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Video Guitar Lesson

How many fingers do you use to play the guitar, especially with the left hand? Most people answer “4,” but you are missing the most important: the thumb. The thumb is the balance and force point of the hand and when used properly, will make playing the guitar much easier.

Take a book and grab it. Notice that your thumb aligns opposite your first or second finger. This is your balance point or better yet, how your hand is designed to hold something. Now press as hard as you can. Notice the force is coming from the thumb, not the fingers. This is because your thumb has the biggest muscle in your hand. It is meant to apply force.

Most students have several problems with the thumb. They either wrap their thumb around the neck of the guitar causing a “palming” on the back of the neck or they bend the thumb to a point at the first knuckle causing tension. That will make the ability to apply force to the strings more difficult. This will make playing the instrument much harder than it has to be.

By practicing a short exercise daily, it will correct the problem. Start on the “G” string with the 1,2,3,4th frets. Play them and move up to 2,3,4,5 and so on. The important part is to move the thumb with the hand to help with force and leverage. Do not try to stretch the hand, move it. This will make the instrument much easier to play.