Using the left hand

  • guitar front 2
As with the right hand, we will keep the wrist straight. As always, you must think about your posture and the guitar position. If the guitar is in the correct position, you will find you can hold the guitar comfortably. It is important to be comfortable, but you must be aware of your hand positions or you will cause problems later on. It is easy to fall into bad habits and be unaware of the restrictions and possible damage you are causing.


1. Sit with the guitar, ready to play your rest strokes. Let your left arm hang relaxed by your side.

2. Raise your arm and place your first fingertip in the first fret of the E string. You will need to curl your finger like a claw so you can press with your fingertip rather than a flat finger.

3. Place your fourth finger in the third fret, again curl your finger.

4. Rest your thumb on the back of the neck, it will probably be most comfortable behind the second fret. There is some flexibility here, but only the pad of the thumb should be touching the back of the neck (not the tip) and your thumb should not be curled over the top of the neck.

5. Now look at your fingers, lift them both away from the string, certainly no more than 1cm. Keep your fingers curved, hovering over the string so they can easily drop back onto the string.

6. Repeatedly place and release your fingers from the string. Keep doing this until your fingers can do this easily.

7. Leave your first finger on the string and just raise and lower the fourth finger.

8. Hover both fingers again, but only return the fourth finger to the string. Concentrate on keeping the first finger still, do not let it move! Repeat this until you are comfortable.

9. This is harder. Hover both fingers, but only place your first finger on the string. Again, do not let your fourth finger pull away!