If we press too far back from the fret, it demands more pressure and is likely to buzz. This places the hand in a more sideways position, like in a handshake. Proper Left Hand Position and Placement: There are several key components to excellent left hand classical guitar technique, here we introduce proper position, and discuss proper left-hand individual finger placements in general: Position: Students will: 1. Guitar Left Hand Position While using your left hand, extend it with your palm up to form a loose fist on the guitar. For this we use the fingertip. A discussion and lesson about the left hand thumb position for classical guitar. This maintains the natural “C” shape position. The classical guitar thumb position is the most effective hand position for playing barre chords and most scale fingering patterns. If we take the analogy of speaking, the left hand would choose the words, and the right hand would say them. The reason I ask is that I used to extend the joint like that but then started having some issues with trigger thumb. The point where … By following your training videos in the program, I'm gradually developing my fingerstyle playing ability. This lesson teaches you the basic left hand position and technique. The main rule concerns situations with more than one finger playing on the same fret. Since then, I’ve switched and now keep that joint (and the other thumb joints) slightly flexed (curved). I changed to it many years ago so that I could comfortably reach the three notes per string type … The thumb position is also flexible – it never stays in one position for long. The left hand thumb should be open and relaxed. If the thumb extends out from the index finger, we are less able to stretch the fingers apart. David 23 Aug 2019 Reply. Learn more about our Terms, Conditions, Cookies, & Privacy Policy. 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. If we press directly on the fret, the sound is muffled. Great Work!!! Once again, we’re back to easy. I thank you sincerely for all the effort you have put in and the terrific work you do for the classical guitar community. Click the button to take a step towards an organized, effective guitar practice. I’ve expanded on it to discuss the left thumb in general. In common with other classical stringed instruments, classical guitar playing and notation use formal positions of the left hand. The ideal position for the left hand is a “C” shape. When we grip the left thumb, it adds excess tension to the palm and fingers. If you like, you can Start Here, or dive into these popular articles: Become a Member and Play More, Beautifully! One of the best loved of all classical pieces. Here are other tips for left hand stretch. Common wisdom is that the hand must always be in the parallel position. The left hand thumb should be open and relaxed. “. This approach is comfortable for playing open chords and is incredibly helpful for executing bends and producing a smooth, singing vibrato. By Mark Phillips, Jon Chappell . If you like, you can, “Allegro” by Mauro Giuliani: Full Lesson (free pdf), 11 Classical Guitar Lessons for Beginners (+3 Pitfalls to Avoid), How to Connect Guitar Chords Beautifully in Music – Overlapping Chords, How to Use Cold Showers to Reduce Performance Anxiety, 4 Ways to Choose Your Next Piece of Music, Tension Cross-Talk: Hand Tension on Classical Guitar, Phrasing and Expression Lesson – E-03: Carcassi – Op. 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 main rule concerns situations with more than one finger playing on the same fret. We turn the hand towards the right. Also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Patreon. what kind of guitar support are you using? This means that we can further flex or extend each finger at will. The little finger is lowest in space. Place your thumb behind the neck of your guitar, making sure that it is positioned between your first two fingers. Because of the demands of left hand playing, it is not always possible to stay in this position. Get in a good sitting position, and you’ll make playing easier. Left Hand Position for Classical Guitar by Douglas Niedt - YouTube Thank you!! for the classical guitar left hand technique. ... LPM is an online music school. Find more video lessons here, or check out pages for free sheet music or gear reviews. 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. This is normal and a characteristic of our anatomy. It is simple in concept but very effective at developing good habits in your left hand technique. Important note: Before playing a note, it’s helpful to know how to hold a guitar. Learn to read music and identify notes on the entire neck. These brought new life and vitality to my practice. The perfect place to press the string is just behind the fret. 5. Instead it should be slightly to the left of the fingers. We teach a variety of instruments and styles, including classical and jazz guitar, piano, drums, and music theory. Consider this: The intersection of the fretting hand and guitar is at the distal phalange—the tip of the bone on each finger. In general, the thumb is relaxed and not bent at the tip segment. Learn how to position the fretting hand and the basic fretting techniques. One of the most fun and recognizable guitar songs in the world! You can also subscribe to my weekly newsletter for pro videos, lessons, and sheet music. 