Fretting Basics on the Guitar
Is better fretting the next thing to practice on your guitar mastery list? Keep your chords clean and resonant with these tips from a pro on the basics of fretting.
Guitar Fretting Pressure
The first thing you want to know about fretting is that you want to have even, firm pressure on the string, that's very close to the fret. And you can do this by gripping the fret with your thumb towards the bottom of the neck, so that you have plenty of leverage, and that your hand has enough clearance at the bottom of the neck, so that it can curl around and not touch any strings on the way up to where it needs to be on the string.
Guitar Fretting Position
So, for instance, when you're playing an E-chord, if you are to press the strings down naturally, with your fingers uncurled, you get a noisy mess. You want to make sure that your fingers are curled out sufficiently so that you do not hit the open strings that are below it. And depending on the size of your hand and what's comfortable, you might have to adjust your thumb lower on the neck to get enough pressure on the strings, enough leverage, and also enough clearance. You'll find a comfortable position as you get better, and as your fingers get stronger.
Developing Fretting Fingers
You have to squeeze pretty tightly to get the strings to be pressed against the fret tight enough so that it doesn't buzz and it rings clearly. And you'll find that if you're new to the guitar, this might be a little uncomfortable, this position - especially on your fingertips. Don't put so much pressure that you strain your fingers - but, over time your fingers will actually develop calluses and it won't seem like you're putting pressure on anymore. Just be patient, work at it until you're uncomfortable, give it a rest and then in about a week or so, your fingers should be strong enough and tough enough that it won't even be a thought.
Finding Your Best Position
As you get more comfortable with the guitar, you'll find the thumb-position that's most comfortable for you. When you find that hand position that allows you enough leverage and enough clearance from your fingers when you curl around to let all the strings ring out, you can play the chords, and change them. And that's all there is to it.
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