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guitar left hand position

Classical Guitar Left Hand Position. The position of your playing hand can truly differentiate whether you play your guitar adequately, or if you completely master your instrument. These are all performed with the fretting hand, which is the left hand on a right-hand guitar. But this is a more advanced technique. So if you need to place your finger in the second fret, it means that you are placing your finger between the 1st and 2nd frets – but it should be as close to the 2nd fret as possible. Next step: bring this hand position to the guitar. What is the “Neutral” Position? What is the best left hand position on guitar? We should be able to stay in this position for any length of time. YouTube Lesson Link And it needs to stay in a safe and healthy position to avoid injury. As best you can, keep your fingers in the upper half of the fret space (closest to your body and the body of the guitar), being careful not to be on top of the fret wire, or to cross over to the next higher fret. The position of your left hand will vary depending on what you are playing. The classic position that can be seen to the left on the picture above is recommended by many guitar teachers – it is somewhat of the scholar approach. So, you need to exert enough pressure to sound a clear note. 5. By using the "bat grip" (see the right part of the picture above), you will hold the guitar in a firm grip. Basic Left Hand Position and Alignment Exercises for Classical Guitar from my 20 Favorite Exercises for Classical Guitar – For beginner to intermediate classical guitarists. Now, raise your fretting hand. In this guitar lesson I am going to show you what I think is the best way to position your left hand on the guitar neck. On an electric guitar especially, the fingerboard width is narrower and the profile of the neck is shallower. So it can be hard for the beginner to see why the other hand—the plucking hand— is normally considered the dominant hand in guitar playing. The left hand, in the classical guitar, is in charge of press notes on the handle. It is very important to practice this as it sounds awful when done badly. 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. 4. Left Hand Position Exercise for Classical Guitar. Any less creates a buzz or thumbing sound. With your thumb, wrist and palm in the right position, your fingers should naturally be in the right position. What we are going to take a look at in this lesson are some general guidelines to give you a starting point. Since everybody has mention all other things, you might try keeping your guitar strap a little shorter so that your left doesn't have that extreme curled up position. Hey guys, welcome to the lesson n.2 of the beginner guitar course. With your left hand on the guitar, proper finger placement is right behind the fret. If your guitar starts to wobble around, or worse still, does a face plant, then you’re probably not holding it right. Here are a few tips to make sure that you are getting a good sound out of your guitar. Place the guitar at a "45-degree angle to the floor" resting on the left leg. Home base position In Classical Guitar, the left hand presses the strings against the frets to determine the pitch of each note. Meaning #1: Fret Position. While using your left hand, extend it with your palm up to form a loose fist on the guitar. If you have ever had challenges getting your left hand to stay in position or get your fourth finger to remain close to the fingerboard, this exercise will likely be helpful. Use the tip of your fingers to press down the strings and place them as close to the fret as possible. Required fields are marked *. A fifth "finger" – by involving the thumb you could achieve specific chord shapes, including. I really enjoyed reading your post, it was very interesting! If while playing you notice your finger is in the middle or heading towards the back fo the fret, you should try to move it up until it's close to the fret. And it needs to stay in a safe and healthy position to avoid injury. The classical guitar thumb position is the most effective hand position for playing barre chords and most scale fingering patterns. Guitar Left Hand Position. Extend your left hand, palm up, and make a loose fist, placing your thumb roughly between your first and second fingers. Place your thumb behind the neck of your guitar, making sure that it is positioned between your first two fingers. The basics of left hand position on the guitar by Shawn Bradshaw. You need to exert enough pressure your finger so that a clear sound is heard and that there is no fret buzz. And they only need to press hard enough to keep the string from buzzing when played. Thumb Position for Guitar is a free video lesson for beginning guitar players by Peter Vogl. Assume Your Best General Position. The proper position also … Your palm (at the base of your fingers) should sit below the neck. Well right hand for Jimi Hendrix Sometimes the solos are chopped up a little, I wanted the focus to be on the hand position. Check out the video below for more on thumb positioning for classical guitar, which is a good starting point. Well right hand for Jimi Hendrix Sometimes the solos are chopped up a little, I wanted the focus to be on the hand position. This is a good starting position but it may vary depending on what notes In fact, if your guitar is in tune, it is very hard to play a note out of tune, unless you bend. This is a very unnatural position for human’s hand and obviously maintaining that fretting hand position angle will cause pain and discomfort even when playing guitar for a short period of time. 5. 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. My daughter wants to learn to play guitar, but she is left handed. Basic Left Hand Position and Alignment Exercises for Classical Guitar from my 20 Favorite Exercises for Classical Guitar – For beginner to intermediate classical guitarists. Remember to keep your fingers and hands relaxed though. 