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Exploring Campanella Fingering

Campanella is an Italian word for “little bell.” On guitar campanella fingering is the idea of playing a passage that could be played with multiple notes on a string across several strings. Check out this scale run for instance:

scale

Instead of playing the scale with three notes on the second string, what if we played it like this:

campanella

The advantage of going across the strings like this is that the sound is very open, almost harpsichord like–It’s often a lot more legato than playing a straight scale. Neither of the styles of fingering a piece is better than another. How a piece is played is a very individual thing. I like Campanella fingerings, so I try to use them a lot. When you first approach a new piece, it’s your job to try out several different fingering possibilities and settle on one that achieves your desired effect with the least amount of effort.

4 Responses leave one →
  1. 2012 November 26
    Bob Vasquez permalink

    You mention that “Neither of the styles of fingering a piece is better than another.” However, isn’t one of the objectives of campanella fingering to achieve a little bell-like sound to add color to a particular phrase? In such a situation where you want a particular sound would suggest that one style is better than the other for that particular phrase. Just saying.

    • 2013 July 16
      yamex5 permalink

      Hello Bob,

      I think the point was that in general, neither style is better than the other, but yes depending upon the context of a piece of music, either campanella or a single note fingering might be more appropriate.

  2. 2013 April 12
    Jonatan permalink

    in the last example play the a note on the d string, you get a lot closer to the campanella sound 🙂

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