How you position your fretting hand will make a difference to how well you can play the guitar – simple as that. It is important to have a qualified teacher to help you with these fine details of positioning. Make sure to bend all your knuckles (1st, 2nd and 3rd). 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. Thank you very much for this very good explanation! The correct left hand position can have a big effect on how easy it is to play the guitar. Below are examples of poor positioning, followed by good positioning. Extend your left hand, palm up, and make a loose fist, placing your thumb roughly between your first and second fingers. Even the thickness of the hands can affect the position the hand might need to assume to get the fingers in the correct place to play certain fingerings of particular chords. Left Hand Position. No Need For Speed Continue this motion with the rest of your fingers: ring, middle, and then your index finger. The pad, not the tip, contacts the guitar.Like the right thumb, the tip joint stays straight (or rather, we don’t bend it).Depending on what the fingers and the music are doing, the thumb may be nearer the top or the bottom of the guitar neck. Proper positioning – left hand is free of deviation. Take a good look. Doctor Developed Premium Copper Lined Wrist Support / Wrist Strap / Wrist Brace / Hand Support [Single] & Doctor Written Handbook— Suitable for both right and left hands 4.3 out of 5 stars 13,246 $12.95 $ 12 . David 23 Aug 2019 Reply. String Bending. 5. And that’s where your left hand thumb is in the middle of the back of the neck so that all 4 of your finger have good access to the fretboard. Relax everything—neck, shoulders, elbow, wrist, and mouth. Thumb in the middle of the back of the neck and all 4 fingers having the best reach possible. The point where your fingers attach to your hand should be even with the surface of the guitar string. 2. Loosely maintain the closed hand position. Because of the demands of left hand playing, it is not always possible to stay in this position. I think there are two general types of hand positions that are useful when playing guitar. It's mostly preference, you just want your guitar position preference and your wrist geometry preference to … The sitting position is not difficult to achieve, but it can be difficult to maintain. All Rights Reserved. The tension in your hand will reflect in your music and make it harder for you to learn new techniques. The rules above describe the optimal left hand position. The thumb is open, relaxed, and to the left of the fingers. It should have no more than 10 degrees of arch, 20 degrees at the absolute maximum. I’ve expanded on it to discuss the left thumb in general. 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. This is a good starting position but it may vary depending on what notes or chords you are playing and possibly hand size. In some ways it makes sense that in order to stay in position you need to have a reference point which is usually the thumb. Left Hand Position Really Matters! 3. 2) Now put your left hand on the neck with your thumb on the bottom of the neck (classical position). We are so focused on our left hand in the early stages of development that we start to bring our head down and to the left. 1) Put your left hand on the neck as though you were going to use you thumb on th 6th string (some very good guitar players use this technique). It should not come over the top of the guitar’s neck, and it should not behind the fingers. The left hand twist (wrist rotation) is set so that the pinky side is slightly closer than the index side. Rock/Blues Lead Guitar Hand Position. For the best right hand position, see here . How to Hold a Guitar. Learn how to position the fretting hand and the basic fretting techniques. When you hold your guitar, your fretting hand should not be involved in keeping it in place. This forces the hand into a better position and establishes good habits. 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 . Although I've played for over 20 years, only in the past 2-3 years I've had a problem with increasing, acute pain in my left thumb joint when holding particular shapes. Use the tip of your fingers to press down the strings and place them as close to the fret as possible. Brought to you by Strings By Mail and their excellent YouTube channel. The finger’s base knuckles are in front of the fretboard, in other words, opposite the player from the fretboard. Because of the demands of left hand playing, it is not always possible to stay in this position. Right hand thumb position and exercises for classical guitar Youtube Video Link. Home base 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: This satisfies the requirement of midrange function of joints. No wrist flexion or extension. Left-hand position: Fretting made easy. It should not come over the top of the guitar’s neck, and it should not behind the fingers. If your guitar starts to wobble around, or worse still, does a … I learned a lot! On the Guitar: Perform clapping/closing right hand motion as described for off the guitar. Make sure that your thumb is kept straight while playing. When you practice scales, you should stretch the left-hand fingers as close as possible to the frets. Muting strings – the thumb could be used to mute the top strings that shouldn't be played when strumming chord. It’s like it’s due to compressing my hand (bringing left fret hand thumb and pad in towards the centre of my hand and opening up again). When you’re ready for more, check out our premium membership plan that includes an 18 lesson course for beginners. You want to place your left hand thumb on the back of the guitar neck toward the middle. Having your thumb stretched out and parallel with the neck should be avoided. Left Hand Position on Guitar: How to Use Your Fretting Hand Last updated: April 15, 2020 by Nate 2 Comments O.k. 