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Old 12-24-2012, 03:04 PM   #1
Caaarrl94
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Fingerpicking hand positioning?

Lately i've been really practicing my fingerpicking alot, but I just can't seem to get the positioning of my hand right.

In relation to the guitar and all of the strings and bridge etc, where should my hand be?

Should it be resting on the bridge? should my fingers be resting on the strings? etc

at the moment i'm resting the outside of my hand along the bridge, but it feels very wrong.
I've tried resting just above the E string but i find that i'm constantly muting the E string slightly.
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Old 12-24-2012, 03:07 PM   #2
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I usually float my hand over the strings or i'll anchor with my pinky if anything.

However unless you're playing classical guitar, it doesn't really matter. Just play and you'll get better at it
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Old 12-24-2012, 03:46 PM   #3
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^ I just float my hand over the strings, if you're anchoring then you can't use those fingers.
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Old 12-24-2012, 04:12 PM   #4
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Fingerstyle? I float my hand above the strings. For grins, I tried anchoring my pinky... Not saying that some don't do it, but it didn't work for me. You just need to practice. I remember that it took me a week or two to get to the point where I could do it fairly well.

As far as where the hand should be... I think of it like this - if you hold your hand parallel to the ground and let your fingers just kind of droop, you probably have it just about right. The hand position should be and feel natural.

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Old 12-24-2012, 04:26 PM   #5
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It sounds like i'm doing it just about right, who knows, maybe it'll feel more natural with practice. thanks
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Old 12-25-2012, 12:08 PM   #6
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If you're interested in "proper" hand positioning for classical guitar, here is an easy way to achieve it:

- hold your hand out as if holding a glass or bottle of your favourite beverage.
- now drop your hand in that rounded position such that your fingers are basically perpendicular to the strings.

For proper classical positioning, you NEVER anchor with your pinky. NEVER. EVER. The main reasoning is, aside from the fact that you might occasionally need that finger, that it limits the mobility of your other fingers (especially the ring finger), and creates tension in the hand that can lead to tendonitis.

CT
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Old 12-26-2012, 02:21 PM   #7
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I do it similarly to this:



However, I recently had a class where a different teacher subbed my usual teacher and he suggested I do it like this, because it is how his school taught him:



but with the neutral position being with the hand more to the right. Notice how on the second picture the hand is kinda hanging down, while on the second one it is straight and lined up with the forearm.

I'm not sure I'm getting it right with the latter, though, because my forearm and wrist get sore and tired much more quickly when doing scales that way, BUT the notes do sound more clear and louder. I'll ask my actual teacher about it when he gets back from vacation, I guess.
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Old 12-26-2012, 02:55 PM   #8
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The hand/wrist position in the bottom picture is closer to what I learned from my studies. Notice how the fingers are more perpendicular to the strings and the hand itself appears slightly more rounded. The back of the hand still seems parallel to the surface of the guitar, whereas in the first picture, the wrist appears sunken.

That all said, the bottom picture has the hand right in front of the sound hole. It should be just behind the sound hole, but not so close to the bridge that it starts sounding tinny.

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Old 12-26-2012, 05:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by axemanchris
That all said, the bottom picture has the hand right in front of the sound hole. It should be just behind the sound hole, but not so close to the bridge that it starts sounding tinny.


Yeah, that's not the neutral position. I guess he's playing "dolce" in the pic, which is when you place your hand like that in relation to the sound hole and it makes those "sweet" sounds as opposed to the more metallic sounds you make when playing closer to the bridge, but that's beside the point. The reason I chose that pic was because I saw in it what you mentioned: how the hand is hanging and the fingers are pretty much completely perpendicular to the strings. I'm trying to get used to it like that but I think I'm doing it wrong cause my wrist gets cramps, especially when playing on the lower strings (5th or 6th specifically). When I do like the first pic, this doesn't happen, though, but the notes come out less clear, which sucks, so I really want to get used to the form in the second pic.

Last edited by CryogenicHusk : 12-26-2012 at 05:49 PM.
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:52 PM   #10
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yeah the second pic is how i've adapted to fingerstyle rolls on bass and banjo and its given me the best tone and consistency results. i wouldn't be able to give real authority on classical guitar tho, that's why AMC exists
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Old 12-27-2012, 03:37 AM   #11
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the movie theater?
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Old 12-27-2012, 03:49 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chronowarp
the movie theater?

Not sure if joking, but he's talking about axemanchris.
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Old 12-27-2012, 10:46 AM   #13
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no i was talking about the movie theatre

cause that movie with jamie foxx playing django reinhardt just came out
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Old 12-27-2012, 12:14 PM   #14
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no i was talking about the movie theatre

cause that movie with jamie foxx playing django reinhardt just came out

It all makes sense now
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Old 12-27-2012, 12:59 PM   #15
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i'm off sunday tuesday and wednesday z4, what's on the agenda
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Old 12-27-2012, 03:38 PM   #16
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Yeah, in agreement with the second pic. Kind of like shaking hands. I only have the title of a vid for you: Masterclass by Ana Vidovic at Zuidlaren Guitar Festival 2009 (Part 1)

There she speaks about hand position cos the tool who was playing went all over the place. Very dramatic hand gesture of a player. Anyways. Listening to what she says is a good thing, although I got sidetracked and perved on her instead. But watch a few players and it will help you out
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Old 12-27-2012, 03:43 PM   #17
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^ nada man, I'm recording some friends here and there throughout the week, just hit me up whenever. I gotta tweak some brakes on my truck this Sunday.
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Old 12-27-2012, 07:55 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CryogenicHusk
Yeah, that's not the neutral position. I guess he's playing "dolce" in the pic, which is when you place your hand like that in relation to the sound hole and it makes those "sweet" sounds as opposed to the more metallic sounds you make when playing closer to the bridge, but that's beside the point. The reason I chose that pic was because I saw in it what you mentioned: how the hand is hanging and the fingers are pretty much completely perpendicular to the strings. I'm trying to get used to it like that but I think I'm doing it wrong cause my wrist gets cramps, especially when playing on the lower strings (5th or 6th specifically). When I do like the first pic, this doesn't happen, though, but the notes come out less clear, which sucks, so I really want to get used to the form in the second pic.


Try changing the angle of your guitar, then, more than the angle of your hand. If you feel like you are over-extending the natural rotation of your right wrist in order to keep the fingers perpendicular to the strings, try notching up your footstool, which will raise the head and neck of your guitar closer to your eye level (which is where it should be pretty much anyways).

CT
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Old 12-28-2012, 01:52 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by axemanchris
Try changing the angle of your guitar, then, more than the angle of your hand. If you feel like you are over-extending the natural rotation of your right wrist in order to keep the fingers perpendicular to the strings, try notching up your footstool, which will raise the head and neck of your guitar closer to your eye level (which is where it should be pretty much anyways).

CT


I tried notching up the footstool, and changing the angle of the guitar. Problem is I can't figure out a comfortable place to rest my forearm when trying that position. When playing the 5th and 6th strings, I feel my wrist is bent far too much which I think is why it feels like cramping.
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Old 12-28-2012, 02:44 PM   #20
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idk when i'm recording with my friend but one of these days i need to play with a guitarist for old times' sake

preferably one that doesn't play only crappy thrash and/or vai licks
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