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Bluegrass Guitar Lessons: Fretting Hand Review

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Bluegrass Guitar

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We're gonna review now some what I feel
are, are strong concepts, strong ideas to
remember concerning left hand technique,
pick and fretting hand technique.
I'm right handed so it's all, it's all
left hand to me at this point.
One of the things we covered earlier is
posture.
And the reason that I'm sitting this way
with the guitar, notice my, my,
my torso and body are angled slightly out
to the left and
the guitar's angled out slightly to the
right.
One of the things that that's doing,
it allows me lots of clearance here with
the left hand.
If I was a little more straight ahead you
know,
it forces my, my whole left side of the
body kind of back unnaturally.
And I wanna, we wanna avoid that.
So and again we're talking about hand,
good hand techniques are you know, start
with the shoulder and the arm.
And so as I sit naturally, that's where
the neck wants,
that's I'm actually playing, I'm putting
the guitar where it's,
you know fits best with my body the way
I'm sitting this way.
And so as I sit naturally, my shoulders
again are relaxed.
Start with the shoulders, nice relaxed
shoulders that can kind of dangle.
You know, I can, I can have complete
access to the neck here, and
you don't see my shoulders move.
It's not anything I have to do this or I
have to kind of, you know, move,
manipulate my body.
Efficient technique, that's, you know, the
reason it looks efficient is because
you know, all the basic muscles are in
their, in their right spot.
And so the only movement that needs to
happen is you know, are the,
the ones that you're actually using at
that given moment.
So, that's more of the,
the physical, athletic side of this kind
of guitar playing.
These are, these are how good, you know,
fundamental elements are born here and
ideas.
And we talk about a, a starting spot and
a,
and a place to you know, where to put your
hands before you start playing.
And so the next thing we move on to is you
know we've got our,
our arm is sort of available to, to to
approach the neck of the guitar and
we're, and the thing to review now is, you
know, your hand on the neck.
We talk about you know, holding a
sandwich.
And the, the main point of that is the
clearance that's you know, you wanna have,
at least start with.
And it's gonna change as you, as you know,
as you grab some bigger chords and things,
but you wanna feel as you approach the
neck of the guitar.
You wanna feel some space below the high E
string in your fingers, and
your fingers need to curve around.
And we talk about the the being able to
access four frets with four fingers.
And that's where we ran, ran these little
basic exercises.
[MUSIC]
And you know,
if your technique is improving, or again,
a lot of intermediate players and
advanced players that I see have learned a
lot of bad habits by, by sort of
relying too much on your stronger fingers,
your index and your middle fingers.
And so that, that leads to a lot of
technique that's built this way.
And you can see from my shoulder out as
soon as I do that, you know,
the shoulder's up.
We're not, you know, we're not in that
good relaxed position anymore.
We've introduced a lot of tension in our
shoulders,
we've introduced a lot of tension all the
way through.
Now we're you know, our wrist is tight to
hold that you know, the way to build it.
And this is, this may take time, but the
strength will be a lot more directed
toward better, note access and tone as, as
you build this.
But that's the basic idea is that you
want, you want these fingers to curve, and
you want your hand you know, as we talked
about with the pick,
it's more about arm technique.
Fretting technique is more about being
able to move the whole hand.
It's not necessarily having your whole
hand in a stills and
you're holding it down and relying on the
fingers.
I mean, those are smaller muscles that you
use to sort of grab some
harder notes possibly on some stretches,
but
the basic idea is that you want your hand
to be free to move.
And again the concept here from a muscular
standpoint is that we wanna
to allow the muscles to do what they need
to do without having to force them there.
And so this is a way to build that you
know,
with these, this little four fret
exercise.
And, and if it hurts you can move up the
neck.
And so those are the basic sort of left
hand or
fretting hand ideas that I wanna try to
you know, impart and really stress.
And, you know, so as I start playing as I,
as I move from here forward through all
these lessons, you know anytime I sit down
to start any exercise or song,
on the guitar, whatever I'm doing, however
I'm playing I'm gonna you know,
always sort of remember and maintain what
this position looks and feels like.
And and if you, if you do that it's gonna,
it's gonna you know,
your progress will occur quicker and and
you'll realize more efficient playing.
And these are things you can hopefully
apply if you've been playing awhile, and,
and intermediate players can you know,
work on these kind of things.
And hopefully you know, a goal of mine is
to you know,
help you realize a spot where you can play
what you already play but better you know,
if you realize some of these bad habits.
You know, these are simple little things
to kind of work on outside of the guitar
that you can you know, realize some
immediate progress with tone and, and
note clarity.
And that's you know, ultimately that all
leads, and
hopefully from here forward we're gonna
start making some better music and, and
really you know, get these things, these
muscular things kind of subconscious so
it ultimately leads to, you know, more fun
and music making and, and
you know really rewarding style of guitar
playing you know, that way.
So stick with it.
[MUSIC]