Guitar Lesson for beginners: Chords

Guitar Lesson for beginners: Chords

The fretting hand can be a bit of a mystery sometimes but it’s worth simplifying into a single concept.

After years of playing(40) – when I started teaching 20 years ago I took a real hard look at how I played. I found realised very quickly that is was all economy of movement and more important consistency of movement.

That is to say – use the same fingers for the same movement.

For Example:

1st finger always moves first followed in order by 2nd, 3rd and then 4th.

Disconnect from the strings completely.

Reset your fingers.



Always watch your fretting fingers – you don’t drive or ride a bike without looking where your going. Do the same playing guitar. Why make life harder?

Left Hand – Right Handed Guitarist

Left Hand - Right Handed Guitarist - Finger numbers

Right Hand – Left handed Guitarists

Right Hand - Left handed Guitarists

Hierarchy of fingers. 1st = Captain 2nd = Lieutenant 3rd = Corporal 4th = General

  • I call the 1st finger Captain because it gives the orders even if it is not directly involved – it is always on the battlefield – sometimes we rely too much on the Captain.
  • The 2nd finger is the Lieutenant because it is often ignored but is just as important it passes orders on but is often overlooked when it should be more involved.
  • 3rd finger is the Corporal does all the hard work often relied upon too much when the Lieutenant should be deployed. It is usually the stronger finger but needs support form the Lieutenant.
  • The General is the pinky, the 4th finger – the most powerful and the least used. It is a 4th of your potential but also without it you lose strength in all your other fingers. It supports, dictates and expands your abilities.

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