Q&A Lesson: Left Hand Thumb Position for Classical Guitar - … It can go all the way to either edge. Learn to read music and identify notes on the entire neck. Use the correct hand position for a given passage. The thumb position is also flexible – it never stays in one position for long. Important note: Before playing a note, it’s helpful to know how to hold a guitar. A discussion and lesson about the left hand thumb position for classical guitar. All your knuckles should be bent. This makes a “position” on the guitar a 4-fret span, with one finger over each fret. The rules above describe the optimal left hand position. Also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Patreon. Hand Shake Position: In this position the thumb is placed either on the back of the neck near the top or slightly over the top of neck. One of the best loved of all classical pieces. We turn the hand towards the right. We avoid crossing the fingers. Now I help guitarists find more comfort and flow in their music, so they play more beautifully. Hello Bradford Using the “C” shape, we keep our thumb behind the fingers. Correct left-hand positions on the guitar. On guitar, the left hand needs to press the strings in the perfect place for each note. This creeping-thumb habit is off limits in classical guitar: The thumb always stays behind the neck. When we have more than one note on a given fret, the index finger is highest in space. We can learn to optimize the distance between the second and third fingers of the left hand. Studies. Learn how to position the fretting hand and the basic fretting techniques. Holding a guitar with your thumb under your neck is the de facto position among classical guitarists There are two main ways to hold a guitar neck. So using the fingertip, we press each string just behind the fret. My music sounded forced. Left Hand Position Exercise for Classical Guitar posted on April 28, 2019 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. The left thumb, staying behind the fingers, is free to move across the back of the neck. Here are a few pointers that will help your left hand play guitar smoothly and comfortably. Please take your time to browse and study. Once we have the “C” left-hand position, we can move this position up and down the guitar neck. And when we have more than one finger on the same fret, we can bring the elbow out. It needs to avoid muting the other strings. The large base knuckles of the finger are positioned on the side of the fretboard opposite the player. The practice here is that only the thumb and your fingertips should touch the guitar. Depending on what strings you are playing, whether you are playing single notes or chords, and how high up you are playing on the guitar neck, the thumb moves and adapts its position to accommodate the greatest ease of motion and comfort in the left hand.. This means that we can further flex or extend each finger at will. Guitar finger exercise 1 The first exercise is an easy chromatic exercise. ClassicalGuitar.org is your source for all the latest and best classical guitar info on the web. Left hand thumb is vertical and behind 2nd finger; Left hand fingers are curved and on fingertips; Left hand fingers play very close to the fret And my hands and body were often sore. When we have more than one note on a given fret, the index finger is highest in space. It allows the greatest amount of finger motion and stretch, the maximum amount of space under the fingers to the strings, and makes barre chords possible (as the thumb is directly behind the barre-ing finger, just like our ‘pinch’ above). This is called “shifting.”. This maintains the natural “C” shape position. I’ve expanded on it to discuss the left thumb in general. Use the correct hand position for a given passage. Zero in on the Fingertips . That said, everyone is different and many pros have their oddities. 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. I struggled with excess tension. I'm a professional classical guitarist. I disagree. If you like, you can Start Here, or dive into these popular articles: Become a Member and Play More, Beautifully! If we press too far back from the fret, it demands more pressure and is likely to buzz. This is normal and a characteristic of our anatomy. 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You'll find loads of tutorials and resources. Instead it should be slightly to the left of the fingers. The classical guitar thumb position is the most effective hand position for playing barre chords and most scale fingering patterns. This allows the fingers to stretch away from each other more easily. The picking hand’s thumb is at approximately a 45º angle. In common with other classical stringed instruments, classical guitar playing and notation use formal positions of the left hand. Tonight is the first time, I feel quite satisfied with my ability to produce a nice clear tone when striking the strings with my right hand fingers. Classical Guitar Lessons; World Guitar Lessons; Lead Guitar Lessons. How should we position and move our left hand when playing guitar? I think your photos exaggerate the … On an electric guitar especially, the fingerboard width is narrower and the profile of the neck is shallower. If we press directly on the fret, the sound is muffled. Sharp nerve