Tip 2 – Guitar Left Hand Technique And Position

This tip will be dedicated to left hand guitar technique and position. The sound of the guitar depends on how you hold your left hand on the neck, how you play notes and how your hand is relaxed. Every little aspect affects the sound. The more likely your hand holds the neck correctly, the more likely sound will be clean.

There’s a difference between playing notes from index finger to pinky (small fourth finger) and vice versa. Playing guitar notes from index to pinky is much easier than in reverse. The playing technique must be equal when playing notes from lowest to highest and highest to lowest. This depends on the technique mostly.

Today we’ll cover the left hand position, how to hold it and where to pay attention to while every practice.

Classical left hand guitar technique

This is classical left hand guitar technique and position in classical style.

In this technique it’s perfect to practice guitar scales, improvise, melodies and guitar chromatics. It’s perfect to play anything on high strings (from first to fourth one) from simple solos to complicated string skipping. Mostly, it’s also fine way to play notes on low strings (but not chords!).

Notice, the thumb is placed on the back of the guitar neck and works as ground for whole hand. Four fingers are positioned on the fretboard and the thumb holds everything from the back. This makes close bond with the neck.

Guitar classical position allows holding hand as straight as possible to play clean. You need to pay attention while playing on low strings, because this is where left hand starts to bend. The thumb works as ground behind and it allows holding hand sufficiently straight.

This technique is good for playing fast notes and power chords. Chords can really hurt the hand, because they require a lot of power depending on the music style you play. Keep your left hand as straight as possible and everything will be ok.

Rock hand position

I call this a rock hand position technique.

It’s typically rock playing technique, mostly on pentatonics. Pentatonics is a great way to play something simple or “relax” in the music, but it often requires bending strings, playing fast repeating licks or blues. This way thumb must be placed on the front of the fretboard to make a ground for a hand.

The thumb works also as low E string silencer. It mutes low E and also works fine for muting low A string.

This technique is good for playing basic chords, intervals and everything else on middle strings. The best way to play guitar is to combine these two techniques and use them together. I can’t tell you when to use one and where another. Your body will tell you better when to do that. It works automatically, you just need to pay a lot of attention while practice at home or with your band.


The main point of today’s guitar position tip is that I would recommend you to pay attention to keep your left hand as straight as possible and as relax as possible. Hand isn’t a robot. It needs to be prepared correctly.

This is taught job, but it will be easier in some time. Just pay attention everytime you practice and this will cause “muscle memory” in your hands. In some time hands will play everything automatically.

So, that’s it for today. Learn the guitar right way and results will be great. Pay attention to guitar left hand position and keep it relax.

Next time we’ll cover the aspect of right hand technique, how to play correct and how to mute strings on overdriven sound which is very popular topic.

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