Left hand technique

Discuss playing styles and techniques, or share your own here.
Post Reply
Message
Author
cpatey85
Newcomer
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2004 5:34 am

Left hand technique

#1 Post by cpatey85 » Sun Apr 25, 2004 5:43 am

Can anybody give me any tips (or links to a good site) on the classical position for the left hand as I am having real problems keeping my fingers perpendicular to the strings. Any help would be really really appreciated

cpatey85
Newcomer
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2004 5:34 am

#2 Post by cpatey85 » Sun Apr 25, 2004 5:49 am

Oh yeh and when I do manage to keep them in the right posistion my forearm aches quite a lot. Is this normal or is it a problem with my positioning. Sorry if this has been asked before but I searched and couldnt find any previous threads.

Roger
Member
Member
Posts: 506
Joined: Sat May 03, 2003 8:59 pm
Location: Sweden

#3 Post by Roger » Sun Apr 25, 2004 6:02 am

Why do you want to keep your fingers perpendicular to the strings? I never do it unless I need to because of some weird fingering. It does hurt if you do it all the time. It's not a very natural position. I think almost everyone have their fingers angled a bit to the left. Just look at Vai. He is angled to the left personified, and he kicks ass. Put your hand where it feels comfortable, and try to keep your wrist as straight as possible. Otherwise you could hurt yourself. Sometimes you have to keep it in weird angles because of big chords or something, but normally you don't.
I usually find myself resting my first finger against the neck as support if I'm not playing open strings. You could try that if you want to. Skip it if it feels weird.
What I'm actually trying to say is: Put your hands where it feels comfortable just as long as it's not hindering you from what you're trying to accomplish. And I'm not talking about anything besides guitar now :wink:

good luck!

Roger

cpatey85
Newcomer
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2004 5:34 am

#4 Post by cpatey85 » Sun Apr 25, 2004 6:07 am

I thought that when playing in a classical position that was the way it had to be done, maybe I'm just not explaining myself very well. But thanks for the advice. The position at the top is what I'm trying to accomplish

http://www.guitarprinciples.com/Guitar_ ... 0shots.htm

Roger
Member
Member
Posts: 506
Joined: Sat May 03, 2003 8:59 pm
Location: Sweden

#5 Post by Roger » Sun Apr 25, 2004 8:05 am

It looks neat, but notice how he bends his wrist. That is not good in the long run. You could just as well hold your thumb higher up on the back and still get a clean chord, and at the same time be relaxed. I only hold my hand like that when playing chords like these:

--1--
--1--
--2--
--5--
--3--
--1--

only bend your wrist when you need to, otherwise keep it straight. I find that I have to use more muscle force if I play like in the first pic than Hendrix style like in the third pic.

Roger

jmchambers5
Member
Member
Posts: 759
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2003 7:06 pm
Location: memphis, tn
Contact:

#6 Post by jmchambers5 » Sun Apr 25, 2004 5:13 pm

Play how is most comfortable for you. I don't really agree with Roger, and I definately don't agree with some of the stuff on the site. That guy saying you have to put your thumb over the neck to bend is more or an excuse than a technique. Here's what I reccomend.

while holding your guitar drop your left hand to your side, completely relaxed. notice how your fingers curve and how your hand looks and feels. pick up your hand and put it on the fingerboard of your guitar staying as close to the relaxed position as you can. try playing like that, and see how it works. let me know what happens, I just tried it and it seems to work pretty dang well. try and keep your hand relaxed at all times.

Roger
Member
Member
Posts: 506
Joined: Sat May 03, 2003 8:59 pm
Location: Sweden

#7 Post by Roger » Mon Apr 26, 2004 2:14 am

jmchambers5 wrote: while holding your guitar drop your left hand to your side, completely relaxed. notice how your fingers curve and how your hand looks and feels. pick up your hand and put it on the fingerboard of your guitar staying as close to the relaxed position as you can. try playing like that, and see how it works. let me know what happens, I just tried it and it seems to work pretty dang well. try and keep your hand relaxed at all times.
You said it, in far less words than me :wink:

espguitarlord
Member
Member
Posts: 210
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2004 5:51 am
Location: North East England
Contact:

#8 Post by espguitarlord » Mon Apr 26, 2004 6:29 am

I think the classical sitting position can help with this technique. (guitar on left leg - takes strain off left arm/fretting hand) Or if you have an oddly shaped guitar like a Flying V...

User avatar
PurpleEyes
Newcomer
Posts: 19
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2004 5:57 pm
Location: Italy

#9 Post by PurpleEyes » Mon Apr 26, 2004 7:06 am

if U want to improve the perpendicular position of the left hand try to pratice into exercises applied on the crhomatic scale with the pattern
1-2-3-4 and obviously discending version 4-3-2-1 ....then apply varioations of the patter ex. 1-3-2-4 ...or 2-3-1-4 ..etc.
very boring exercise...but very useful at the same time.
It's true that U don't always need to put the hand perpendicular on the guitar ,but it's always better to know more things on the guitar even if U don't use them...who ever knows...anyway perpendicular position is used a lot for lot of tecniques like pattern scales,sweep,string skipping etc...

Post Reply