Pushing A Note Or How To Fret A Guitar

Sounds are generated by vibrations. What we perceive as a high or low note depends upon the frequency of a vibration. On the guitar we can achieve different vibrations (frequencies) by changing the tension of the string (ex. Tuning) or by affecting the length of the string.

Pushing the string against a fret affects the length of the string so ample pressure is needed to sustain a vibration. The best place to push a note is just behind the fret. I call this “hugging the fret”.

You will notice the closer you play to the fret, the easier it is to push. Playing close to the frets also reduces the annoying fret buzz.

Scale Exercise

1) Start of in the “hold” position previously discussed on the first E string over the 5th fret.

2) Now lift fingers 2, 3, and 4 slightly above the strings while keeping them over the assigned frets.

3) Play in this order using proper alternate picking technique one finger at a time. 1, 2, 3, 4, 3, 2, 1. Rest and repeat.

4) Try to keep the fingers as close to the strings as possible during practice. Less movement means less work and greater potential for speed.

5) Once you are able to comfortably execute this exercise the next step is to work with the metronome. Shoot for these goals: 60, 80, 100, 120 bpm. Next try this on the remaining strings.

As you move to the other strings your thumb should move with the fingers allowing for a straighter wrist. High fingers means a higher thumb position and low fingers means a lower thumb position.

Don’t forget to use up and down strokes (alternate picking) on the right hand!

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