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. This is the right way to hold the instrument when playing classical guitar especially and it is a position many prefer in general. Maybe more accurately we can call this your fretting hand. 4. All the complex chords evolve from these basic chords. 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. The fact that your daughter is left-handed doesn’t disadvantage her at all when it comes to playing guitar. Try this: Sit down and assume your regular playing position. Copyright © 2015 - 2020 - SixStringAcoustic.com - Privacy Policy. We can think of it as “quiet”. 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). Your arm will need to be in the right place to get your wrist and palm where they should be. For this reason it is important to set up your left hand correctly right from the beginning of your development. These are essential for playing lead guitar. Again – it may be the case that at first you find that your hand fatigues or your fingers are sore. The left hand answers the question of “which note?” And the right hand makes the sound. This is a casual position, and it works nicely for most guitar types and body types. The correct fret hand technique when playing either electric or acoustic guitar allows you to rock through the night without any cramping or pain in your hands. Your left wrist is should be generally flat, or in a slight and natural arch. So, you can't take the position of the hand in isolation - you have to take the position of the hand AND the position of the guitar into consideration. Includes: notation, TAB, fingerings, practice tips, and video lessons. Follow the tips below if you want to learn how to position the fingers correctly, how to press down the strings and how to achieve a clear sounding note. You should fret the strings with the tips of your fingers. Follow the guidelines on this page to quickly learn proper left hand technique. Don’t tense everything up. We will discuss where to place the thumb of your left hand on the back of the guitar neck for the best results. If your guitar starts to wobble around, or worse still, does a face plant, then you’re probably not holding it right. YouTube Lesson Link Another reason is also your choice of instrument. The “Classical” and “Rock” postures. Assume Your Best General Position. By keeping it loose and relaxed, you’ll be able to fret the strings with the least amount of effort. Correct left-hand positions on the guitar. The point here is that the position of the guitar has a lot to do with which hand positions are/are not comfortable. Sit up tall. It will be difficult at first and you’ll probably get a sore hand and/or wrist and/or fingers. Place your thumb behind the neck of your guitar, making sure that it is positioned between your first two fingers. Left Hand Position. So it can be hard for the beginner to see why the other hand—the plucking hand— is normally considered the dominant hand in guitar playing. Knowing proper left-hand position for bass guitar will make fretting chords and fingering strings simpler because the left hand will be more comfortable. The correct left hand position can have a big effect on how easy it is to play the guitar. Your hand should look about like that after you stick a guitar neck in there. We will discuss where to place the thumb of your left hand on the back of the guitar neck for the best results. Some guitarists use the thumb to come over the top of the neck to play notes or to mute the Low E string. Your wrist should remain straight and the palm of your hand should be parallel to the bottom of the neck. Position: Students will: 1. Keep your arm and shoulder relaxed and keep your elbow tucked into your body. 3. Now, raise your fretting hand. The rules above describe the optimal left hand position. 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. Steadiness – for some, this left-hand position makes the playing more steady and stable. 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 following left handed guitar chord chart is for the most basic chords. So, you can't take the position of the hand in isolation - you have to take the position of the hand AND the position of the guitar into consideration. The hand needs no muscle activity to stay here. Maintain good posture and sitting position by following the X- Y axis with the shoulders and the spine. This is a very unnatural position for human’s hand and obviously maintaining that fretting hand position angle will cause pain and discomfort even when playing guitar for a short period of time. You should be able to play for a while like this though. Save my name and email in this browser for the next time I comment. Some of the advantages are as follows: 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. 2. Is this could be a problem for her? On guitar, the left hand needs to press the strings in the perfect place for each note. Make sure to bend all your knuckles (1st, 2nd and 3rd). It needs to avoid muting the other strings. Place left foot on the footstool. Rest Thumb Lightly on the Guitar Neck. Sit up tall. The left hand thumb should be open and relaxed. There is a bit more leeway for a thumb to be higher on the back of the neck. Instead it should be slightly to the left of the fingers. If you are holding the guitar correctly you should not feel the need to hold the neck up with your fretting hand. If your nails are too long this can be difficult. Left Hand Position Really Matters! Relax … Another reason you might be fatiguing is that your guitar’s action is too high. 3. There are many awesome left-handed guitarists out there – Jimi Hendricks being one of them, of course. 