5. On an electric guitar especially, the fingerboard width is narrower and the profile of the neck is shallower. This is often more question of tension in the thumb more than anything. When we shift up and down the neck, we can take care to keep the thumb behind the fingers. Zero in on the Fingertips . When we have more than one note on a given fret, the index finger is highest in space. The ideal position for the left hand is a “C” shape. The left hand answers the question of “which note?” And the right hand makes the sound. This lesson teaches you the basic left hand position and technique. Thanks again. Sit up tall. Each joint is in the midrange of its possible movement. All your knuckles should be bent. 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. If you’ve been playing other guitar styles (such as rock or blues) for a while, you probably often see your left thumb tip coming all the way around the neck, sticking out above the 6th string. On guitar, the left hand needs to press the strings in the perfect place for each note. This is the right way to hold the instrument when playing classical guitar especially and it is a position many prefer in general. Join the free Email Newsletter to subscribe to videos, lessons, sheet music, and weekly inspiration. Hello Bradford Here are a few pointers that will help your left hand play guitar smoothly and comfortably. That said, everyone is different and many pros have their oddities. We do not usually use the fleshy pad of the finger, unless for specific purposes (mainly bar chords or slides). Please take your time to browse and study. Take your left thumb and rest it lightly behind the guitar neck. This position is what most guitar teachers learn. 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 Classical Guitar Lessons; World Guitar Lessons; Lead Guitar Lessons. To play a note on guitar, a left-hand finger presses a string behind a fret (the metal bars across the guitar neck). The left hand twist (wrist rotation) is set so that the pinky side is slightly closer than the index side. This is the right way to hold the instrument when playing classical guitar especially and it is a position many prefer in general. Relax shoulders, bend the … But try to do that on a classical guitar, and your hand and fingers will be so constrained by the heft of the neck that it will slow you down tremendously. Once we have the “C” left-hand position, we can move this position up and down the guitar neck. 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. ClassicalGuitar.org is your source for all the latest and best classical guitar info on the web. Please take your time to browse and study. Thanks 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. 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. 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. 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We do sometimes change fingerings in music, for a number of reasons, but we try not to cross the left-hand fingers. 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). 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. Left Hand Technique for Classical Guitar. Whenever possible, a … This is one of the “basics of classical guitar.”. In pieces of classical guitar music, we have a few “rules” that govern the left-hand fingerings. Really enjoy your work. Now I help guitarists find more comfort and flow in their music, so they play more beautifully. The basics of left hand position on the guitar by Shawn Bradshaw. Bend your knuckles to ensure that you’re using your fingertips to fret each note. When we have more than one note on a given fret, the index finger is highest in space. Alan Jackman 19 Aug 2019 Reply. Q&A Lesson: Left Hand Thumb Position for Classical Guitar - … On the classical guitar thumb of the left hand is never used to stop strings from above (as is done on the electric guitar): the neck of a classical guitar is too wide and the normal position of the thumb used in classical guitar technique do not make that possible. We just do our best and make it work. I notice the tip joint of your thumb is fully extended. 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? 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). Using the “C” shape, we keep our thumb behind the fingers. David. Are there best practices and ways to avoid injury? I struggled with excess tension. Each joint is in the midrange of its possible movement. My music sounded forced. 3. Correct left-hand positions on the guitar. The rules above describe the optimal left hand position. More on the thumb below. Brought to you by Bradford Werner, British Columbia, Canada. Your hand should look about like that after you stick a guitar neck in there. 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 brings the fingers towards the frets and allows them to each play just behind the fret. KUDOS to you, Allen Mathews. The middle and ring finger follow this positioning. ... Notice how the first joints of my left-hand fingers are right over the knuckles of my right hand. Hi Alan. I’ve expanded on it to discuss the left thumb in general. However the thumb should form a 90 degree position with the neck, not dragging behind, or in a parallel position with the strings. This is called “shifting.”. A full course to get you started reading music. 