View Full Version : Behind the frets

04-22-2003, 07:07 PM
I was wondering what people here thought about the idea of playing "behind the frets." I mentioned it to one friend that played guitar for years (and is really good) and he said he never does it, yet many websites say its good to do. Any opinions?

Just in case no one knows what i'm talking about...
It means to finger the fret just behind the fretwire toward the headstock...something like that.

04-22-2003, 10:07 PM
Playing closer to the fret will help eliminate buzzing, require less pressure, and have better intonation. Of course, playing really close to the fret can be really hard with some wide stretch chords.
Overall, I think it is something extremely important to work on.


B A Stone
04-22-2003, 11:09 PM
IMO, it's something to pactice to help accuracy. But in many cases it is impractical, or even impossible.

If you are practicing scales and other single note phrases, then it is something useful to practice.

Chords, double stops, and long stretches, it may be impossible.

04-23-2003, 02:27 AM
Does anyone know what eric v thinks about playing behind the fret? i haven't seen it mentioned in any articles on the site.

04-23-2003, 02:33 AM
I know what he thinks about it :)
I learned pretty early that itīs important to fret close to the fretwire, especially when it comes to single-note-playing. The notes are more defined, you need to apply less pressure the closer you are to the fret.
I can only agree to the statements above: itīs quite important and very helpful if you stay very close to the fret. Sometimes, its very hard to do so, though, if you do wide stretches and chords. I still try ( i.e. when I play an Emin add9 bar, 7th position )... still try to get close to thefret, cuz I need to apply less pressure. Itīs weird... you have to stretch farther, but you donīt need to apply much pressure, which can make the stretch easier...

This is something that a lot of people ( especially beginners ) donīt pay much attention to... they look at which fret theyīre at, which finger to use and what to do with the picking hand, but it sometimes take a while to figure out that they need to get close to the fretwire. When I teach, I have to point that out to younger students constantly.

It also is related to the "sweet spot" thing Eric Johnson talked about

05-31-2003, 02:29 PM
In my experience at least, playing close to the fret wire also helps vibrato, especially, vibrato laden bends.

06-15-2003, 02:28 AM
Depending on your Fretwire and whether you have scallops or not you need to adjust your finger position. If your frets are shallow and you have no scallops you want to play literally as close as possible to the fret. With high fret wire (6200) or scallops, you will need to move away just slightly to hit the 'sweet spot'. It also depends on the string gauge. If you are too close on a thick string it will not vibrate correctly because the pressure behind the fret lifts the string up over the fulcrum of the fret wire. This will cause the string to sound bad and out of tune.
So in general with thicker strings move away from the fret slightly
the thicker the string the further you move. For thin strings move closer.