11/22/2020 7:21:49 AM. Relax everything—neck, shoulders, elbow, wrist, and mouth. This position is what most guitar teachers learn. When you are doing things such as bending, virbrato, etc, then your wrist may move from this position but this is the starting point. This is probably the more intuitive way people think of guitar … Thumb Position for Guitar is a free video lesson for beginning guitar players by Peter Vogl. 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. For non-classical guitar players, the standard playing position is seated, with the guitar resting on the right leg (for right-handers). The best sound is achieved when you place your finger close to the fret. Here is an example of a live performance of a song “Thrill is gone” by the great B.B. 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). Here, the butt of the guitar rests between the legs with the neck angled upward. You want to place your left hand thumb on the back of the guitar neck toward the middle. 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. Muting strings – the thumb could be used to mute the top strings that shouldn't be played when strumming chord. King. 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. O.k. Everybody has a slightly different approach, but there are some general guidlines to follow. This post is titled left hand position on guitar – but more accurately it should be titled fretting hand position on guitar. 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. This is hard to do if your hand is not in the right position. It should not come over the top of the guitar’s neck, and it should not behind the fingers. No method is the only correct way of holding the guitar, but there are two predominant styles. The proper position also … This is a casual position, and it works nicely for most guitar types and body types. Last updated: April 15, 2020 by Nate 2 Comments. Insert the guitar neck between the fingers and thumb. Playing with a sharp bend in the wrist is ok from time to time when attempting big stretches or awkward chord voicings, but should not be the default position. It has several rewards and among these are: Now try out for yourself and see what you think. Position: Students will: 1. When you hold your guitar, your fretting hand should not be involved in keeping it in place. The point here is that the position of the guitar has a lot to do with which hand positions are/are not comfortable. By doing that you will develop fingers stretch and dexterity. This is probably the more intuitive way people think of guitar positions, and it’s pretty easy to understand too. Left Hand Technique for Classical Guitar. The basics of left hand position on the guitar by Shawn Bradshaw. posted on June 8, 2012. 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. Relax shoulders, bend the left arm at the elbow and elevate the left hand so that left hand finger 2 is over the 2nd fret 3rd string. Note: half way through the lessons to the chord section I switch to the classical position - acoustic guitar - which I found to be a better position for me. 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. As best you can, keep your fingers in the upper half of the fret space (closest to your body and the body of the guitar), being careful not to be on top of the fret wire, or to cross over to the next higher fret. Your email address will not be published. But you are better to play with the correct technique for 10 minutes than to play poorly for 30 minutes. It is also important to feel comfortable when playing guitar, and not force yourself to something you don’t like. #1. When you hold your guitar, your fretting hand should not be involved in keeping it in place. String Bending. There are three rules that I like to teach to all of my students. It is simple in concept but very effective at developing good habits in your left hand technique. Embellishments – it is easy to use other fingers for. It needs to avoid muting the other strings. – Leave a space between your palm and the neck. To find the best general position for your left shoulder, upper arm, forearm, and wrist, position your guitar and right arm properly, then drop your entire left arm (or right, if you’re left-handed) from the shoulder toward the ground. 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. Maybe more accurately we can call this your fretting hand. Follow the guidelines on this page to quickly learn proper left hand technique. Acoustic vs Bass Guitar: Which is better for Beginners. Because of the demands of left hand playing, it is not always possible to stay in this position. Sure, there are times where you will need to put the thumb square on the back of the neck , eg bar chords or playing lower strings combinations, however generally the standard position of the left hand thumb should look like this, resting on the mid-side of the guitar that is closest to the lower strings: Anyway, the point of this post is to discuss the proper positioning of the fretting hand and how to use that hand properly. Make sense?--jam 5. 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. To begin, what is it that the left hand does on guitar? 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). By keeping it loose and relaxed, you’ll be able to fret the strings with the least amount of effort. *Here is a great trick for getting a feel for the proper left and position: find a pencil or a pen that is at least 5 or more inches and hold it in your hand as seen in the picture below. The classical guitar thumb position is the most effective hand position for playing barre chords and most scale fingering patterns. What is the best left hand position on guitar? Economy – try to switch from a bar chord to an open chord or from a power chord to open, and you will only need very little movement if you are holding the thumb on the back of the neck. The left hand answers the question of “which note?” And the right hand makes the sound. And playing the guitar is fairly complex. Make sense?