Fretting Hand Position
As I said in the previous article, the fretting hand is your left hand (unless you're playing a left-handed guitar. In this case it'll be your right hand).
The thumb is placed behind the neck and commonly do not participate directly in playing. The fingers press the strings against the frets.
Keep the fingers in a roundish form like you would hold a lemon. The taps of the fingers are used to press the strings.
Do not bend the finger like in the following picture:
The fingers on the fretting hand are identified as follows:
- the index is the 1st finger
- the middle is the 2nd finger
- the ring is the 3rd finger
- and the pinky is the 4th finger.
Note that in guitar anatomy the word fret means a metal stripe located across the fingerboard.
However when talking about guitar playing, the same word fret means the space between the two metal stripes and not the metal stripe itself.
For instance, if you look at some guitar tab and see a note at the third fret, it actually means you need to press the string between the second and the third metal fret to get that note:
rather than in some random space between the stripes, this way you'll need to apply less pressure to get a buzz-free sound and your fingers will navigate easier around the fingerboard.
Notice and eliminate any unnecessary tension in your hands and arms that can often take place while you're in the beginning stage. Muscle tension is like rust, it makes playing more clumsy, abrupt and hard.
Note: Often, in guitar tabs, you will encounter "0" number as a fret number like these ones: