Group 4

This Two Week Intensives will cover the essential techniques of staccato, portato, and legato for guitar players. Staccato involves playing notes in a short, detached manner, while legato involves playing notes smoothly and connected. Portato is a style that falls between staccato and legato, with slightly detached but still connected notes. The class will also delve into the development of left-hand technique that you need for proper articulation!

Sanel Redžić is one of the most promising and virtuoso guitarists of the younger
generation, who has created an important name on the international scene, having a wide
repertoire from baroque to modern music.

Sanel currently teaches at the Franz Liszt Music Academy in Weimar and at
the University of Erfurt in Germany. He is also artistic director and founder of Tuzla Guitar
Week in Bosnia-Herzegovina.


  •  Scales (major with parallel melodic minor scares)
  • Leo Brouwer - Etude Nr. 1
  • Agustin Barrios - Mangore - 3rd movement of La Catedral
  • Fernando Sor - Etude Op. 35, No. 22 (Segovia No. 5)
  • Any other example by participants 

Assignment Videos

I compiled a playlist with 5 Videos! More Videos will come :)

  • Video 1: Intro
  • Video 2: C Major scale with i-m
  • Video 3: C Major scale with p
  • Video 4: Arpeggios
  • Video 5: Brouwer no.1


  • Submit a video containing either one or several of the exercises. For example, start with a simple C major scale playing once as legato as possible, repeat with portamento and then one last time with staccato. Please tell us what articulation you were aiming for!
  • Feel free to apply the learnings to either Brouwer Etude no.1 or your own  repertoire!

Feel free to ask questions in a written reply and/or add them to your video! 


Assignment Week 2:

  • Read and play through the piece provided by Sanel and play the basses staccato and the upper voices legato!


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  • I wanted to clarify the staccato fingering in my own mind so I’ve written out below what I believe Sanel plays for the C major scale ascending and descending.


    (5th)C-i (stop m)/ D-m (stop i)

    (4th)E-m (stop i) / F-i (stop m) / G-m (stop i)

    (3rd) A-m (stop i) / B-i (stop m) / C-m (stop i) / D-i (stop m)

    (2nd)E-i (stop m) / F-m (stop i) / G-i (stop m)

    (1st)A-i (stop m) / B-m (stop i) / C-i (stop m) / B-m (stop i) / A-i (stop m)

    (2nd)G-i (stop m) / F-m (stop i) / E-i (stop m)

    (3rd)D-i (stop m) / C-m(stop i) / B-i (stop m) / A-m (stop i)

    (4th)G-m (stop i) / F-i (stop m) / E-m (stop i)

    (5th)D-m (stop i) / C-i (stop m)

    Sanel Redzic would be grateful if you could confirm if this is correct?

    Like 1
      • Jack Stewart
      • Retired
      • Jack_Stewart
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Jaime Fernandez I do think you are correct in deciphering his RH fingering, Jaime. Thanks for catching this. I will have to try this - maybe it will be much less frustrating than what I was trying to do.

      Like 1
    • Jack Stewart thanks Jack. It seems to work at slow speed but not sure with faster tempos. Perhaps that’s when you would use the thumb ascending and the a finger descending to damp, as Sanel mentioned in another reply. 

      Like 1
    • Hi again Jaime Fernandez , 


      Actually I am constantly changing i and m and I am stoping the lower strings with my thumb. Going down I am stoping the upper strings with a or sometimes even only by releasing the finger of the left hand. It depends of how fast do I play something. There is sometimes just no time at all to come back with the p or a, so I do it with the left hand completely. I hope that this helps. 

      Like 1
    • Sanel Redzic understood. Thank you for clarifying!

      Like 1
    • Ingo
    • Coach
    • Ingo.1
    • 1 yr ago
    • Reported - view

    martin Dear Martin,  would it be possible to give us the score for the exercises/used repertoire like you did in the last two-weeks-intensive? Thanks a lot...

    Like 1
  • Hello Sanel and all participants,

    I was practicing the exercises of Sanel, which are not easy for me specially the arpegios but also all the other aspects of articulation. 

    Video Scales : I play the scales slow to focus myself on the subject we are dealing with. I "think" I have kept my normal fingering beginning with i (imimim). I have tried to maintain the tempo, but in the portato (I am not sure) I think it was not so even. With "p" I mean thumb. Indeed it was strange to go with the thumb to the first string and to maintain the hand relax. I still do the movement of staccato with tension ..I need to practice longer to reach the wished relaxation.

    Video Arpegio with 1 thumb. This was difficult and impossible to play in only 4 days without mistakes. I would need a longer time , to get the desired automatismus of the right hand and relaxation ...but I am not unhappy with the feeling and the behaviour of my hand because in some bars the RH was quite confortable with the movement. I have the impression it is a matter of practice that I could play it more relax and an evenly tempo, without stops. I could not get the exercise with 2 thumbs today. I hope tomorrow!!!, It need even more practice for that.

    Video V4 Giuliani op107. I have chosen a part of the Variation N.4 of the "Variations of a theme of Händel" from Giuliani to apply the use of different articulations. The variation is with 16ths and pauses that require to mude the sound almost of each note or accord . I play it in a short portato, almost staccato but not so far. In the video I play it once in portato, as usually , than in staccatto and finally what I had never played before. The staccato sound very nice also and I accentuate one bass playing  it louder and longer...may be this is more a rubato (????) (a C sharp in 5 string about 3 bars before the end). The sound of my thumb is not nice, I do not have nail there...

    Let'see what Sanel and you guys think....

    Thanks for listening!!!

    Like 2
      • Emmanull
      • Emma
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Nora Torres-Nagel  bravo, good Melody with the base and well muted! 

