Dynamic Hand Positioning – Student Spotlight

In this Student Spotlight lesson video, I will help Matthew with his fret-hand positioning.

With all the information you can find online, many players can stumble upon information when they are starting out that can give them the wrong idea on how to approach guitar technique.

One of those problems involves assuming your hand should have just one traditional way of playing and that is it. In real-world playing conditions, your hand positioning needs to be much more dynamic than that. 

Matthew's favorite hand position with the thumb sitting on top of the fretboard is generally considered ideal for playing situations that require bending and/or vibrato, open position chords and most two note-per-string playing ala pentatonics.

However, when performing barre chords and scale passages that require more than two notes-per-string, wide stretches and even the "Crazy Train" riff Matthew plays, moving the thumb behind the neck is the ideal position. 

The behind the neck position is uncomfortable for Matthew because of his wrist position. So I will try and fix that in the video.

But the main focus of this lesson is to inform newer players that are confused as to what hand position they should use. The answer is, many of them! Different techniques require different positioning, so don't be afraid to constantly find better ways to play. You will eventually move from one hand position to another without even thinking about it.

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Dynamic Hand Positioning - Student Spotlight


  1. Keith Ahmann on March 21, 2019 at 9:17 pm

    Perfect video for this long time casual acoustic player finally trying out electric. Along a similar line, what about those with “short” pinkie fingers who have to stretch way up especially at higher frets?

    • Carl Brown on March 24, 2019 at 11:48 am

      If you rotate your forearm counter-clockwise so that the inside of your wrist is pointing to the sky, it will bring that pinky a lot closer to the strings. It is all about positioning! 🙂


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