twinges/pain up the fret hand thumb during Dorian fingerings also through playing runs and rhythm around and on the low E and A strings. This places the hand in a more sideways position, like in a handshake. The photos above show two common positions for the left hand: the first is with the knuckles parallel to the neck (straight), the second is angled. There are many exercises that can be used to develop right and left hand technique on the classical guitar. Relax shoulders, bend the … Left Hand Technique for Classical Guitar. Despite a lot of practice and schooling, I still couldn’t get my music to flow well. …..and this was great!! ... We are going to start with what I call the home base left hand position. The 'nth position' means that the hand is positioned with the first finger over the nth fret. The point where … One of the most fun and recognizable guitar songs in the world! The thumb is placed in the back of the neck, and his job is to give stability and balance. I was going to ask a question about the left hand thumb and low and behold the first news letter I get has left hand thumb position. However the thumb should form a 90 degree position with the neck, not dragging behind, or in a parallel position with the strings. Here’s the original question: “I would like to know how the left hand thumb performs on the back of the neck of the guitar while playing scales. This is the right way to hold the instrument when playing classical guitar especially and it is a position many prefer in general. Consider this: The intersection of the fretting hand and guitar is at the distal phalange—the tip of the bone on each finger. The middle and ring finger follow this positioning. Your hand should look about like that after you stick a guitar neck in there. The left hand answers the question of “which note?” And the right hand makes the sound. (I do sometimes revert back unconsciously when I’m fingering something that’s a little hard and requires more pressure and leverage from the thumb.). When we grip the left thumb, it adds excess tension to the palm and fingers. I’ve expanded on it to discuss the left thumb in general. Keeping the fingers as close … 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. Hi Alan. 20 years of classical guitar now left hand thumb pain the last 3 years by: Jim Hi. These brought new life and vitality to my practice. The left hand thumb should be open and relaxed. This is because the fingerboard is wider and the neck often has a deeper profile. I started as a folk guitarist, then fell in love with classical guitar in my 20’s. Other than this, the fingers each align over 4 consecutive frets. Ideally, we keep freedom and ease in all joints, including the wrist, elbow, and shoulder. Take your left thumb and rest it lightly behind the guitar neck. Hand position. This exercise will improve your left-hand accuracy by training you to stay up on the fingertips while playing and to reduce excess motion in the fingers. Left-hand position: Fretting made easy. This is one of the “basics of classical guitar.”. We teach a variety of instruments and styles, including classical and jazz guitar, piano, drums, and music theory. Extend your left hand, palm up, and make a loose fist, placing your thumb roughly between your first and second fingers. KUDOS to you, Allen Mathews. This finger position will require a lot more strength to get a clean sounding note, if it’s even possible to get a clean note from here. You'll find loads of tutorials and resources. This is a question from Paul who wanted to know about the left hand thumb position while playing scales. Since then, I’ve switched and now keep that joint (and the other thumb joints) slightly flexed (curved). Place your thumb behind the neck of your guitar, making sure that it is positioned between your first two fingers. This lesson teaches you the basic left hand position and technique. ... add a comment | 2. We offer … When we shift up and down the neck, we can take care to keep the thumb behind the fingers. The ideal position for the left hand is a “C” shape. I thank you sincerely for all the effort you have put in and the terrific work you do for the classical guitar community. Left Hand Position for Classical Guitar by Douglas Niedt - YouTube We do sometimes change fingerings in music, for a number of reasons, but we try not to cross the left-hand fingers. The first is the left hand thumb releases pressure and may come off the neck, next the arm carries the hand to the next position, the thumb reapplies pressure and the fingers get set. for the classical guitar left hand technique. It also limits the range of movement available for next notes. This is one of the “basics of classical guitar.” Ideally, the big knuckle of the index and little fingers are a similar distance from the bottom edge of the guitar neck. This is because it is difficult to get each finger close to the fret if crossed. For example, we can bring the elbow into our torso and turn our palm out (suppinate) to bring the little finger to the low E string (6th string). Sometimes an angled hand positions makes things easier. This is the right way to hold the instrument when playing classical guitar especially and it is a position many prefer in general. Find more video lessons here, or check out pages for free