Guitar Technique Tip of the Month

Your Personal Guitar Lesson

Douglas Niedt




This month it's back to the basics: the left-hand position. This is an all-video tip. It is a nearly one-hour comprehensive guitar lesson on positioning your left hand. I explain the parallel and slanted hand positions, pros and cons of each, when to use them, and how to use and position the left-hand thumb. But this isn't just for beginners. Even if you've been playing a long time I think you will learn something new.

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THE LEFT-HAND POSITION

By Douglas Niedt

Copyright Douglas Niedt. All Rights Reserved. This article may be reprinted, but please be considerate and give credit to Douglas Niedt.

This month it's back to the basics: the left-hand position. This is an all-video tip. It is a nearly one-hour comprehensive guitar lesson on positioning your left hand. I explain the parallel and slanted hand positions, pros and cons of each, when to use them, and how to use and position the left-hand thumb. But this isn't just for beginners. Even if you've been playing a long time I think you will learn something new.

You may not be able to watch the entire video at one sitting, or you may want to come back to a particular part. Here is a list of some of the topics I discuss with the time code for each:

  • 00:56 The two left-hand positions

  • 04:06 The parallel hand position

  • 05:19 Five ways to find the parallel hand position.

  • 15:14 Details of the parallel hand position

  • 17:02 Video shot of the difference between the parallel and slanted hand positions

  • 19:16 Placing the fingers perpendicularly on the strings

  • 20:50 Moving from string to string with the parallel hand position

  • 24:43 The pencil trick

  • 26:23 Basics to remember

  • 27:23 All about the left-hand thumb (this is a technique tip in itself)

  • 31:39 The thumb is a passive participant (this point is crucial)

  • 38:32 The wide range of left-hand positions

  • 40:06 The slanted hand position

  • 47:17 The advantages of the parallel hand position

  • 49:59 The parallel hand position may not be suitable for beginners


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