When we showed you how to tune the guitar by ear we briefly showed you how to hold down a string on the fretboard or guitar neck nearer to the fret wires to change it’s pitch. This is called fretting and is the first step to playing melody lines, chords and guitar solos.
So let’s look at the correct way to fret a note, using the 2nd fret of the G string – this is the note A.
- Use the tip of your finger
- Place it just behind, but not on, the fretwire
- Use your thumb for leverage
There are also some other tips to bear in mind that should make life easier:
Don’t exert too much pressure as this will result in
- Aching fingers
- Sore finger tips
- Less flexibility when changing notes/chords
To be fair you will still suffer from all these when starting up, but by not exerting too much pressure SHOULD help alleviate them. Please do not complain too much if does not seem to be the case!!!!!
Oh – and ensure you keep the nails on your fretting hand short so the fret board has no nail contact. Nail clippers can be cool – I think!
Experience will let you know what pressure to apply but there will be times when you have to exert more if string buzzes or the note does not ring out. The key is to make sure your finger is correctly positioned in the first place.
And here is what you need to do now:
- Use your finger to fret any notes anywhere on the fretboard using your forefinger, ensuring you get a nice “clean” sound.
- Do the same, using your middle, ring and pinky fingers
Before we go onto more specific fretting exercise, it useful to know the notes up to the 5th fret on each string, including open strings.
As you can see, the notes go from A to G and some have notes in between called sharps and flats. Don’t worry too much about this for now, watch the detailed video and then go onto to the fretting practice session