Free Guitar Lessons San Francisco — Tuesday Guitar Tip #2: Fretting Notes

Today’s tip is about one of the most fundamental skills to guitar: fretting notes. Fretting notes becomes easier and easier with time, but getting started on the right foot (or finger) will save you heaps of time and spare you a lot of frustration. Rather than re-inventing the wheel, here is a guide to fretting notes in a way that will save you time, energy, and fingertip and muscle soreness.

Check out the video below:

Fretting notes is essentially about finding the best part of your finger and putting it on the best part of the string. In most cases, the best part of your finger is the fingertip. The best part of the string to fret is immediately behind the higher of the two fret wires that form the “boundary” of a fret.

For example, if I were to fret the 1st sting on the 1st fret, I’d want to have my fingertip immediately behind the first fret wire. This point has the most mechanical advantage, and I won’t have to press as hard on the string.

There are some exceptions to these rules when it’s impossible to follow them. For example, when making an A major chord and your fingers are scrunched together on the same fret. In that case, most of us have to stagger our fingers by moving the index and middle finger back away from the fret a bit. Another example is when doing barre chords, where you will be using parts of your finger other than your fingertip.

But in general, and especially when starting to play guitar, these two rules will help you to troubleshoot chords and melodies, and generally sound better right away while putting less stress on your fingers.