Query regarding fretting hand and finger positioning

Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists, Aches and Pains, Injuries, etc...
ronjazz
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Re: Query regarding fretting hand and finger positioning

Post by ronjazz » Sun Jun 26, 2016 1:29 am

It is not difficult to correct a poor technique, unless you continue to play your old stuff. It may be well worth the effort to abandon all your old tunes and exercises and really hone a strong, reliable technique. It won't take very long with a good teacher and one or two hours a day of focused, mindful practice at really slow tempos.
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Bluey

Re: Query regarding fretting hand and finger positioning

Post by Bluey » Sun Jun 26, 2016 2:36 am

ronjazz wrote:It is not difficult to correct a poor technique, unless you continue to play your old stuff. It may be well worth the effort to abandon all your old tunes and exercises and really hone a strong, reliable technique. It won't take very long with a good teacher and one or two hours a day of focused, mindful practice at really slow tempos.
That's exactly what I've decided to do; though I'm playing roughly 30 mins at a time as this central position is pretty tough to get used to on the fretting hand, I can feel a slight ache developing on the knuckle side of my fretting hand, I think it's due to leaving down every finger until it needs to move to a note. Tough going.

Thanks

hpaulj
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Re: Query regarding fretting hand and finger positioning

Post by hpaulj » Sun Jun 26, 2016 4:22 am

When I read your first posts I thought the slant was down, toward the high strings (perpendicular to the neck). But from the photos it looks like you are talking about a slant parallel to the neck - toward the headstock. The first type has a strong tendency to mute the string below (especially 3 and 4 which aren't as flexible). It's less obvious that the 2nd type mutes.

Some books show the middle two fingers nearly perpendicular (2,3), while 1 and 4 angle in opposite directions. But slanting all the fingers in the same direction is appropriate for certain note combinations.

The pictures on this page (just found by google images) shows the splayed position (more or less)
http://www.tampaguitarlessons.com/left- ... ition.html

Or this

Image
at http://www.jasonwerkema.com/resources/classical-guitar/

But if you can play all the strings of a standard C Major chord, then string damping isn't an issue.

Bluey

Re: Query regarding fretting hand and finger positioning

Post by Bluey » Mon Jun 27, 2016 10:09 pm

Thanks mate. I seem to be getting the hang of it now.

Bluey

Re: Query regarding fretting hand and finger positioning

Post by Bluey » Tue Jun 28, 2016 12:46 pm

lagartija wrote:We have teachers here with more experience than I have who could give you some helpful comments.
When I look at that top view, it appears from the position of your thumb that you are applying a lot of pressure to force your fingers to the strings. Do you find that the muscle at the base of your thumb feels tired?
Also, I can see from the picture that your elbow is pulled back and this leads to your palm being more below the edge of the fretboard rather than out in front. This might be part of the difficulty you experience when you try to do this exercise on the low E and keep from muting the A. If you brought your elbow forward, that would bring your forearm to be more in the same plane as the fretboard, and the back of your hand in the same plane as well.
I'm now only appreciating this advice as it's been a learning curve over the past few days and I definitely need to work on my thumb. I can now keep it fairly relaxed as I concentrate going up and down the scale but it has a tendancy (when I'm holding the notes down till any given finger needs to move exercise) to sneak back toward a locked bottom knuckle position (like in photo). It's not so much the pressure than my thumb is used to doing it. Funnily enough as you say it's related to bringing my forearm into a better position that enables my thumb to somewhat straighten and unlock at base knuckle. Brilliant.

Anyway onwards I go.

Thanks again.

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lagartija
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Re: Query regarding fretting hand and finger positioning

Post by lagartija » Tue Jun 28, 2016 1:05 pm

Glad I could help! :-D
Your new teacher should also be a great help in correcting other aspects of tension and posture as you develop your technique for greater ease in playing.
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Bluey

Re: Query regarding fretting hand and finger positioning

Post by Bluey » Fri Jul 22, 2016 5:20 am

Those exercises have worked a treat as my technique has vastly improved.

Luis_Br
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Re: Query regarding fretting hand and finger positioning

Post by Luis_Br » Fri Jul 22, 2016 1:23 pm

I don't think slanting is a problem. It works. There are other issues already mentioned from elbow, wrist position etc. Depending on the situation, sometimes slanting might be easier, for scales and finger stretching in a single string, other times a more straight approach is easier, mostly when requires more vertical spreading like playing chords.
I don't think it would be your case, there are several other issues related, including genetics, but I know a professional guitarist who used to play more in the slanted position (former rock-guitar player), his last teacher forced him to play the more traditional "square" position. He started practicing a lot to change his technique while still giving concerts etc., he ended up with Focal Dystonia...

Bluey

Re: Query regarding fretting hand and finger positioning

Post by Bluey » Sat Aug 13, 2016 9:38 am

Yes you might have a good point there but for myself, I'm glad I took the plunge. It's simplified my shifts somewhat which has made things a bit easier and my playing in general has improved; though the latter might have been the case anyway.

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