View Full Version : Learning to play

08-28-2002, 05:06 PM
hey im learning to play guitar. I think im doin alright since im only 13:D but i need a site that will show me where to put which finger. i already know what strings to hold. does anyone know where i can find something like this?:confused: thanks

08-29-2002, 09:53 AM
Hi Dan,

I'm not 100% sure what you are looking for but here's how I recommend going ahead:

Get a song book with songs you know. Pick tunes that involve not too many chords. Try to find tunes which include one or more of the following major chords: C G A D E

Then look for tunes that include Em, Am, Dm chords next to the major chords named above.

Learn the tunes by heart and focus on switching chords in time so that you are comfortable with singing the melody / lyrics next to playing the accompaniment.

Then move on to bar chords, ie F, Cm, etc ....

If needed I can show you the chord shapes, fingerings and possibly give you a selection of tunes ya might wanna check out.



The Bash
08-29-2002, 09:58 AM
It Depends on what you mean by which finger.
If your referring to position playing: A position is usually defined as being a half step (or one fret) back from where your second finger is sitting. Thus if you plop all your fingers down on the 6 th string 7 th fret using your first finger (index) on fret 7, your second (middle) on fret 8, your third (ring) on fret 9, and your fourth (pinky) on fret 10. You would be in 7 th position.
Your first finger would cover a 2 fret span being responsible for all notes falling not only on fret 7 but fret 6 as well. Likewise your pinky also covers 2 frets not only the 10 th fret but the 11 th as well. Of course theses are only basic guidelines, thereís no absolute cure all for every situation.
And you wonít always be stuck in one position, so at some point you gotta move. In which case you should use the finger combinations that easiest (require least amount of work). Most of theses are very obvious if you actually stop and consider what your fingers are doing. That is have a game plan. Most beginners donít. I see studentís struggle to play a lick or run, never using the same fingers twice the same way, or using awkward shifts or combinations. ďIíve been practicing this lick I learned from this tab book and I just canít get it. I played it for 2 hrs last night and it still sounds like crud.Ē My response by their third attempt is, Well you may have played it over and over, BUT you have yet it play it the same way twice. Watch what your fingers are doing. Assign a finger to each note and be absolutely certain you have the fingering ingrained in your head before attempting it again. In fact go as far as to be able to Visualize it in your head without touching the instrument. If they take this to heart and actually do it they get it, if not they usually donít.
As Iím not sure what your referring to, or trying to play the questions a bit hard to directly answer. But the above goes for chords as well. You should see cleanly in your head the fingers and the shape. Thereís time you may have to play a chord differently fingerwise than you learned but you should master the most common and basic ways first.
If your dealing with Pentatonic Scales you must (IMO) learn to do theses using fingers one and three only. As well as doing them using the pinky for the one and half steps.
And thereís exceptions to every rule.

08-29-2002, 08:10 PM
I get it... so i dont have to have my fingers in a certain position? As long as im pressing the same strings down im still doing it right? :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

08-29-2002, 08:34 PM
Maybe you could go back and read your first question and re-post it with better english. Then some of us might understand what you really want.
but i need a site that will show me where to which finger.
What does this mean?

Bongo Boy
08-29-2002, 09:23 PM
Originally posted by DanKlassen
i need a [web] site that will show me where to [place] which finger. i already know what strings to hold. does anyone know where i can find something like this?

First--I'm a beginner just learning guitar--challenge the following with others who know what they're talking about. Even given I'm an idiot, I believe the following will help.

If you are referring to chords, then there are books available (most beginner books) that will show both the voicing of the chord (the notes that make up the chord as well as the string & fret combinations that produce those notes), and that indicate the fingers to be used (1 thru 4).

If you're referring to playing scale tones, then that is usually approached in beginner's books by playing the notes in a single guitar 'position'. A 'position' often seems to mean a set of 4 contiguous frets (meaning, any set of 4 frets that are next to one another).

