#1
I play bass guitar mostly, 6 string, and I usually follow the one finger per fret rule, unless I'm alternating strings, or sliding to a different note, or any other misc. unspoken rule. Usually when I solo or shred about the higher frets on bass, I have no problem, but when I use the upper frets on the guitar, then oh boy...

they are just so fricken small, I don't even... I have medium to small sized hands, but it's still a major struggle to fit my fingers on the higher frets of a guitar. I always accidentally slide up one fret, mostly because I'm trying to accommodate all of my fingers. It really makes me wonder how shredders can play so accurately up there. I'm also relatively new to guitar, as in I haven't solidified my technique for most styles yet. I'm practicing my alternate picking right now, and it's a struggle to even go to the higher frets, because they are so tiny and leave very little space. How can I get used to the ergonomics of a guitar?
#2
Ha, try playing mandolin and then get back to me.

Really all there is to it is to just keep at it until your fingers get used to it.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#3
The simple answer is it will simply come in time with the development of dexterity and muscle memory.

Actually, that's the complex answer too; there's really nothing for it aside from just doing it until the unnatural feeling part of it becomes natural. You could look up or develop some exercises to drill that specific part of the fretboard, or simply noodle around up there and come up with something that's both fun and challenging.

Personally, I used the bridge section of Phantom of the Opera that follows the first solo. It's pretty good for bass, and the guitar parts should be pretty good for what you're trying to do. The part I'm talking about it here: (Can't figure out how to not have it auto-embed the video, and I want the timestamp)


(Youtube.com etc slash)h8IuFl3sMhk?t=3m23s
Last edited by StupidGenius11 at Feb 17, 2015,
#4
The thing about the "one finger per fret rule" is that it's not a rule as such, more a suggestion for efficiency (to me at least). If it's not physically possible to use a finger per fret due to amount of space or just discomfort, there's no point sticking to the rule.
Last edited by CorrosionMedia at Feb 17, 2015,
#6
Quote by KG6_Steven
How long have you been playing bass and guitar?


bass, maybe 5 - 6 years, and guitar, like less than 5 months. My goal for a while was to play this song from start to finish on bass, which I managed to achieve.

Edit: To elaborate, I started when I was around 10 or 11, and I'm 17 now
Last edited by sourcegamer101 at Feb 17, 2015,
#7
Quote by sourcegamer101
bass, maybe 5 - 6 years, and guitar, like less than 5 months. My goal for a while was to play this song from start to finish on bass, which I managed to achieve.

Edit: To elaborate, I started when I was around 10 or 11, and I'm 17 now


If you can play The Dance of Eternity in its entirety on bass, then you definitely have a good grasp of the physical concepts of the instrument. Those same concepts apply to guitar. It really is just a matter of getting used to it. It'll come. I'd say just take a quick pattern or lick that you're comfortable with on the lower frets, move it up until the highest note is at the highest fret on your guitar, and just play it over and over and over until it's clean. It won't take as long as you think.
#8
Honestly, I tried for a long time to regiment my lead technique, but I had the same problem, finding it very hard to play notes on the higher frets and have them sound convincing. Either my vibrato, intonation or fingering would be shit, and it would sound wimpy or inarticulate. My problem was that my fingers were too close together.

Practice one note per string arpeggios that go across all six strings. You'll get better at barring and accurately placing your finger on the right fret, and you can add legato and slide into different inversions. For scales, try practicing symmetrical patterns with wide stretches in groups of 3, and gradually start moving your fingers closer together. You can alternate using your ring and middle finger in addition to your pinky and index.

When it comes to bends though, don't be afraid of only using your first three fingers or bringing your thumb around the neck, especially if you're applying vibrato, doing 2 step bends, or just playing in the pentatonic boxes. As long as your note sounds convincing and your vibrato isn't spastic, there's no wrong way.
Last edited by Iommianity at Feb 17, 2015,
#9
Practice. Lots and lots of practice. I am not one of those players that stays in the upper frets on every song but when I go there I want to make a statement so the notes have to be clear, powerful, and precise. The only way I know to get there is to work on it until you can do it with relaxed hands. Then the music happens.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY