Your thumb should be positioned behind the neck of the guitar or resting on the top of the neck. After a while – if you are practicing with good technique – this will become second nature and your playing will start to sound smoother and smoother. Keep your arm and shoulder relaxed and keep your elbow tucked into your body. The left hand fingers should be positioned so that all of the joints in the fingers are curved and in the middle of their range of motion. A buzzy note is often a sign that you aren’t pressing hard enough (though it could also mean that your guitar needs a setup adjustment – if you press as hard as you can and you still get fret buzz then it’s likely that your action is too low). It is important to have a qualified teacher to help you with these fine details of positioning. I really enjoyed reading your post, it was very interesting! If you have any comments or questions please feel free to leave them in the comments section below. 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. Your fretting hand is the hand that presses down on the strings. The thumb is open, relaxed, and to the left of the fingers. 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. Each joint is in the midrange of its possible movement. Curving the fingers is certainly advantageous, although we may differ slightly on what we believe to be the ideal thumb position. This same technique applies to left-handed guitarists – it’s just that their right hand is their fretting hand. O.k. It should not be touching the neck. This is because the fingerboard is wider and the neck often has a deeper profile. ©2015 Sage Music, LLC. 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. 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. 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. See the article on Sitting and Posture for Classical Guitar in case you missed it. What other topics would you find helpful? How you position your fretting hand will make a difference to how well you can play the guitar – simple as that. 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. There are many awesome left-handed guitarists out there – Jimi Hendricks being one of them, of course. Is this could be a problem for her? No wrist flexion or extension. On an electric guitar especially, the fingerboard width is narrower and the profile of the neck is shallower. Anyway, the point of this post is to discuss the proper positioning of the fretting hand and how to use that hand properly. I just wanted to find out your thoughts regarding using a guitar stool to improve holding the guitar as well as the fretting hand? There is a bit more leeway for a thumb to be higher on the back of the neck. Technique is an important part of playing any instrument. 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. All Rights Reserved. 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). In other words, it should be relatively straight. Thank you very much for this excellent post! 5. 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. Copyright © 2015 - 2020 - - Privacy Policy. You should be able to play for a while like this though. For the best right hand position, see here. The rules above describe the optimal left hand position. Because of all the many variables in playing the guitar, consider taking some guitar lessons in person or online with a qualified teacher to help you get set up in the perfect left hand position. Your palm (at the base of your fingers) should sit below the neck. 2. I’ve heard that Jimi Hendricks was playing guitar with his left hand and apparently, it didn’t cause him any problem:) I like the videos, it is much easier to learn by watching someone else playing guitar. This post is titled left hand position on guitar – but more accurately it should be titled fretting hand position on guitar. My daughter wants to learn to play guitar, but she is left handed. Your left wrist is should be generally flat, or in a slight and natural arch. 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. The left wrist should be kept straight. Poor positioning – Left wrist is arched (overly flexed) and deviated (to the ulnar side). – perform music with others – meet students and staff – enjoy light refreshments. The left hand fingers should be positioned so that all of the joints in the fingers are … This means that we can further flex or extend each finger at will. Do not angle the wrist or bend it in a concave or convex angle. Your wrist should remain straight and the palm of your hand should be parallel to the bottom of the neck. This satisfies the requirement of muscular alignment. 21 Guitar Playing Tips Every Beginner Should Know, Tips for Learning How to Play the Guitar and Sing at the Same Time, Acoustic Guitar Stands: Ways to Keep Your Guitar When Not Playing, Takamine Serial Numbers: What They Can Tell You and How to Decode Them. Line L shows this straight line. Are your students exclusively classical students, or do you have acoustic/electric too? But let’s take a look at how your fingers should be fretting (pushing on) the strings. 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. Required fields are marked *. 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. 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. Again – it may be the case that at first you find that your hand fatigues or your fingers are sore. This is one of the “ basics of classical guitar.” With some chords, you aren’t able to get that close to the frets and that’s fine, just try to place your fingers as close to the frets as possible. Save my name and email in this browser for the next time I comment. Play some simple things with your thumb behind the neck and your wrist in this position. Thank you for any assistance you can provide! Another reason you might be fatiguing is that your guitar’s action is too high. The large base knuckles of the finger are positioned on the side of the fretboard opposite the player. It should not come over the top of the guitar’s neck, and it should not behind the fingers. Your hand should look about like that after you stick a guitar neck in there. Don’t tense everything up. Why? Your email address will not be published. Good positioning – left wrist is free of arch. Acoustic vs Bass Guitar: Which is better for Beginners. What you practice will become a habit – so if you practice the wrong thing a lot then it will be much harder to start playing with the proper technique. You can also subscribe without commenting. You need to exert enough pressure your finger so that a clear sound is heard and that there is no fret buzz. While the exact positioning of each players hand might vary slightly because each player and each instrument are slightly different in size, the proper left hand position will follow the four rules of efficient musculoskeletal function. The best sound is achieved when you place your finger close to the fret. Here are a few tips to make sure that you are getting a good sound out of your guitar. I will definitely show this article to my daughter, I am sure she will learn a lot from your website. Because of the demands of left hand playing, it is not always possible to stay in this position. Instead it should be slightly to the left of the fingers. Filed Under: basic techniques, Guitar lessons. Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. >>How to Tell if Your Action is too Low or Too High. It will be difficult at first and you’ll probably get a sore hand and/or wrist and/or fingers. It should have minimal deviation and arch, none if possible. – have fun! Wonderful! As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.