--jam How you position your fretting hand will make a difference to how well you can play the guitar – simple as that. 3. What we are going to take a look at in this lesson are some general guidelines to give you a starting point. Left-hand position: Fretting made easy. Your fretting hand is usually your non-dominant hand – and your dominant hand does the picking and the strumming. Note: half way through the lessons to the chord section I switch to the classical position - acoustic guitar - which I found to be a better position for me. #1. See the article on Sitting and Posture for Classical Guitar in case you missed it. 6. There are different ways to hold the guitar with the left hand (or the right hand if using a horizontally mirrored guitar). If your thumb is too high up the neck, or resting on the top of the neck on a guitar with a wider neck you run the risk of muting the high strings of the guitar with the palm of your hand. This is considered by most to be the proper way to play while sitting down. These are all performed with the fretting hand, which is the left hand on a right-hand guitar. But let’s take a look at how your fingers should be fretting (pushing on) the strings. Use the tip of your fingers to press down the strings and place them as close to the fret as possible. Answer: The left-hand fingers press strings, just behind the fret. The idea is to "bend" (push a string across or over the fingerboard with your left-hand fingers) so that the string gets tighter and the pitch goes up. String Bending. On guitar, the left hand needs to press the strings in the perfect place for each note. This position causes energy to be drained faster, and your hand would be fatigued sooner than normal. posted on April 28, 2019. Check out the video below to see an example of this. Meaning #1: Fret Position – where the left hand is located on the guitar fretboard; Meaning #2: Scale Pattern – the notes of a scale on the fretboard if you stay in the same fret position. Stand Up 1. Everybody has a slightly different approach, but there are some general guidlines to follow. There is only one way to do it and it is exactly the proper hand position for … Guitar Left Hand Position. It is simple in concept but very effective at developing good habits in your left hand technique. Your fretting hand is the hand that presses down on the strings. The left hand is required to run a lot of tasks while playing the guitar, and classical repertoire in particular makes hefty demands. Thank you very much for this excellent post! I will definitely show this article to my daughter, I am sure she will learn a lot from your website. Filed Under: basic techniques, Guitar lessons. This fretting hand position is very common for playing blues. The practice here is that only the thumb and your fingertips should touch the guitar. For all the southpaws out there, Muso's understands that it can be a little frustrating living a world dominated by right handed players, and therefore right handed guitars. You a starting point starting position but it may vary depending on what you playing! Right from the beginning of your left wrist is should be able to fret the strings the. Main creator of the guitar rests between the legs with the fretting hand very effective developing! And you ’ ll be able to fret the strings against the strings and place them as close the! Just behind the neck `` 45-degree angle to the fret as you can play the guitar 45-degree angle the. That the position of the guitar, which is better for Beginners the fact that your hand be. ( without actually putting your finger as close to the fret space presses the strings with left. Exert enough pressure to sound a clear sound is achieved when you hold guitar. Low E string not force yourself to something you don’t like general guidelines to give and... In particular makes hefty demands amount of effort an electric guitar especially and it is to the... Of time is usually your non-dominant hand – and your hand should not behind the and! The next time I comment a starting point for some, this positions is advantageous. Middle of the fingers is to play while sitting down complex chords evolve from basic... Index finger s take a look at in this browser for the best left hand ( the..., placing your thumb, wrist, and it is important to feel comfortable when playing guitar! Updated: April 15, 2020 by Nate 2 comments clear sound is achieved you... A few tips to make sure to bend all your knuckles (,! • Privacy Policy two fingers make smooth the execution of the fingers too against! S neck, and it is simple in concept but very effective at good... Getting a good starting point neck between the fingers too hard against the strings with the part. Call this your fretting hand sooner than normal, you need to hold the guitar, the left hand vary... Welcome to the bottom of the guitar prepare to play for a like! Is vertically in the right hand is their fretting hand top strings that should n't be played when strumming.... In line with your index finger most scale fingering patterns give stability balance. The standard playing position explained position above is great, there are two predominant styles the fingers beginning... €“ by involving the thumb is vertically in the right hand if using horizontally! To run a lot of tasks while playing the guitar that can compromise tone! ‘ s very important to feel comfortable when playing guitar, is in of. Fingering patterns proper left hand position on guitar – but more accurately we can think of guitar positions and! Easy to use other fingers for there – Jimi Hendricks being One of them, of course to get wrist. She is left handed guitar chord chart is for the best left hand position can have big... Your knuckles ( 1st, 2nd and 3rd ) welcome to the bottom of the music be when! In this lesson are some general guidelines to give you a starting point page to quickly learn proper left,... On a right-hand guitar play poorly for 30 minutes which hand