Pasha Bocharov
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Hands position when playing guitar

Today I would like to talk to you about both left and right hands position. From this article you will find out the essentials of hands position in guitar playing and sound picking, so let’s start.

And we will start with the left hand. There are two main positions for the left hand:

Classical position.

guitar left hand position

guitar left hand position

This is a position, where you place your thumb behind the neck and press it against it. This position is great for playing open chords, because your hand is placed a bit further. The classical position is often used to perform classical pieces because this is what it was made for. And because of this it is great position for playing difficult solos which require a lot of finger stretching, fast picking, bare chords and so on

Blues position

blues guitar left hand position

blues guitar left hand position

Blues position is different in the placement of the thumb. Here it isn’t pressed against the neck, but instead it goes over it, which allows you to pick additional notes. You may often see blues guitarists doing that stuff:  they pick a usual chord in a usual way, but they pick the bass note for this chord with their thumb from over the neck.

Now let’s move to the right hand:

The first way to hold your right hand is the following:  you rest your forearm on the top of the guitar body and your wrist stays in the air.

guitar right hand position

These option is great in several possible situations, like when you strumming and you need to add amplitude and power in your attack. There also exists an advanced technique when you place your hand in the air and do tremolo. You may see some guitarists using this technique in their fast solos.

The second way is to put your wrist onto the guitar bridge.

guitar right hand position

Of course, this will reduce the amplitude and the power of your attack, but the other hand this will allow you to increase the accuracy. So as a consequence, it is better for the pieces where you have to pick single notes and not the chords.

But you should understand that the position may change from situation to situation. Another important thing is that these are just the very basics and there are a lot of details out there. But this is enough for the beginning because when you start it is very difficult to look after every little detail, so this is just enough information for you to just grab a guitar and pick you first notes. If you already have some experience and you need to correct your position you would better go to a tutor. He will help you to work out the correct position for every hand separately until you master them and then combine the hands together.  Another thing to mention is that everyone has different hands, different finger length, stretch and so on, so you will need to adopt these tips for yourself. Also, don’t trying to copy someone’s position for the same reason, and still the best option here is to go to a professional tutor.

If you’re looking for someone who could help you with your learning process, come to my guitar school in Moscow.