - Familiarize yourself with the E7 arpeggio in Villa-Lobos Etude No. 2.

   - Apply the triple thumb technique to the E7 arpeggio. Use your thumb consecutively on different bass strings to play the 6th, 5th, and 4th string of the E7 chord.

   - Practice slowly at first, ensuring accuracy and clarity of each note.

   - Gradually increase speed while maintaining control and precision.

   - Focus on smooth transitions between strings and consistent thumb technique throughout.


2. Luigi Legnani Caprice No. 29 F sharp minor using the Triple Thumb Exercise:


   - Review the triple thumb exercise to ensure familiarity.

   - Study the F sharp minor arpeggio in Legnani Caprice 29 Bar 1.

   - Apply the triple thumb technique to the F sharp minor arpeggio, using your thumb on consecutive bass strings to play the relevant chord tones.

   - Practice slowly and methodically, paying attention to finger placement and coordination.

   - Increase speed gradually, maintaining accuracy and control.

   - Concentrate on achieving smooth transitions between notes and strings.


3. Tremolo Practice with Relaxation After Each Finger:


   - Begin by practicing a basic tremolo pattern (p-a-m-i) on a single string.

   - Focus on relaxing your fingers after each stroke, allowing them to return to a neutral position.

   - Pay attention to the quality of sound produced by each finger and strive for consistency.

   - Practice at a comfortable tempo initially, gradually increasing speed as you become more comfortable.

   - Take short breaks between practice sessions to avoid fatigue and tension buildup.


4. Breaking Down Big Arpeggio Sections into Smaller Ones:


   - Identify large arpeggio sections in the pieces you're working on.

   - Divide these sections into smaller, manageable segments based on patterns or hand positions.

   - Practice each smaller segment individually, focusing on precision and fluidity.

   - Gradually integrate these segments back together, ensuring smooth transitions between each part.

   - Repeat this process as needed until you can perform the entire arpeggio section seamlessly.

   - Use a metronome to maintain steady progress and monitor your improvement over time.

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  • Excellent advice about the thumb relaxation and its impact on the rest of the arpeggios.  Such a crucial element and rarely mentioned or taught!  ¡Mil gracias Arturo!

    Like 1
    • Bill Young thank you! Please feel free to share a short practice video so we can comment it. Hope it helps!

      Like 1
  • Arturo Castro Nogueras Muchas gracias por ponernos al tanto de este detalle crucial para tocar los arpegios de manera fluida. 

    Like 1
    • Raul Guzman Vidal muchas gracias Raúl! Compartenos un video cuando puedas :)

    • Saludos Arturo Castro Nogueras,  aquí comparto un video con los primeros tres ejercicios, por si tienes una oportunidad para verlos. 

      Like 1
    • Raul Guzman Vidal se ve súper bien. Intenta todavía relajar más el pulgar cuando toques. A veces mientras estudiamos hay que exagerarlo mucho para que sea muy obvio para el cerebro. Puedes tomar un tiempo extra solo para concentrarte en esto. 

      Like 1
    • Arturo Castro Nogueras Gracias por la retroalimentación! Por aquí incluyo el video con la segunda serie de ejercicios, para que por favor me digas que puedo mejorar. 

      Like 1
    • Raul Guzman Vidal ¡claro! Ahora sí mucho mejor. La mano se queda en su lugar :D ¡muy bien!

  • Thank you. When you say the thumb must be relaxed, is it just a feeling, or are there any particular signs, like a position or a way, to be assured that it's the case?

    Like 1
    • Jerome Toulouse thank you for your comment! More than anything it is a feeling that you have to observe and learn to master. But you can just do a simple exercise to feel this. Let your arm to the side hanging, so you make sure it is completely relaxed. Then move your thumb and let it relax again. There you can feel how both, movement and relaxed thumb, feels like. 

      Check this out (it is for the piano, but it is the same idea):


      Like 1
  • Hi Arturo Castro Nogueras thank you for the very insightful exercises! I am curious to see how tense my finger always was and what kind of progress I can make from these lessons of letting the right hand flow naturally and smoothly!

    I recorded a video for each of the exercises. Looking forward to hearing back from you.

    Like 1
    • Fernando Ruiz Diaz well done! I can see you are taking extra time to relax, and that is exactly the point of this exercises. This eventually will be integrated to your playing and will be automatic. 

      Like 1
  • Hi Arturo! Here is a video of me playing the first three exercises. I also have a question at the end that may or may not be related.

