With your thumb, wrist and palm in the right position, your fingers should naturally be in the right position. Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting. (See the post on technique for a fuller description.) Keep your arm and shoulder relaxed and keep your elbow tucked into your body. As you become more advanced you’ll find new positions and you’ll find you’ll need to adjust your position at times for certain chords and techniques – but use this as your foundation. The left wrist should be kept straight. I learned a lot! I just wanted to find out your thoughts regarding using a guitar stool to improve holding the guitar as well as the fretting hand? What is the correct left hand position on guitar. Check out the video below for more on thumb positioning for classical guitar, which is a good starting point. Thank you very much for this excellent post! It is the main creator of the melody and the chords. Good Positioning – the left hand fingers are naturally curved and position in the middle of their range of motion. Hi I have a short middle finger to the first nuckle on my left hand I'm right handed which hand guitar would you suggest I learn to play left or right handed any help would be great Cheers Brent, Thanks for positing this lesson. Your strumming/picking hand plays some part in the melody too (more so when playing fingerstyle) but is more responsible for the rhythm (and of course your fretting hand contributes to the rhythm too particulary with hammer-ons, pull-offs, slides, bends etc). Below are images of both good and poor finger position. What other topics would you find helpful? So if you are feeling like you are getting sore doing this then stop playing for a while, rather than continuing with the wrong technique. It should have minimal deviation and arch, none if possible. The large base knuckles of the finger are positioned on the side of the fretboard opposite the player. The left hand is straight, in-line with the forearm. Your email address will not be published. This post is titled left hand position on guitar – but more accurately it should be titled fretting hand position on guitar. Acoustic vs Bass Guitar: Which is better for Beginners. – perform music with others – meet students and staff – enjoy light refreshments. Wonderful! You shouldn’t be fretting with the front part of your fingers. Your fretting hand is usually your non-dominant hand – and your dominant hand does the picking and the strumming. The only issue that left-handed guitarists have is that there is typically a smaller selection of left-handed guitars to buy compared to right-handed guitars. Your arm will need to be in the right place to get your wrist and palm where they should be. This is why you sometimes see guitarists who have short fingernails on their fretting hand and long fingernails on their plucking hand (if they play fingerstyle with their nails). Some guitarists use the thumb to come over the top of the neck to play notes or to mute the Low E string. Another reason you might be fatiguing is that your guitar’s action is too high. Why? Whilst it differs depending on the steel string acoustic guitar you have, on a steel string acoustic guitar the neck is closer in width and shape to an electric guitar than it is to a classical (nylon string) guitar. The rules above describe the optimal left hand position. Are your students exclusively classical students, or do you have acoustic/electric too? On a classical (nylon string) guitar it is more important to make sure that you have your thumb on the back of the neck – and it easier to keep it there. Online Music Lessons: Guitar, Piano, Voice, Violin, Cello, Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Drums and more. 6. I find it easier to help students achieve this position on the classical guitar than the other two - but I think that is more a problem of posture and positioning. Curving the fingers is certainly advantageous, although we may differ slightly on what we believe to be the ideal thumb position. All Rights Reserved. so this post is called “Left Hand Position on Guitar” but this may not be your left hand – if you are left handed then your “fretting” hand will be your right hand. There is a bit more leeway for a thumb to be higher on the back of the neck. The video below is the best overview of fretting hand technique that I’ve seen and it’s a great place to get started with fretting technique. You should place your finger as close to the fret as you can (without actually putting your finger on the fret). ©2015 Sage Music, LLC. If you have any comments or questions please feel free to leave them in the comments section below. Proper positioning – left hand is free of deviation. Required fields are marked *. For now the idea of the thumb is to use it to help you press down on the strings by providing counter pressure – and should otherwise be out of the way. If your nails are too long this can be difficult. Join us at one of our upcoming events! Your left wrist is should be generally flat, or in a slight and natural arch. This is because the fingerboard is wider and the neck often has a deeper profile. See the article on Sitting and Posture for Classical Guitar in case you missed it. Again – it may be the case that at first you find that your hand fatigues or your fingers are sore. But this is a more advanced technique. 4. Don’t tense everything up. But you don’t want to be pressing as hard as you can every time – you’ll get sore fingers and hands after a while. Because of the demands of left hand playing, it is not always possible to stay in this position. 1. Basically from a straight arm position at your side with your palms facing forward you should be able to bend your elbow and be in a position to play the guitar. The player may leave this position to make a stretch or play a difficult chord or barre, but the player should return to this optimal position as soon as is possible. Maybe more accurately we can call this your fretting hand. Also I want to tell you that when we place our fingers in the metal part of the fret (High E) there is good sound; and when we place (Low E) near the metal part of the fret there is good sound. Play some simple things with your thumb behind the neck and your wrist in this position. It should not be touching the neck. Remember to keep your fingers and hands relaxed though. The left hand fingers should be positioned so that all of the joints in the fingers are … See all articles about guitar. The left hand thumb should be open and relaxed. Each joint is in the midrange of its possible movement. The ideal position for the left hand is a “C” shape. You don’t want your set up to stop you from practicing properly. Your hand should look about like that after you stick a guitar neck in there. No wrist flexion or extension. Line L shows this straight line. Check out the link below to see if your guitars action is too high or too low. I agree with a lot of what you're saying here. Good positioning – left wrist is free of arch. Keeping the fingers as close … Anyway, the point of this post is to discuss the proper positioning of the fretting hand and how to use that hand properly. so this post is called “Left Hand Position on Guitar” but this may not be your left hand – if you are left handed then your “fretting” hand will be your right hand. You need to exert enough pressure your finger so that a clear sound is heard and that there is no fret buzz. Perfect post and photos! Left-hand position: Fretting made easy Extend your left hand, palm up, and make a loose fist, placing your thumb roughly between your first and second fingers. Just keep your sessions short – you want to be practicing right for a short amount of time – not wrong for long periods of time! The pinky finger is overly straight and the index finger is overly curved, so that the joints are not in the middle of their range of movement. O.k. So, you need to exert enough pressure to sound a clear note. So you want to play relaxed too – you want to try to find that nice balance of playing lightly but with just enough pressure to get a clear sounding note. Your palm (at the base of your fingers) should sit below the neck. 2. Your email address will not be published. Below are examples of poor positioning, followed by good positioning. O.k. It should have no more than 10 degrees of arch, 20 degrees at the absolute maximum. This is hard to do if your hand is not in the right position. The wrist is turned so that the pinky side of the hand (ulnar side) is slightly closer to the fretboard than the index side (radial side). To summarize and generalize: holding your guitar in this manner is especially suited than playing western guitar, whereas the other alternative may be more optimal when playing classical guitar. Your thumb should be positioned behind the neck of the guitar or resting on the top of the neck. , your fingers are naturally curved and position in the midrange of its possible movement hope that helps... Is hard to do if your action is too high arm will need to enough! 'S my take just in case you 're interested: https:.! Left handed you very much for this very good explanation online music Lessons: guitar, which is better Beginners. Thumb behind the neck post is titled left hand playing, it very... You find your elbow tucked into your body of this left hand is usually non-dominant. 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