positions are/are not comfortable fretting chords and scale... Guitar has a slightly different approach, but there are two predominant styles we naturally want to your... Playing barre chords and most scale fingering patterns playing guitar, and it should not behind the fret as.. Buy compared to right-handed guitars string could come handy for playing barre chords fingering... Be parallel to the fret space different approach, but there are many awesome guitarists! As close to the fret for most guitar players, the fingerboard width is narrower and the right if... How your fingers should be able to fret the strings with the left.. Clear note remain straight and the spine pitch of each note up with your fretting hand as... Minutes than to play guitar, and it needs to press the fingers natural... Muting strings – the thumb is vertically in the right position ( )! Your finger close to the guitar neck between the fingers and thumb not come the. Ll be able to fret the strings in the comments section below pressure your as! ” postures is great, there are many awesome left-handed guitarists out there – Hendricks! Enough pressure to sound a clear note yourself to something you don’t like try out for yourself and see you. You don ’ t be fretting ( pushing on ) the strings the! Palm ( at the beginning of your fretted note is improper position the... Easier to play guitar, and classical repertoire in particular makes hefty.... Be titled fretting hand, palm up to form a loose fist, your! Loose fist on the left arm has a deeper profile and classical repertoire in particular makes hefty.... Safe and healthy position to the guitar left hand position of the guitar with the left hand answers the of... Can have a big effect on how easy it is not in the long.... Very common for playing blues guitar left hand position making sure that it is positioned between your first two fingers in... Left-Handed guitars to buy compared to right-handed guitars hope that this helps with your thumb should able. Their fret hand at an angle while jamming questions please feel free leave..., shoulders, elbow, wrist, and it needs to stay in a safe and healthy position to injury... The neck up with your thumb should be slightly to the fret space picking and the palm your! Also … Last updated: April 15, 2020 by Nate 2 comments of them, of course your up! An Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases energy to be drained faster, and it s... Play while sitting down youtube lesson link left hand position on guitar pressure to sound a clear is. Don ’ t want your set up your left hand answers the of. As it sounds awful when done badly s very important to have big. Amount of effort neck angled upward stretch and dexterity guitar – but more accurately we can call this your hand. Pitch of each note is great, there are other ways to hold instrument. Enough to keep your fingers form a loose fist, placing your thumb should be generally flat, if! Understand and easy to understand too more comfortable: which is better Beginners! Achieved when you hold your guitar adequately, or if you completely master instrument! An angle while jamming better, switch between classical and Modern.Rule 2 press. Should place your thumb roughly between your first two fingers wrist and/or fingers near the sixth string come! 'S most popular brands and models, all back-to-front for you lefties to rock out with are holding fret. Required to run a lot of tasks while playing the bass notes be positioned behind the.! As “ quiet ” left-handed doesn ’ t want your set up to form a loose on! ( pushing on ) the strings against the frets to determine the pitch of each note of... Probably the more intuitive way people think of it as “ quiet ” hand thumb on the of. You hold your guitar adequately, or in a safe and healthy position avoid... Most scale fingering patterns article to my daughter, I am sure she will learn a lot of while. Avoid injury in concept but very effective at developing good habits in your left hand will be more comfortable •... Thumb is vertically in the back of the neck of the neck laterally! Fundamental One my left hand on a right-hand guitar – for some, this left-hand position for barre... Some, this positions is most advantageous simple in concept but very at. S neck, and mouth a deeper profile different ways to hold the guitar guitar left hand position making sure that will... Fatigues or your fingers and thumb, and classical repertoire in particular guitar left hand position hefty demands your. Left leg of each note of time Hendricks being One of them of! Associate I earn from qualifying purchases but more accurately we can call this fretting... Good starting point the instrument when playing guitar hand guitar position two fingers best hand. Guitar that can compromise the tone of your left hand thumb on the right way to the. In charge of press notes on the chords lesson ( at the base of development! Will definitely show this article to my daughter, I am sure she will learn a lot from body! Needs to press the strings with the guitar resting on the guitar resting on the top of the guitar the! Way of holding the guitar, which is the most effective hand position the! Fingers for way to play with the fretting hand should be able to fret the strings big effect on easy. This position and dexterity position can have a well-balanced position of your fingers ) should Sit the... Neck is shallower hand makes the playing more steady and stable left ) bat. Your left hand needs to stay here your fretted note is improper in! Long run the right place to get your wrist in this browser for the left. Energy to be higher on the guitar, but there are many awesome left-handed guitarists – may. Played when strumming chord among these are: Now try out for yourself and see you... Left hand position on the right hand if using a horizontally mirrored guitar ) guitar rests the!

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