View Full Version : left hand exprets...

12-15-2003, 09:45 PM
I have a quick form question for you out *there*.

as i understand it, when your left hand approaches the neck, it is supposed to be aligned with the wrist so that it looks straight.

when you actually place your fingers on the fretboard , is it normal for your hand to want to pull to the right or left (depending on the chord shape)?

for example, when i barre the |F#m| my hand seems to *shift* to the left, maybe to compensate for what seems to be a lack of strength in my index finger to get the buzz outta tha strings (do they make buzz proof strings btw? :D

when my hand *pulls* to the left it feels like my ring and index fingers have to work a little harder to get into position to get their strings down.

Is this normal (or in mah head :p )? Or is this something that will go away with developing strength in one or both sides?

ps i have another thread a bit south (or north of here with another question if you are bored :D

12-19-2003, 11:45 PM
It is normal for around the first year of playing. I had that problem, but the way to help it is simple. The classical technique for fingering is only the finger tips should be touching the fret board, no more than that. That's what I use and i play electric. See, the key is to do this exercise:


when you finger this chord, use ONLY THE TIPS OF YOUR FINGERS.
this will help your hand to get use to this position. Then after a couple of minutes, move your middle and anular fingers to a different position to help stretch. This will decrease the problem you are talking about, but it wount get rid of it. The shifting of the hand normal,and needed, but if it's shifted more than needed it's a problem.

12-21-2003, 04:31 PM
thank you for the info. I have noticed that it is almost a natural thing, it was just keeping me from stretching to that 4th and 5th fret away when I barre, and I was hoping to get it corrected.

but the more I practice, the more those pinky and ring fingers start to find their spots.

YOu mentioned that only the 'tips' of the fingers should be hitting the fretboard. my neails are by no stretch long, nor are the chewed down due to years of being watched over by the man, however, my nails do strike the string or the fretboard when i am fretting notes. should i make them shorter (they are about 1/4 inch shorter then the tips of my fingers) or are they ok making accassional contact?

thanks again for the great help,


12-21-2003, 07:06 PM
what the hell is your anular finger??

I just checked again, I got a thumb, a ring, a pointer, a pinky, and a middle. No anular.

12-21-2003, 07:27 PM
Anular is your ring. The funny thing is when I first read his post I debated pointing that out in anticipation of someone not knowing that.

See also: Classical right-hand technique; PIMA. Pulgar, Indicio, Medio, Anular


12-23-2003, 03:17 AM
I use the classical term for the middle finger because I learned classical first.

12-23-2003, 11:41 AM
Thanks 88. I started the exercises last night. Hopefully this will help the progression!

Thanks again and have a Merry X-Mas (Happt Hannakah, Kwanzee, etc)

12-26-2003, 11:56 AM
No Problem, at I lest I know I helped you out.

12-30-2003, 12:09 PM
It seems as I am making some progress, especiall with that exercise. Finger strength seems like it will really help over the long haul. Do those left hand finger exercises work, or is the best was to develop strength just by playing and repetition?

The reason I ask is that my pinky finger appears to be the weakes of the left hand, and when I am moving it downto the fretboard, it hits the strings at a slight angle.

My other three fingers on the left hand are pretty much straight when they hit the strings. Is this normal? Or am I causing myself some future problems? :confused:

This is what my fingers look like when I put them on the first 4 frets
1 2 3 4
| | | /

12-30-2003, 06:07 PM
let me powertab some workouts for you.

As for your pinky goes, how long have you been playing.

01-09-2004, 03:30 PM
Any powertab exercises would help tremendously! :p It seems that I spend a lot of time reading the articles here, and trying to memorize theory, but my actual physical progression is s l o w.

With that, I need to ask yet a few more LEFT hand question ...

I have been practicing the (24) 1-2-3-4, 1-2-4-3, 1-3-2-4 exercises on all the strings and I am having some problems.

1. I feel like I am hanging on the the neck for dear life (in order to get the strings down to the fret to stop the buzz), and squeezing the crap out of the neck. Then when I try to move to a different position, or to higher or lower strings, I am hindered by that thumb that seems not wnat to let go.

>>>>So I guess my first question is two parts<<<<

1a. How to I get the iron grip that I have on the fretboard to be "relaxed" like I see sooo many artists do? It almost appears that that are barely using any pressure to fret the notes, yet the notes sound so clean and true.

1b. What is correct position and use of the thumb on the back of the neck? For example, in the first part of the >1-2-3-4, 1-2-4-3...< 6 string exercise that I practice, where should my thumb be? Does it move horizontally in relation to which fret I am on? Or should it stay in the middle of thet 4 fret area? Does it move vertically as I progress up and down the strings? Or should it stay centered at the fattest part of the neck?

>>>>Question 2<<<<

When I am actually practicing the 1-2-3-4, 4-2-1-3 exercises, what Shuold be happening inside my head?

As I pick each note, Am I thinking in terms of "F-F#-G-G#" or "root, minor second, Major second, minor third" or am I trying to hear the sound of the note before I pick it, or none of the above?

I guess I should stop here, because I could ask questions all day and I wiould like 'some' responses :)

Thanks again for the help guys,