For example, a typical place to start might be to play up and down the C maj scale in position 1--playing from C on string 5 up through G on string 1. The position of play for each finger corresponds exactly to the fret number--for all strings. To say it another way: finger 1 will be used only for fret #1, finger 2 only for fret #2, and so on.

Now, if you are trying to play something that takes you all over the fretboard, then my understanding is, you'll want to plan out your playing of those notes to allow you think in terms of positions (as defined above)--the idea is to minimize the number of times you have to move your hold hand--maximizing the amount of music that can be played in each position without excessive stretching of the fingers. [Note Bash's comments above regarding finger 1 also being used to go down one fret, and finger 4 being used to go up one fret--providing SIX fret coverage from one position.]

Correctly or incorrectly, this is what I'VE learned from several typical beginners books--if this interpretation is crap, I definitely want to know and be corrected. Please let us know if you don't understand any part of this.

Finally, you may want to do a web search for "guitar lessons online", but you may not find this specific information (finger placement) you're looking for.

08-29-2002, 11:17 PM
Where to place each finger is pretty open ended, how about being more specific here. Are you talking about playing a certain chord or scale? The answer is it depends on what you are playing, and where. If you are playing high up on the neck the one finger / fret rule is not a good idea. It is not even close to being right for chords. So what are you asking?

Somthing like I am playing this chord or that chord at this fret, or I am playing this scale or that scale at this fret, or I am playing this arpeggio or that arpeggio at this fret so which fingers do I use?

In short - when playing chords you find the best mechanical way to position your fingers to voice the chord tones, meaning easiest and least strain on the hands wrist and tendons. Now you also have to keep in mind what the previous chord was and the next chord will be and compromise to make the transition easy and smooth.

With scales if you are low on the fingerboard one finger/fret works out most of the time with your index reaching down one or two frets below and your pinky reaching up one or two frets above. Sometimes it makes sense, depending on the scale form and type, to stretch with the ring finger up one or two frets.

08-30-2002, 01:40 AM
Ok Let me make it clear. I would like to know where to put my fingers to play the cords and in what order(which finger goes where). Simple enough?:rolleyes:

Bongo Boy
08-30-2002, 01:56 AM
First, I'll answer the question you actually asked. The following sites will help you:

http://www.cyberfret.com (select 'chords' from the home page, then 'chord primer') It shows what fingers you can use for specific chords.

http://www.guitarnoise.com (not the specific stuff you're looking for--but some VERY good stuff)

http://www.guitar-online.com (more stuff).

Next: Four things critical for a happy life on earth are: reading, writing, math, and www.google.com. Learning to effectively search the internet using Google (or some other favorite engine) is a basic skill--you'll find hundreds of sites like those I've listed above in a matter of minutes.

Okay. I'm wondering now what source you're using to learn the chords you're learning. All beginner books I've seen start out with the same 3 or 4 open chords (C, D7, Em, Am) and they all show the recommended fingerings. By the end of the book, they're still all pretty much the same.

I think James' point is...it really ISN'T that simple. On the other hand, you don't want too many complications right now or too many things to think about.

Something we haven't talked about...WHERE you're practicing. If you're planning to do this in front of the web browser at a desk, I'm betting your posture is going to be dorked-up. Maybe, maybe not--I'm just suggesting that a comb-bound book on a well-lighted music stand with a good ***-friendly stool may do you more good than the limitless information on the web!! PLUS, reading off the computer screen vs reading from the printed page is, in my opinion, adding lots of strain to even a young healthy system--strain you won't ever realize is happening, but which I feel will negatively impact your progress. IMHO, and it IS humble :D

Plus, unless you have a very high-speed connection to the internet, you'll be spending more time screwing around on the computer than practicing--and that's no good!

08-30-2002, 04:06 AM
Here is tab with circles indicating which finger to use.
There are some alternate chord shapes and fingerings.
The 'A' chord could be played with the index finger as well.

08-30-2002, 04:08 AM
Thank you for answering my question bongo and szulc that helped alot!