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The basics of left hand position on the guitar



The basics of left hand
position on the guitar
by Shawn Bradshaw

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The position of your left hand will vary depending on what you are playing. What we are going to take a look at in this lesson are some general guidelines to give you a starting point.

 

 

 

 

Home base position

left hand postion left hand postion left hand postion

We are going to start with what I call the home base left hand position. Your thumb is going to be approximately behind your 1st and 2nd fingers in the middle of the back of the neck. The point where your fingers attach to your hand should be even with the surface of the guitar string. In other words, where you fingers attach should not be behind the neck, or too far in front of the neck. That part of your hand should be right under the neck.

Here are a couple of videos to check out of me playing in home base position.

view from above
Play RealPlayer Video
(44K)
get realplayer
front view
Play RealPlayer Video
(48K)
get realplayer

left hand thumb position
The only part of your thumb that is going to be touching the back of the neck is the right side of the pad of your thumb
(if you are looking at your hand face up).

left hand thumb position
Avoid turning your thumb to far to the side.

left hand thumb position

Avoid using the tip of your thumb.


arched wrist Keep a slight arch in your wrist.

wrist bent backwards Avoid bending your wrist backwards.

This is home base position because all 4 fingers can easily reach the notes on the fretboard.

If you thumb is up to high, you will find that you will be unable to play notes with your 4th finger comfortably, or play any combination of notes that require you to stretch between your fingers.

left hand thumb to high left hand thumb to high

Page 2, Pentatonic position

 

The basics of left hand position on the guitar
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The basics of left hand position on the guitar
Pentatonic position
Left hand position for chords on the guitar

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