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. I also cover a left hand exercise near the end of the video. This is a question from Paul who wanted to know about the left hand thumb position while playing scales. Everybody has a slightly different approach, but there are some general guidlines to follow. Alan Jackman 23 Aug 2019 Reply I think so too – the problem seems to be the times when you are shaping your fretting hand in a certain way – either moving up and down the scale or shifting chord/scale positions. 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. Poor positioning. I agree with a lot of what you're saying here. Perfect post and photos! Extend your thumb to your pinky and then pull them apart slightly. Joined: 12/07/20. Join us at one of our upcoming events! Peter Vogl will take you step by step through basics like playing chords, strum patterns, scales, and more. 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. Online Music Lessons: Guitar, Piano, Voice, Violin, Cello, Flute, Clarinet, Saxophone, Drums and more. Thumb Position. What other topics would you find helpful? More tips for the left hand: As I said before, I’ll post more in the article on the left hand, this is really more focused on the arm position; Your left thumb should be vertical and not bent at the tip joint; Your left thumb should be behind the 2nd finger Sometimes the pain isn’t just isolated to the thumb, but it spreads to the tendons in the hand, wrist, and arm that connect to the thumb. The advantage of using thumb position on the bass guitar is that the left hand can cover two octaves or more without shifting position, which facilitates complex passages. Fingerstyle guitar requires the use of the picking hand thumb … What we are going to take a look at in this lesson are some general guidelines to give you a starting point. Poor positioning – Left wrist is arched (overly flexed) and deviated (to the ulnar side). Instead it should be slightly to the left of the fingers. On the cello Edit The cello thumb position is introduced on the second or half-string harmonic , [1] the note "A" on the highest string. 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. The placement of the thumb sets up everything about how the fingers approach the strings. Try this: Sit down and assume your regular playing position. Left hand position and finger placement (fretting hand) The thumb of your fretting hand should rest behind the neck of the guitar placing it approximately between your first two fingers. All your knuckles should be bent. Start a free 7 day trial of our premium membership plan and access our 18 lesson beginner guitar course. The right hand thumb is a quite busy finger and it will usually pluck more than one string. Make sure that your thumb is kept straight while playing. In this position, your thumb will act as a guide and pivot-point for your hand, allowing your fingers to remain relaxed on the strings. Hand Shake Position: In this position the thumb is placed either on the back of the neck near the top or … the chest is vital because it … The correct left hand position can have a big effect on how easy it is to play the guitar. The position of your left hand will vary depending on what you are playing. Filed Under: Fundamentals Tagged With: classical guitar , classical guitar left hand technique , left hand , position Wrap your fingers around the neck, as if you were going to do a pull-up, and let the arm hang. As a rule, the left thumb stays on the back of the guitar neck, positioned behind the fingers. Why? Thumb Position for Guitar We will discuss where to place the thumb of your left hand on the back of the guitar neck for the best results. Fingerstyle guitar requires the use of the picking hand thumb … One of the most ... almost perpendicular to the neck of the guitar. This is a great lesson for beginners and review for intermediates. Principally, always position your thumb in the lower area of the neck of the guitar. Your thumb should be positioned behind the neck of the guitar or resting on the top of the neck. Your hand should look about like that after you stick a guitar neck in there. The position of the left thumb depends on the angle of the guitar neck. You’ll also learn the tips and tricks that separate a real guitarist from a beginner. The large base knuckles of the finger are positioned on the side of the fretboard opposite the player. The left leg on a footstool. Thanks for sharing this lesson, I hope your readers get a lot out of it! ... Notice how the first joints of my left-hand fingers are right over the knuckles of my right hand. We will then move on to the techniques you will need to play a wide variety of songs. Continue this motion with the rest of your fingers: ring, middle, and then your index finger. Today, I would like to talk about the correct left hand position on guitar. Do with how you ’ re ready for more, check out our premium membership plan and access 18! Stretch the left-hand fingers as close as possible to the fret as possible by Peter Vogl acoustic/electric?! By Shawn Bradshaw your body feels you 're interested: https:.! 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