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Thread: How to position my fretting hand

  1. #1
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    Jun 2018
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    Default How to position my fretting hand

    Hello, I'm new to the Uke, and I have a question about changing positions with my fretting hand.

    As a very simple example of what I'm asking about, when I'm fretting, say, a C7 (0001) chord, sometimes my fretting hand is pivoted way up the side of the fretboard, so that the side of my hand is almost touching the tuners.

    But sometimes when fretting that same C7 (0001) chord, depending on which chord I'll be switching to next, my fretting hand will be pivoted way down the side of the fretboard so my little finger is down near the fifth fret or so.

    So even though I'm fretting that same C7 (0001) chord, the position, or angle, of my hand will be pretty different depending on which chord is coming next.

    I want to try to have decent technique, so I'm wondering is having different hand positions like this just a normal part of how fretting is done? Or should I be trying to replicate the same hand position each time to be consistent?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by McCall View Post
    So even though I'm fretting that same C7 (0001) chord, the position, or angle, of my hand will be pretty different depending on which chord is coming next.
    Hi, McCall! That is quite natural as seen in figures below.



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  3. #3
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    Not usually a big deal, but it sounds like you might look for a happy-medium for that chord to avoid torquing your finger so much when your hand is pivoted towards the tuners. As you play more you'll drop into comfortable positions for each chord. Main thing to watch out for is bad technique in general - fingers sideways to the frets, wrist at severe angles, etc...
    Brad Bordessa

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by McCall View Post
    Hello, I'm new to the Uke, and I have a question about changing positions with my fretting hand.

    As a very simple example of what I'm asking about, when I'm fretting, say, a C7 (0001) chord, sometimes my fretting hand is pivoted way up the side of the fretboard, so that the side of my hand is almost touching the tuners.

    But sometimes when fretting that same C7 (0001) chord, depending on which chord I'll be switching to next, my fretting hand will be pivoted way down the side of the fretboard so my little finger is down near the fifth fret or so.

    So even though I'm fretting that same C7 (0001) chord, the position, or angle, of my hand will be pretty different depending on which chord is coming next.

    I want to try to have decent technique, so I'm wondering is having different hand positions like this just a normal part of how fretting is done? Or should I be trying to replicate the same hand position each time to be consistent?
    Honestly, I would say that what you are doing is “good technique”.

    You’re anticipating chord changes and you’re aware that fretting hand position has some flexibility ... as long as that flexibility does not hinder you from sounding clear chords and making quick and clean chord changes.

    The most important thing about fretting hand technique, in my opinion, is to keep your thumb pad on the back of the neck and pivot your hand on that thumb pad to change your angle of attack on the fretboard as needed. It seems to me that’s how you’re doing it.... otherwise, if you were gripping the neck like a hammer, you wouldn’t be telling us about the variation you notice in forming a C7
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swamp Yankee View Post
    Honestly, I would say that what you are doing is “good technique”.

    You’re anticipating chord changes and you’re aware that fretting hand position has some flexibility ... as long as that flexibility does not hinder you from sounding clear chords and making quick and clean chord changes.

    The most important thing about fretting hand technique, in my opinion, is to keep your thumb pad on the back of the neck and pivot your hand on that thumb pad to change your angle of attack on the fretboard as needed. It seems to me that’s how you’re doing it.... otherwise, if you were gripping the neck like a hammer, you wouldn’t be telling us about the variation you notice in forming a C7
    +1 on all of the above, especially the thumb position comment. This is the hardest bad habit for me to break from my early, lazy learning days. I have to think very hard about doing it to avoid putting the neck into the crook between my thumb and index finger.

    I’ve found, since picking up Daniel Ward’s Arpeggio Meditations, I’ve been able to consistently practice this as I have the changes and finger picking memorized for a few of those “tunes” and am then able to focus on very specific things about my technique, in this case my fretting thumb position.

    I’ll add that recording yourself, even on smartphone video, will help you to see bad habits before they become hard to fix or change. It is, in my opinion, an under utilized practice tool that any musician would benefit from using.
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  6. #6
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    Feb 2019
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    Find a chord chart which shows which fingers to use in each chord.

    Correct finger use will help in getting the positioning right which as you get into quick chord changes will result in economy of movement.
    Col.
    From the UK with a bad case of MIAS.
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  7. #7
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    You may want to check out this thread:
    https://forum.ukuleleunderground.com...-hand-techique
    "Those who bring sunshine and laughter to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves".

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  8. #8
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    Jun 2018
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    Thank you everyone for the info, I appreciate your help.

  9. #9
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    Andrew of Rock Class 101 has a video on left hand form. Not specifically addressing hand angle on the same chord, but his angles do change as he moves around the neck.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L67c52yuQUM

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