Hand position when playing above the 12th fret.


ScornEmperor
Registered User
Joined: 01/29/10
Posts: 28
ScornEmperor
Registered User
Joined: 01/29/10
Posts: 28
10/12/2010 4:08 am
Let's say we're playing a scale or arpeggio above the 12th fret. Maybe we're around the 17th fret, but also moving up toward the 12th fret itself.

What's the best natural hand position for the fretting hand when playing up here?

I'm having trouble finding a position that is both comfortable and agile. I can either be comfortable, or I can be cramped but able to make a six fret move, like from the 17th to the 12th fret on the fifth string.

I can either have my thumb behind the fretboard, which is uncomfortable but seems to enable more motion. Or I can have the thumb above the fretboard, with the back of the neck cradled between my thumb and first finger. That's a lot more comfortable, but because there's a lot of surface area attached to the neck I can't move as quickly.

Does this matter? Is it simply a matter of picking one and just working it until it feels normal, or is there an idea way to hold the guitar above the 12th fret?

What about dealing with scales above the 17th fret? The join makes it really hard to deal with the sixth string.
# 1
Azrael
Gargoyle Instructor
Joined: 04/06/01
Posts: 2,093
Azrael
Gargoyle Instructor
Joined: 04/06/01
Posts: 2,093
10/12/2010 12:55 pm
In what position are you playing? Do you sit, having your guitar on your right thigh or do you play standing?

[FONT=Times New Roman]Holiness is in right action and courage on behalf of those who cannot defend themselves. What you decide to do every day makes you a good person... or not.[/FONT][br][br]

# 2
ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 8,391
ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 8,391
10/12/2010 1:44 pm
Originally Posted by: ScornEmperorLet's say we're playing a scale or arpeggio above the 12th fret. Maybe we're around the 17th fret, but also moving up toward the 12th fret itself.

What's the best natural hand position for the fretting hand when playing up here?

This tutorial shows arpeggios around that area of the neck:

http://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=1055

These tutorials shows scales around that area of the neck:

http://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=453
http://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=973

The short answer is that you have to consider the comfort of your individual hands & the shape of your particular guitar. I find I have to adjust slightly for different guitar topologies.

In general, though, the best solution is to move your thumb to oppose your fingertips. I talk about visualizing an axis of power in lesson 3 of this tutorial:

http://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=605

Hope this helps, let me know how it goes!
Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory
# 3

Please register with a free account to post on the forum.