Giuliani’s 120 Right Hand Studies

Mauro Giuseppe Sergio Pantaleo Giuliani (27 July 1781 – 8 May 1829) was an Italian guitarist, cellist, singer, and composer.  He has become one of the most influential guitarist composers of his era and is well known for his teachings as well. Below is an example of his musical style as played by Richard Savino. This is Sonatine, Op. 71, No. 3: IV. Finale; Allegro:

Now that you’ve heard some of his work, you might understand why someone would need to work on all types of right hand techniques to play Giuliani’s compositions (and the compositions of many others). For example, if you needed to build a house, you would need more than a hammer. You would need saws, wrenches, sockets, etc. Giuliani’s 120 Right Hand Studies for The Classical Guitar will give you the tools you need meet much of the demands of the Classical Guitar Repertoire.


Right Hand Finger terms

  • P – pulgar – thumb
  • I – indicio – index finger
  • M – medio – middle finger
  • A – anular – ring finger
  • C – chico – pinky

Types of Strokes

  • Rest stroke: The finger which plucks the string comes to rest on the adjacent string, in the direction of the pluck. So fingers i, m, and a would move up in string number (ex. 1 to 2) while p would move down in string number (ex. 5 to 4).
  • Free stroke: The finger which plucks the string either clears the strings adjacent or moves into the hand.

String Numbers

  • 1 – High E
  • 2 – B
  • 3 – G
  • 4 – D
  • 5 – A
  • 6 – Low E

Left Hand Finger Numbering 

  1. Index
  2. Middle
  3. Ring
  4. Pinky (*nothing for thumb since it is behind the guitar neck)

Planting – To place your right hand finger(s) on a guitar string before plucking it. In some cases this may result in stopping a previously ringing note.

Chords Used:

  • C Major (or one of its inversions)
  • G7 (or one of its inversions)


Some Tips

  • Try to keep your wrist relatively straight. Avoid bending the wrist in unnatural ways.
  • Keep i, m, and a close together. They should rub together as you play.
  • Try and do rest strokes with the thumb whenever possible
  • Make sure your nails are shaped and polished for the best tonal results
  • Play from your back knuckles (that’s the metacarpophalangeal joint for all you medical folks), not the finger tips.
  • p does a double stroke on strings 5 and 4 to play the final C major chord in each exercise.

For a quick link to the playlist and updates, visit this page: Full Playlist and Updates

For free scores of Mauro Giuliani’s work, visit:

Good luck! And feel free to comment or message me with any questions.