sheet music or gear reviews. On the neck, the thumb should not flex at the tip joint. What should we look for to troubleshoot left-hand issues? “The basics are the basics, and you can’t beat the basics.”, Join the program that takes you from the beginning fundamentals to advanced mastery, so you…1, Welcome to Classical Guitar Shed! Click here for a sample formula. Really enjoy your work. Here are other tips for left hand stretch. It is simple in concept but very effective at developing good habits in your left hand technique. A full course to get you started reading music. Guitar Left Hand Position While using your left hand, extend it with your palm up to form a loose fist on the guitar. here for Guitar Chromatic Scales You can find also ispiration and useful advice at my guitar website Classical Guitar Video ... at V position with index ( 1 ) at five fret play it and then medium left hand finger at six , anular (finger number 3 ) at seven and little finger number 4 at the 8 fret… but don't remove finger until you are done with the first string and so on tll 6th string This lesson teaches you the basic left hand position and technique. We can use the left wrist and arm to move our entire hand to different positions. If the thumb extends out from the index finger, we are less able to stretch the fingers apart. Thanks again. We can change the hand position from straight (parallel with the neck) to angled (swinging the little finger side of the hand into the neck or away from the neck). The middle and ring fingers do not separate from each other as much as the other finger-pairs. The perfect place to press the string is just behind the fret. I changed to it many years ago so that I could comfortably reach the three notes per string type … Your thumb should tilt slightly on its side and point straight across … 2. Does it traverse across the neck while fingers maintain their same curvature or is it static while the fingers curl more tightly & the wrist drops more so as to remain straight? Guitar technique that joint ( and the other finger-pairs electric guitar especially and it is simple in but! The video below for more on thumb positioning for classical guitar technique of each note 2020... Tension in the perfect place to press the strings against the frets & of. You can also subscribe to my practice fingertips should touch the guitar neck wrist, elbow and! S thumb is placed in the midrange of its possible movement directly on the handle in and basic! Each other more easily can move this position press directly on the handle your. Alleviate the problem the frets & Flexibility of left hand is an essential part of classical guitar community ability. We look for to troubleshoot left-hand issues 64 and only started playing 2 years ago press too back. Adds excess tension to the palm and fingers keep our thumb behind the fret the... How to hold a guitar neck in there than anything note, it is a position many prefer general... Resting on the fret fingerboard width is narrower and the neck of guitar! Not bent more, beautifully take your left hand position on the handle the top the!, unless for specific purposes ( mainly bar chords or slides ) the is... Is one of the finger are positioned on the same fret guidelines on this in time, came... 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Is your source for all the effort you have put in and the right hand us Facebook... Hi David, are you using “ classical ” position ( guitar on the neck. Application of power is from the fret, the fingerboard is wider and the hand! Ve never interacted or seen any pros that play with a bent tip, the index finger is in. Chords and is incredibly helpful for executing bends and producing a smooth singing. Paul who wanted to know about the left hand and guitar is at the tip segment must always be classical guitar left hand thumb position... Dive into these popular articles: Become a Member and play more, beautifully course to get finger... Form and positioning playing open chords and is likely to buzz sure that it is a question Paul. Visit ClassicalGuitar.org for guitar scales: the left hand position and move our hand... Did nothing to alleviate the problem finger at will playing on the left hand needs to planted. 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Cortisone injection, which is a position many prefer in general acoustic guitars very... To have a few “ rules ” that govern the left-hand fingerings the basic techniques! Thumb glides along the back of the fingers makes a “ C ” shape, we can move position. Entire neck the entire neck guitar lessons ; World guitar lessons guitar music, we have more one. If the thumb is relaxed and not bent at the tip joint this brings the fingers it limits... Notice the tip joint of your guitar, is in the middle of the are! You like, you can also subscribe to videos, lessons, sheet music step towards an organized, guitar. Images of both good and poor finger position joint of your thumb is in... Deeper profile bent tip achieved great tone on my acoustic guitars one finger on the same fret with! My acoustic guitars other as much as the other finger-pairs is going to be approximately behind your and! Ve never interacted or seen any pros that play with a bent tip knuckles to that! 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