Playing the Guitar

Using the frets

Today, we'll be using the frets to play easy songs on the first string. The frets are the small metal bars that go across the the neck of the guitar. They are numbered, starting with number 1 on the top of the neck, and going down closer to the sound hole. Take a look at the picture:

To play different notes, you will need to press down on a string so that it touches one of the frets. Watch the video below to understand how to press down on the frets: (skip to 40 seconds)

A few tips:

Here are a few things to remember when pressing down on the frets:

  • Use the tip of your finger on the strings
  • Press down on the string directly behind the fret (to the left from your view)
  • Don't press too hard and hurt yourself!
  • Keep your fingers curved
  • If your string is making a "dead" sound, you are either not pressing hard enough, your finger may be touching the fret, or another finger is touching the string.

This is where your finger should touch the string; just behind the fret

Hand and wrist placement:

Your left hand should be holding the guitar from underneath the neck. Make sure that your wrist is in a neutral position. Overextending or inverting your wrist could be painful and cause bad problems when you play:

Good! - neutral wrist position

Bad! - inverted wrist

Bad! - overextended wrist

Review Hot Cross Buns from Yesterday:

Use only the first (smallest) string to play this song:

4 2 0 4 2 0

0 0 0 0 2 2 2 2

4 2 0

Pick Song #1: Mary Had a Little Lamb

Play this song using the smallest two strings. Punch out your first pick when you can successfully play it!

mary had a little lamb.pdf