    • Eric Phillips the exercises seemed very good to me. Well done. I can see you are taking extra time to relax and also I can see you thumb returning to its relaxed position. 


      About you question, I find it very interesting that free strove works better for you with m-a. All hands are different, but here are some tips you can consider:


      1. While playing free stroke, I keep my thumb close to my fingers. If I'm playing the 3rd string, I keep my thumb on the 4th. If I'm playing on the 2nd, my thumb is on the 3rd and so on.


      2. When you play the Sor, your hand might be going out of place every time you play the thumb and the ring finger. Can you try maybe, if only as an exercise, to not do apoyando on the ring finger and try to keep the hand in place so your index stays on top of the string?


      Let me know if this helps a bit.

  • Here is the beginning of the Carcassi Etude No. 25 I talk in the second video.

  • Hello Arturo,


    it is interesting that you make us practice in making sure that we relax the right  hand when playing. Attached is a video with the exercises from your second video.  I practiced the exercises from your first lesson, but did not attach because i thought i could skip this this one.  I was not sure if you wanted us to send the optional tremolo exercise.  Tremolo is something that i will study in the future,  i used a tremolo study that a teacher gave me a while back to practice what you showed us because it is more pleasant to the ear than playing open strings.  


    My biggest issue is with the left had, i feel fatigue if i replay  the arpeggio exercise. Perhaps i need to relax the left hand also between cycles ?



    Thank you

    Like 1
    • Michel Giroux thank you for sharing your video. In general everything seems very good. 

      May I suggest something? Try not to move your hand while you play the first note of the arpeggio. If you watch the first couple of second of your video you will see that you push your thumb with the whole hand and arm. This is not necessarily incorrect but it will definitely displace your hand and beats the purpose of the exercise we are doing :)


      About your left hand, yes always. Some tension might be normal, but always try to let the hand relax and "breathe".

    • Arturo Castro Nogueras Thank you Arturo for this great session and your specific recommendations.  I am already using your advices and trying to be more attentive of my hand movements.


      Thanks again


    • Barney
    • Barney
    • 1 mth ago
    • Reported - view

    Hi Arturo,  Thanks very much for your helpful advice to our Tonebase members during the check-in meeting today.  As we discussed, here is a tremolo excerpt from Capriccio Diabolico.  Please note I have not practiced this piece for a long time ( so please forgive the silly mistakes), but when I did, I used  pimi (similar to Ana Vidovic's pmim) , which sounded much better.  Here is pami, which does not sound good to me. 

    I hope you can see what I'm doing here, and perhaps offer some advice to restore this preferred pami method for me.  The pimi sounds better but will be tiring for long tremolo pieces because the "i" finger repeats too often.

    Like 1
    • Barney thank you very much your sharing your video. I understand what you mean. First of all it is nowhere as bad as you made me believe haha. I feel your right hand is tense in general. An exercise Rafael Aguirre showed me many years ago went like this:


      P - relax 

      a - relax 

      m - relax

      i - relax


      The idea is to play the finger and then relax. If you observe the way your RH pinky moves, it shows your ring finger is not moving from the knuckle (metacarpal) but from the proximal joint and that provokes unnecessary tension within your hand. 

      Try moving every finger from the knuckle as you do when you close your hand. And imitate that sensation when you play. Let me know if this helps a bit.

      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Arturo Castro Nogueras Thank you very much Arturo for your prompt reply.  I really appreciate your wonderful advice about the tension in my ring finger during tremolo.  I will add your suggested exercise into my daily routine and hope it helps.

      Do you know other players (besides Ana) that use the 2 finger method (either pimi or pmim)  for their tremolo with great success?

      Like 1
    • Barney I'm glad it helps! 

      About other players, no, I really don't know any players who can do that like that.

  • Here are the exerpts I talk about in the 3rd video. 


    1. Villa-Lobos Etude No. 2 Bar 23


    2. Legnani Caprice No. 29 Bar 1 and 2

      • Barney
      • Barney
      • 1 mth ago
      • Reported - view

      Arturo Castro Nogueras Thank you very much Arturo for sharing your knowledge and wisdom with us during this two-week intensive.  I enjoyed it , and it's been very helpful!  I also appreciate your patience and consideration as you explain some of the more subtle techniques.  Hope to see to back with more Tonebase lessons soon!

      Like 1
    • Barney thank you so much for your kind words. I like we keep seeing each other in these online courses. Hopefully we can do another one soon. 

      Warm regards!

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