Guitar Lesson: Fingering Left Hand and Visualising the Fretboard

                          Fingering of the Left Hand:

       1        =Index

       2       =Middle


       4       =Pink

 We can make the following combinations with those fingers:



1                            For playing one note at a time and slides up and down the fretboard.


1 and 2

1 and 3

1 and 4                Use these fingeringcombinations for playing any two notes up and down the fretboard.

2 and 3

2 and 4

3 and 4


1, 2 and 3

1, 2 and 4         These fingers can be used to play  for any three notes at a time.

1, 3 and 4

 Last option is a combination of all the options mentioned above [1,2,3 and 4] used for 4 notes at a time.

 Most people will use most of these options but not all, make sure you explore them ALL, by doing so you will find out for yourself which fingers feel good for whatever function you are using them.

A lot of people will ignore finger 4, start using it RIGHT NOW, as it will speed up your playing, it will also make your playing more accurate and smooth.

                                 Visualisation Fretboard: Natural Notes on ONE string

 One of the complexities of the guitar lies in the fact that notes on the guitar are playable in a linear fashion [playing on one string] and accross the fretboard [known as Postion Playing] Playing over one string on the guitar feels like playing the keys on a keyboard: The notes get higher as you move up along the string.

It is the playing on one string we are interested in for now.

                                 Natural Notes On One String

 Natural notes are all the white keys on a keyboard, for example


Notice that between C and D there is a dash, this it to indicate that we call the distance between C and D a  whole tone. A whole tone on the guitar is the distance of two frets.

Notice that between E and F and B and C there is NO dash, this is to indicate that the distance between E and F is one fret. The distance of one fret is called a half tone.

 Why are half- and whole tones important? To understand the framework of chords and scales [ but I will discuss those more in detail in futureblogs, first things first for now!!]


 Here are all the natural notes placed on the high E string:

                           E F    G    A   B C    D     E   

Notice the shorter spaces between the half notes.

                                Playing Natural Notes with Suggested Fingering Left Hand

 Play now over one string [High E for example] first with one finger all the natural notes, starting with the open E string up to the 12th fret E. Play then all the combinations you can make with two fingers, use then the three finger combinations ect.   Keep playing natural notes for now, paying attention to where the half notes are.
Once you feel comfortable with the natural notes on the High E string move on to the B string. Before you start playing, please find yourself the E on the B string [ 5th fret] and move up to the 17th fret. In this way you play the same combination of notes [EF G A BC D E] as you did on the High E string. Play up and down B string using suggested fingerings, and again observe where the half notes appear. Continue this process untill you have covered all your strings!

                               Tips and Ideas

  # First play natural notes up and down one string, then start making riffs and short melodies using [just for now] only natural notes.
  # Play your favourite riffs, the ones you already know, over one string, ask yourself which notes your are playing, transpose your riffs so you can play them using only natural notes [You will now play in the key of C major or A minor!!]

                               What Do You Learn When You Apply the Above??

!! You will start playing with FOUR fingers, including your pink, very helpful indeed!!

!! You will notice how your melodies and riffs move up and down the fretboard according to the music you play.

!! You will start to notice where half-and whole notes are, this will help you when it comes to chord-and scaleconstruction [Probably one of the biggest areas of study for any serious,improvising musician]


For next blog I will give you plenty of simple melodies and riffs which you can play over one string.


Do you think I need way too many words to explain all of this, and do you live locally? Please do not hesitate to contact me for any guitarlessons or an informal session with tips, ideas and feedback on your guitarplaying.


Have fun and see you next time,






Guitar Talk: —Technique ??? What Technique ???!!!—









Let us start with a few questions first: What is guitartechnique? For who is guitartechnique? When do you need guitartechnique?

What is Guitartechnique?
Anything we play on the guitar where we use our left-or right hand I consider as guitartechnique. Think of playing with a plectrum, using the fingers of your right hand, playing chords, playing hammer-ons/pull-offs with the left hand, slurs and slides etc. All of these movements of the hand are considered as guitartechnique, and all of them need to be carefully developed one by one.

Who needs Guitartechnique? 
Anyone who wants to make sounds coming from a guitar, simple eh?!

When do you need Guitartechnique?
Any musical idea [ a riff, a chordsequence, a simple single string melody etc.] you may want to play on the guitar requires some form of technique. The truth is you ALWAYS need SOME technique to play the guitar. Another truth is: You can ALWAYS IMPROVE your guitarPLAYING no matter how experienced you are. The conclusion from what is mentioned above is that guitartechnique is part of your overal development as a guitarplayer and a musician. The process of improvement never stops, it can be enjoyed if nurtured with the right approach.

The Approach 
When it comes to guitarlessons and the learning of new guitar-and musical related ideas I find it helpful to approach the process with an attitude like this: “I am starting all over again with the guitar and making music” I pretend not too know too much, and anything I am introduced to is new to me. This approach, at least in my experience, helps me to keep things fresh and makes it able to rethink what I already know. It also helps to see my own guitarplaying from another angle. I will explain a lot of this later on in future blogs, will also add a lot of playingexamples you can use for your own guitarplaying, for now I only want to set the pace of the blog and introduce you to the bigger picture of your guitarplaying, your learning process and the development of your musical skills in general.

The Process
When it comes to learning to play the guitar everyone goes through a similar process– whether you are a pro-minded musician or play guitar just as a hobby–most people stuggle in the beginning with the co-ordination of hand and fingers: It may be difficult to change from one chord to another, playing across the strings may feel awkward for your wrist, some fretted notes may not sound at all whilst being pressed down etc. All of these “problems” are very common, and anyone who plays the guitar has experienced them at some point in their life [including myself!!] At some point, usually after a lot of years of playing, the problems mentioned above “disappear” or your fingers simply get better at “feeling their way around the fretboard on the guitar” It is my personal belief that a lot of problems related to guitartechnique can be solved a lot quicker. I also believe you can ENJOY your playing from day one when you start out with the guitar and your guitarlessons. You really should, as this is the only way to survive as a guitarplayer. In the next few entries about guitartechique it is my intention to break down any particular techniqual problem related to guitarplaying and to provide you with plenty of exercises and analysis to help yourself and improve your playing. For the next blog I will break down the fingering of the left hand — the main issue of concern — will talk a lot less! and start playing more!!

 Stay Tuned, EddieWink

Guitar Technique: — The Big Picture–










This post will be part of a series of posts about how to improve your guitartechnique, I will keep the postings as short and clear as possible, the postings can stand on their own so anyone can take from it what they want to. Enjoy, Eddie

Introducing Eddie De Hamer











I have been playing music since 1974. Started out on the organ, then moved on to guitar, electric bass and drums. I started to teach my first guitar lessons around 1992. My own style of playing is based on Blues, Rock, Heavy Metal, Pop, Folk and Jazz. I have a strong interest in making my own arrangements within songs with the help of riffs, melodies and chords. Over the years I have gigged all over the UK, either with my own bands or as a member of other bands. At the moment I am part of a classic covers duo which plays at a variety of functions in West Yorkshire and I write my own songs.

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