Right-Hand Chord Technique

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

When using a pick or simple thumb strums, the focus is mainly on playing all the availablenotes of a chord. However, as you progress you will find that you want to select certainnotes, and not necessarily those on adjacent strings. This can best be achieved by using thethumb and fingers of the right hand.

To play a chord with the fingers and thumb, first prepare the right hand by selecting thestrings to be played. Then squeeze the thumb forward and the fingers back to sound thechord. As the fingers play they will naturally curl upwards, and the thumb will travel slightlyupwards and toward the first finger. However, it is not necessary to pull the hand away fromthe strings, particularly when a succession of chords is to be played, because the hand mustquickly be back in position to select the notes for the new chord.

The illustrations show the preparation and completion positions of the chord.

The fingers prepare toplay a chord (left). Thefingers after the chordhas been played (right).

As a practice, try each of the chords you know, choosing the top three strings with thefingers and the lowest note of the chord with the thumb. Remember to ignore the stringswhere there is an X. Try for a clear, ringing sound