09 December, 2009

HOW TO pluck the guitar with your fingers

In this post, I will attempt to answer the question on how to pluck the guitar the proper way.

First of all, I can't really say whether the way I pluck is the proper way to do so because I have never taken any guitar lessons. So, all of this is what I feel is correct.

Ok, during my lessons with my guitar students, I have noticed that many of those who are total beginners have the tendency to pluck in a certain way. They pluck each string using just one finger - the thumb. So I'll just say it now, you should use the rest of your fingers as well to pluck the guitar!

The pictures above shows you two ways which you can position your fingers when plucking. For myself, I prefer to use the one on the right (where the pinky is on the guitar) because I find it helps to keep my plucking hand in place. The only drawback is that after a prolong period of placing your pinky in this manner, it gets stiff and can hurt a little.

Anyway, notice how each finger is placed on a string? In my case, I make use of 3 fingers and the thumb. So the next question you might probably ask is "There are 6 strings on a guitar, if I'm only using 4 fingers, what finger do I use for the remaining 2 strings?"

The answer is simple. For me, I use my thumb to pluck the 4th, 5th and 6th string (I call these strings the bass strings). So, when I play a D chord for example, I'll use my thumb for the 4th string. If I play an A chord, I'll use my thumb for the 5th string. If i use an E chord, I'll use my thumb for the 6th string. The rest of my 3 fingers are placed on the 1st - 3rd string.

Yup, that's basically it. In another post, I'll probably be talking about simple plucking patterns that you can use for songs.


Anonymous said...

can you do a video how you pluck. cuz i get it when ppl show it to me. it'd be easier for me. thanks. -Ju

daniel said...

hi Anonymous, you can read this post to show you how to pluck & various plucking patterns.


ken said...

hi Daniel, you've just get it on your own?thanks for your post,thats what my friend told me on plucking, he is somewhat a music student.

Damon Turner said...

I really wish to learn how to play a guitar, so I am looking for free Guitar Chords for Beginners.. hope you can help me. thanks in advance!

Anonymous said...

Which string you can pluck first?

daniel said...

Hi Anonymous,
as for your question to which string to pluck first, you can read these 2 posts first: http://basicsofguitar.blogspot.sg/2010/03/plucking-exercise.html


Do let me know if you have more questions after reading the 2 posts.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the advice! I do have a question though; Often when I'm plucking/playing a slow song, I notice that when I lift my fingers off the strings with my left hand, the strings make a sound. I guess they play the open string note at that point, and it really bothers me when I'm playing a slow song. If this happens while strumming a faster song where the chords change faster, one after the other, the problem solves itself. But I don't know how to avoid playing the strings by accident while I'm switching to another chord and trying to make it slowly and subtly. Any hints?

daniel said...

Hi Anonymous,

can I assume that you are referring to the electric guitar. The reason why I ask this is because I know that for the electric guitar, the strings are quite sensitive. Each time you lift the left hand to change to another chord, a slight movement can produce a sound (which is amplified by the amplifier).

In any case, if sounds are being produced once you change from chord to chord, that would probably mean that you remove your fingers quite forcefully when changing chords. So much so that it can produce a plucking sound on its own.

Could it be that you are rushing to change to the next chord, and because of that, produces the sound?