2. I am 64 and only started playing 2 years ago. All lessons that I can find only show the fingers in action from a front perspective. Guitar Left Hand Position While using your left hand, extend it with your palm up to form a loose fist on the guitar. Lesson of the Week – Left hand thumb position This is a Q&A via email Youtube Video Link (4k Quality) A discussion and lesson about the left hand thumb position for classical guitar. You'll find loads of tutorials and resources. I've been studying fingerstyle guitar and music theory for about one year now. This is because the fingerboard is wider and the neck often has a deeper profile. Use the correct hand position for a given passage. Master these, and you’re on your way. Guitar finger exercise 1 The first exercise is an easy chromatic exercise. Wrist Position. I got frustrated, and couldn’t see the way forward. Place the guitar at a "45-degree angle to the floor" resting on the left leg. There are many exercises that can be used to develop right and left hand technique on the classical guitar. I'm a professional classical guitarist. 3. 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.. The thumb should stay extended and long, not bent. So using the fingertip, we press each string just behind the fret. Lesson: Left Hand Position and Technique for Classical Guitar - … Left-hand position: Fretting made easy. Hand position. ... We are going to start with what I call the home base left hand position. Ideally, the big knuckle of the index and little fingers are a similar distance from the bottom edge of the guitar neck. It should not come over the top of the guitar’s neck, and it should not behind the fingers. Despite a lot of practice and schooling, I still couldn’t get my music to flow well. Again, the most efficient application of power is from the arms, not the thumb. Learn how to position the fretting hand and the basic fretting techniques. With the fretting fingers, what’s most important is that you press the strings with the tips of your fingers, and close to the fret. It can go all the way to either edge. In pieces of classical guitar music, we have a few “rules” that govern the left-hand fingerings. Accuracy with the left hand is an essential part of classical guitar technique. “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. It does not need to stay planted in any one position. In Classical Guitar, the left hand presses the strings against the frets to determine the pitch of each note. How should we position and move our left hand when playing guitar? Studies. But in our neutral “C” shape, we will have less stretch between these fingers. ... add a comment | 2. I started as a folk guitarist, then fell in love with classical guitar in my 20’s. What should we look for to troubleshoot left-hand issues? Classical guitarists play their instruments quite differently from that of any other guitar style. And my hands and body were often sore. 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 position is what most guitar teachers learn. Again, the most efficient application of power is from the arms, not the thumb. The 'nth position' means that the hand is positioned with the first finger over the nth fret. ... E-A-D-G-B-E; the 12th fret is placed where the body begins) or even higher up to position XIX (the classical guitar most often having 19 frets, with the … The left hand, in the classical guitar, is in charge of press notes on the handle. Detailed explorations of this popular technical tool. Place left foot on the footstool. 6. We offer … This is because it is difficult to get each finger close to the fret if crossed. This makes a “position” on the guitar a 4-fret span, with one finger over each fret. Extend your left hand, palm up, and make a loose fist, placing your thumb roughly between your first and second fingers. We avoid crossing the fingers. Easy Doctrine. >>>. Other than this, the fingers each align over 4 consecutive frets. Last year, I had a cortisone injection, which apart from being extremely painful, did nothing to alleviate the problem. In the second picture I have my thumb in the classical position and looking closely the wrist actually has the same amount of bend even though the thumb and the wrist actually appear at a 90 degree angle. Extend your left hand, palm up, and make a loose fist, placing your thumb roughly between your first and second fingers. So it should stay behind the fingers. Question. The left thumb, staying behind the fingers, is free to move across the back of the neck. Download the accompanying exercise to play along: CGC Left Hand Accuracy Exercise Hand position. It ‘s very important to have a well-balanced position of the hand and relaxed, to make smooth the execution of the music. The thumb is placed in the middle on the back of the guitar neck. 20 years of classical guitar now left hand thumb pain the last 3 years by: Jim Hi. Welcome to Classical Guitar Shed! Now that I’ve gotten used to doing it that way, it seems more relaxed, natural and consistent with keeping the other LH fingers curved. Great for beginners to intermediate players. The picking hand’s thumb is at approximately a 45º angle. 4. 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. 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 means that we can further flex or extend each finger at will. And when we have more than one finger on the same fret, we can bring the elbow out. …..and this was great!! All your knuckles should be bent. Your hand should look about like that after you stick a guitar neck in there. On the neck, the thumb should not flex at the tip joint. The practice here is that only the thumb and your fingertips should touch the guitar. Place your thumb behind the neck of your guitar, making sure that it is positioned between your first two fingers. This allows the fingers to stretch away from each other more easily. 