Guitar Fingering

When it comes to guitar fingering there are two techniques which can be used. The first technique is called the classical technique. This classical guitar fingering technique involves having the thumb placed at the back of the guitar neck at all times.

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Placing the thumb at the back of the guitar neck allows the neck to be supported firmly which then provides additional downward pressure for pressing down on the strings and playing notes on the fret board. When moving your hand and fingers on the fret board, the thumb should always remain straight on the guitar neck and not slanted in any way.

The second guitar fingering technique has no definite name. For now just call it the ‘thumb rest’ technique. With this technique the thumb rests along the edge of the fingerboard. Many people unconsciously develop this habit of placing their thumb in this way.

Classical teachers encourage people not to adopt this approach for fingering the guitar. However, many guitar players find this thumb positioning more comfortable than the classical thumb positioning.

The ‘thumb rest’ style can be beneficial to those people who have a wide hand span. People with a wide hand span can play the 5th and 6th strings with their thumb. However, if this is over done, then the guitar fingering flow and ease of movement may be hindered.

Whatever approach you adopt, just make sure it is a conscious choice and not a bad habit formed unconsciously.

Fretting The Notes

As you probably already know, the pad on the tip of your finger holds down the string against the fret. When guitar fingering, make sure that the tip of your finger is on the fret when pressing down on the strings. If your finger presses down to loosely, the string will buzz against the fret. At the same time, if you press down too hard on the string the sound will be muted.

In order to avoid accidently muting the other strings on the fret board, make sure your fingers are as vertical as comfortably possible. This is one of the advantages of using the classical guitar fingering style as the thumb positioning on the neck of the guitar allows for the fingers to be more vertical than the resting the thumb on the edge of the fingerboard.

When you are playing a note on your guitar, you must keep your other unused fingers above and out of the way of the other strings.

When you are playing notes and guitar fingering remember to exert enough downward pressure to the strings in order to get a clear sound. Pressing down too hard will result in you muting the sound and your fingers may also become tired. If at any time your fingers feel tired or painful, take a rest and stop playing.