Fretting hand tension


skaiser1200
Registered User
Joined: 03/27/19
Posts: 3
skaiser1200
Registered User
Joined: 03/27/19
Posts: 3
03/31/2019 12:15 pm

Hi,

i have this one issue that I can’t keep my left hand relaxed while playing. I have the guitar on my right leg, and once I lay my elbow on the body of the guitar it rotates Forward. Meaning the neck pointing more to a point in front of my body. [br]When i then put my left hand on the fretboard it feels like I’m trying to pull the neck back with my left hand.[br]so I have these anchoring points[br][olist][br]

  • guitar on my right leg[br]
  • elbow on guitar[br]
  • left Hand on the fretboard[br][/olist]

    while i don’t feel the left hand should have any job in anchoring the guitar. the only pressure I should feel in my left hand is the fingers pressing down on the frets.It just slows me down a lot and I can’t get my pinky to work properly with this.[br]i do feel that I result in this strange tilted position because I have a bit of a gut. Meaning my guitar sits further away from my body. Then I put my elbow on it which makes it tilt a lot.

    trying to put the guitar on my left leg, my left hand has a completely different angle coming to the fretboard and I don’t know if that’s any good.

    any tips here?


  • # 1
    ChristopherSchlegel
    Guitar Tricks Instructor
    Joined: 08/09/05
    Posts: 8,427
    ChristopherSchlegel
    Guitar Tricks Instructor
    Joined: 08/09/05
    Posts: 8,427
    03/31/2019 3:26 pm

    Hey & welcome to GT! What kind of guitar are you playing?

    Originally Posted by: skaiser1200

    so I have these anchoring points[br][olist][br]

  • guitar on my right leg[br]
  • elbow on guitar[br]
  • left Hand on the fretboard[br][/olist]

    while i don’t feel the left hand should have any job in anchoring the guitar. the only pressure I should feel in my left hand is the fingers pressing down on the frets.It just slows me down a lot and I can’t get my pinky to work properly with this.

  • [p]You are right that your left hand should not be holding up the guitar. That's what a strap if for. It holds the guitar in place so you don't have to.

    The angle of the neck is also important. If you can tilt the neck up a bit it can help you gain access to the fretboard.

    Another aspect is your fretting hand position. You want to reach your hand around the neck as far as possible so your fingers can fret the strings. Do not "palm the neck" or hold the neck with your palm. Your thumb is tasked with opposing pressure, not your hand or palm.

    These tutorials cover proper body mechanics & posture.

    https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=1141

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

    These tutorials cover building strength & dexterity in your fingers & especially the pinky!

    https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=1829

    https://www.guitartricks.com/tutorial.php?input=1292

    Hope this helps! Please ask more if necessary. Best of success!


    Christopher Schlegel
    Guitar Tricks Instructor

    Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory
    # 2
    skaiser1200
    Registered User
    Joined: 03/27/19
    Posts: 3
    skaiser1200
    Registered User
    Joined: 03/27/19
    Posts: 3
    03/31/2019 5:53 pm

    Hi Christopher,

    Thanks a lot for this contribution. Indeed, that neck is one thing i don’t pay attention to. Looking at the fretboard quite a lot.

    Tackling those courses now!


    # 3
    skaiser1200
    Registered User
    Joined: 03/27/19
    Posts: 3
    skaiser1200
    Registered User
    Joined: 03/27/19
    Posts: 3
    04/01/2019 7:36 am

    I worked through these lessons, and a couple more.

    #1 I needed to set up my strap higher, so that the guitar can sit on my torso rather than on my leg

    #2 having the body of the guitar in front of me (having the guitar sit on the left leg) is more comfortable for me and i can play with more ease.

    #3 i need to practice my thumb rolling down the back of the neck

    Basically i what i noticed yesterday is that i claw too much with my thumb and the result is that if i start for example the a minor pentatonic in position 1, my thumb would be sitting like you proposed, Christopher : diagonal to the fingers „through“ the neck of the guitar, so basically on the lower third of the back of the neck.

    As i move up in the scale my thumb wouldn‘t move. Making it extremely hard to keep my fingers flat especially on strings B and e.

    Vice versa, if i start from the high end of the scale, my thumb would stay on the bottom third of the back of the neck.

    What i focused on yesterday is much like in Golf, where the „right hand is just along for the ride“.

    I focused on pushing and rotating my wrist underneath the neck of the guitar while my thumb is just along for the ride and does what it needs to do.

    It is quite difficult, actually, to focus on this and still get the scale right, but i find it a training that is worthwhile doing.

    Christopher: from reading this, would you feel that i‘m On the right track with these analogies?

    Regards

    Stefan


    # 4
    ChristopherSchlegel
    Guitar Tricks Instructor
    Joined: 08/09/05
    Posts: 8,427
    ChristopherSchlegel
    Guitar Tricks Instructor
    Joined: 08/09/05
    Posts: 8,427
    04/01/2019 1:51 pm

    Sounds like you have the right idea.

    Originally Posted by: skaiser1200

    I focused on pushing and rotating my wrist underneath the neck of the guitar while my thumb is just along for the ride and does what it needs to do.

    It is quite difficult, actually, to focus on this and still get the scale right, but i find it a training that is worthwhile doing.

    [p]Yes, it will take a while to make that kind of motion automatic. But you are on the right track because the only thing that will improve it is focused repetition until it becomes second nature.

    Best of success!


    Christopher Schlegel
    Guitar Tricks Instructor

    Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory
    # 5

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