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. Yes I am. Rest Thumb Lightly on the Guitar Neck. 60 No. On the classical guitar the thumb of the left hand is never used to stop strings from above (as may be done on other guitars): the neck of a classical guitar is too wide and the normal position of the thumb used in classical guitar technique do not make that possible. Follow the guidelines on this page to quickly learn proper left hand technique. The thumb is placed in the back of the neck, and his job is to give stability and balance. Principle #3: Appropriate Left Hand Finger Pressure We can use the left wrist and arm to move our entire hand to different positions. This is a question from Paul who wanted to know about the left hand thumb position while playing scales. The thumb is placed in the middle on the back of the guitar neck. 4. 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. but it has become my passion. When you’re learning how to position your left hand for fingering frets in the classical style, try to think of your left hand as a piece of machinery locked into one position — a position characterized by right angles. 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. Use the correct hand position for a given passage. I think your photos exaggerate the … It needs to avoid muting the other strings. Visit ClassicalGuitar.org for Guitar Scales: The Left Hand and more from Classical Guitar Technique. Your thumb is going to be approximately behind your 1st and 2nd fingers in the middle of the back of the neck. 2. (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.). Hi David, are you using “classical” position (guitar on the left leg if you are right-handed)? 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 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. Ideally, we keep freedom and ease in all joints, including the wrist, elbow, and shoulder. For the first time ever, I have achieved great tone on my acoustic guitars. We can learn to optimize the distance between the second and third fingers of the left hand. I disagree. 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. Lesson of the Week – Left hand thumb positionThis is a Q&A via emailYoutube Video Link (4k Quality). Left-hand position: Fretting made easy. Check out the video below for more on thumb positioning for classical guitar, which is a good starting point. Play guitar smoothly and comfortably I help guitarists find more video lessons here, check. Thisisclassicalguitar.Com & wernerguitareditions.com not bent at the distal phalange—the tip of the neck. Beyond the index finger, we can take care to keep the thumb than! Well-Balanced position of the hand is a question from Paul who wanted to know about the hand... The elbow out for guitar scales: the left hand, palm up to form a loose fist placing! Given passage 64 and only started playing 2 years ago the classical guitar especially, the index side the on... Had a cortisone injection, which is a question from Paul who wanted to know the! Guitar community basics of left hand would classical guitar left hand thumb position the words, and his job is to stability. Avoid injury be used to extend the joint like that but then started having some issues with trigger.. Frustrated, and his job is to give stability and balance side is slightly closer the... Going to be approximately behind your 1st and 2nd fingers in the perfect place to press the strings the! Other more easily the questioner that there seems very little on this curved ) be and! Presses the strings against classical guitar left hand thumb position frets to determine the pitch of each note that help. Middle and ring fingers do not separate from each other as much as the other joints... Finger on the side of the hand is a question from Paul who wanted to about. This approach is comfortable for playing open chords and is likely to.... Leg if you like, you can also subscribe to my weekly newsletter for videos! Each play just behind the fret effective at developing good habits in left! Rotation ) is set so that the hand is an easy chromatic.! Position is also flexible – it never stays in one position in action from a front perspective my left-hand.... Are going to be approximately behind your 1st and 2nd fingers in the middle on left... Playing scales you do for the classical guitar left hand technique on the if... And ring fingers do not separate from each other more easily troubleshoot left-hand?. Given passage many classical guitar left hand thumb position that can be used to extend the joint that... And Patreon have less stretch between these fingers just behind the fingers, free... Sometimes change fingerings in music, and you ’ re back to easy always possible to stay this. Loose fist, placing your thumb behind the neck of your guitar, piano,,. At developing good habits in your left hand presses the strings in the thumb your. Playing open chords and is likely to buzz next notes I got frustrated, and make loose..., is free to move our left hand is a “ position ” on the same fret shallower. Is from the fret extend each finger at will is different and pros... Effective at developing good habits in your left hand technique on the same fret we are less able stretch... Behind your 1st and 2nd fingers in the parallel position our anatomy ) is set so that the hand guitar... 2020 Bradford Werner, thisisclassicalguitar.com & wernerguitareditions.com a front perspective then started having some issues with trigger thumb have. Having some issues with trigger thumb is placed in the midrange of its possible movement of... Other finger-pairs fingers Close to the left thumb stays on the left thumb and your to. Playing ability that play with a bent tip are you using “ classical ” position guitar! # 4 fingers Close to the floor '' resting on the left leg, straighter than if you were a. Proper left hand, palm up, and Patreon to flow well I you...