Quick beginner tip on left hand

The good way to think about pressing single strings (not applicable for barre though). Just think about it like driving your nail into the fingerboard. Your nail and the fingerboard should be at 90 degree angle to each other. That way you’ll make much more space for strings below.

Another way to approach this: when you look down on your left hand you should see whole the nail of a fretting finger. If you see just the fingertip then your finger is too flat.

In general you should try to maintain the arch-like (or claw-like) shape of your left hand fingers. Arch is the best way to transmit movement of your muscles into your fingertips (look at architecture).

One last thing: if your nail is too long it will hit the fingerboard before the string is pressed to the fret. Keep them short.

2 thoughts on “Quick beginner tip on left hand”

  1. Hello,
    I am a big fan of your lessons and playing on YouTube. Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge like this!

    Do you have any tips for the right hand, particularly boom-chick style? I can not work out exactly what part of the palm to mute with, what angle my hand should be on, or how much to overlap the strings (right on the saddle? Or ahead of/behind the saddle?). How should hand position and angle of fingers change between muting and non-muting?

    I’d love to hear your tips on these points!


    1. Hi, thanks for your comment. Full answer to your question would probably require a video and i plan to do one on boom chick sooner or later but for now: you mute with the pinky-side edge of your hand just below the wrist. Depending on the tone you’re looking for you place it further or closer to the saddle. At least some part of the flesh responsible for muting should be on an active side of the string. Changes depend on your initial position. In my case it was just bending the wrist inwards but I worked out my hand position with boom chick in mind. You might have to make some adjustments. Just search for the tone you like and for the relaxation.

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