Hypothesizing on the Fretting Hand

Something I noticed today that might be causing a lot of my guitar issues is that I might, potentially, be keeping the palm of my hand too far from the neck of my guitar in a misguided, subconscious effort to try to avoid muting the high E string with my palm.

Realistically, this might well be the reason I’m having trouble with reaching across four frets, why I’m struggling with tension in my arm in certain positions, and a contributing factor in why my shoulder becomes tired.  The tension caused might be part of the reason all of my transitions are so horribly slow (although the bulk of that is that I’m a newbie and these things take time, I know. lol). So, that’s something I’m going to be experimenting with for a bit to see if it holds true.

Of course, this means clumsy chords all over again, at least for a bit, as I acclimate to bringing my hand in closer, but in the long run, I expect it might make life a little easier. It’s certainly making the C chord easier to reach. The others don’t seem to be harder, except in that I’m getting used to them all over again, and in tonight’s experiment it seemed like the movements between strings and chords were smaller.

I’ll just have to play with this hypothesis a bit and see how it ends up in the long run.

Until next time – still learning at a snail’s pace, but learning.

2 thoughts on “Hypothesizing on the Fretting Hand

  1. You might want to try curling your fingers and placing them along some of the frets and seeing where your thumb and palm are after. Like, make sure that your fingers can reach what you need, and then position the thumb & palm behind the neck afterward, to support the distance that your fingers need.

    Also, for bass, sometimes, my thumb points “up” towards the sky. Its mostly when I’m playing notes that are on lower frets and when the notes are close together, fret-wise. Other times, my thumb points towards the headstock. This is on both higher and low frets and happens more when I know that I have to shift positions to reach frets.


    1. Yeah, I think I might have a habit of using my wrist and dropping my shoulder to compensate for awkward positions. I don’t know if I am or not, but it’s something I need to pay some active attention to to figure out what I’m even doing on order to fix it. This is something I’m doing specifically on guitar. Whatever it is, I’m not doing it on the bass, so it has to be chord related, but how? That’s something I haven’t pinned down yet, so just have to keep making adjustments until I do.


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