      Like 1
    • Hey Nora Torres-Nagel , 


      great! Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. 

      1. About the scales, you are doing it fine. Sometimes when you play Portato with i and m some notes are louder than the others. You are doing the accents. I would work on that and would try to avoid the accents.

      2. Very good. Pity with the nail on thumb. :-) Keep on working more on this and try also some other arpeggio patterns. 
      3. Very good example and it works pretty well. It seems that you are having now problems to play legato the whole theme! I like that you are stoping the previous note after you play the next one. Great! 

    • Sanel Redzic thanks for your comments Sanel . I will practice other arpegios also with the 2 thumbs exercise and staccatos.

      Like 1
    • Emma gracias Emma !😊

      Like 1
  • hello to you all. I present here a rough impression of me trying to play the Brouwer study with the articulation suggested by Sanel. Only the opening measures. Sorry, I dont have much time to polish the video or sound quality. This is  just to indicate the work Im doing. 

    Btw I noticed it is difficult to keep the accompanying i and m finger relaxed and stable when the thumb is playing staccato.

    I do practice the scale exercise daily and even the arpeggio exercise - which I'm not very fond of, but it is useful, so....😰

    Nice to know: my surname is Brouwer (but this is one of the most common surnames in the Netherlands...)

    As for my repertoire: I will try to record tomorrow parts of one or two Sor studies: op.31, XIX (Segovia 10) and op.35, XVI (Segovia 15)

    Like 2
    • joosje very good Joosje. I can hear very clear your staccatos. Your chords were not so clear with the staccato the first time but not the second. The tension in the right hand is completely different when playing the staccato, I feel it also. Probably the art is that separation of the control of each when doing a dinamic with very relax ima and strong p or viceversa ....

      Thanks for sharing your music Joosje.

      Like 1
      • Emmanull
      • Emma
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      joosje bravo!

      Like 1
    • Very nice joosje , 


      try maybe to make also dynamic contrast once when you do the staccato. I would apply this system at the whole etude. Everything what is repeating could be done with different articulations and dynamics. Keep on working on this. 

  • Hello again Nora here 🙂.

    The last 2 videos for this week with the exercises using 2 thumbs in the arpegio.

    Portato. Very difficult, but with more time I will manage this. For some unknown reason the arpegio with the D in 4 string tends to be the more "sensible" to the mistake...I have forgotten to mude the second D a lot of times, also with the last A ...🙄

    Staccato. Also very difficult but at this speed I have the impression to get the feeling inside easier than with the portato. I have to think a lot in keeping the hand relax...tendency to tension...also tendency to mude also the 2.string when playing 6 . and 2. together for instance...sooo to separate the behaviour of m and p.

    Like 1
    • Nora Torres-Nagel maybe you could work and focus only at the right hand. Mute the strings with the left hand and focus only on the thumb. Do it several times legato, without cutting anything. Then play one bass stacc and the next one legato. Once when you start to feel more comfortable articulate the both basses. It is not an easy task. I know. But it is very useful. 

    • Emmanull
    • Emma
    • 1 yr ago
    • Reported - view

    Dear Sanel, this is what I could achieve in these 4 days, I wish it was better and with more contrast. My main difficulty was in the staccato, mixing the right and left hand to mute the notes, in not a conscious decision sometimes. Also I notice that the staccato in the base is more noticeable that in the accompaniment. I will keep practicing 

    Like 1
      • Emmanull
      • Emma
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      I forgot the title, it the Brower’s study number 1 

      Like 1
    • Dear Emma ,


      very good. I would work on the bigger dynamic contrasts and would play also with the colors in the right hand. Great job for four days. 

  • Hello Sanel and everyone,


    Here is my attempt on the exercise.


    I have attempted all the exercises in Exercise 1 and 2 below in the following order:

    a Legato using i and m

    b Portato

    c Staccato using the left hand

    d Staccato using the I and m fingers

    e Staccato using the thumb


    I find it difficult to maintain legato when shifting position. I guess this is down to practice.



    Below is the arpeggio exercise.

    I find this difficult to do. After many hours of practice, I think I am getting some passable results. I can do the majority of the staccatos, and many I missed particularly when the thumb has to make a large movement, e.g. moving from D string to the E string, then I sometime missed stopping the D string.



    I have not posted my attempt on Brouwer Etude no 1 as find it very difficult to play it with staccato bass note.  My difficulty is that my other finger automatically come to stop the other strings when I come to stop the bass note with my thumb. I am trying to figure out how to overcome this.



    Like 1
    • Vincent Tam Hi Vincent ! you are not the only one with that "reflex"...all fingers tend to move together..unfortunately...but this can be "learn"...with a lot of patient...very difficult for me also.

      Like 2
    • Vincent Tam Hi Vincent, your scales sound very good for me, a clear difference between the legatos, portatos and staccatos.

      In the arpegio with staccatos I can see and hear what you meant in your commentaries about the tendency of the other fingers to follow the movement of the thumb, but you are doing a lot of times or mainly in the correct way ! I think this is very good for such a short practice... Great!

    • Hi Vincent Tam 

      Very nice scales. You are right with the changing the positions. Try to practice slowly only those two or three four notes around the position changing. Do it slowly but change the position very quick and do as short movement as possible. 


      About the Arpeggios, it doesn't sound so bad. It is not an easy task to do. I know. We have to "separate" the right hand into two parts. Two parts which are doing the two different things. 

      Like 1
    • Nora Torres-Nagel Thank you for your advice and comments.  The old ingrained muscle memory needs to be unlearned.  You did well with the Brouwer.

      Like 1
    • Sanel Redzic 

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