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Silly Newb Question

6 Posts
6 Users
New Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 2
Topic starter  

Hi guys. Ive been learning guitar for a very short time (as you will find out by my question :oops:) and i wanted to clear something up.

When im practicing a scale should i make sure that my finger is only touching the string im playing and not resting on a neighbouring string? For example when im practicing chords i check all the strings to make sure they are sounding cleanly. Is it important to do this when only playing a single note at a time?

Thanks for your help.

Honorable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 539

It's not as important (and muting other strings with your fingers can be useful under certain circumstances) but for the sake of good practice I would suggest trying to keep your fingers to their own strings, not touching others.


ETD - Formerly "10141748 - Reincarnate"

Noble Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 2261

Ideally you should be able to choose whether or not to touch a neighbouring string. Sometimes you don't want to, for example when playing a note against an open string as you would in a chord, but sometimes it's helpful to be able to mute a string with your left hand as well as your right. - Guitar Chord/Scale Finder/Viewer

Reputable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 225

I practice scales with not touching the other strings in mind. I figure muting is for a different exercise or for playing songs.

I talked to a teacher one time who told me that for me, at the time, the most important things to do when practicing scales were:

1) Place your finger as close to the fret as you can. Any pressure applied away from the fret is wasted pressure. Learn to feel the frets with your fingers.

2) Go slow and try to make every part of your movement economical and perfect. Lift the finger, place the finger, pluck the string, all as perfect as you can make it. See how slow you can go. Focus on your sense of touch - try to feel everything. No hurries now. Paint the fence....

Okay, so he may have watched a few too many Kung Fu movies, but I think it was good advice....

Reputable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 452

Hi dsp17 and welcome to GN. First off, it isn't a silly question if you don't know the answer. That's why this forum is here. Personally, if I'm playing an Emajor scale in the first position, my little finger is all over the other strings. If I hit the right note, and it rings clearly, I don't worry it. Try to relax and enjoy the sound. For now, I would concentrate on playing the notes with the fingertips so that your fretting hand is in the correct position.

Active Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 9

Yes, certainly make sure of that. When you are learning a chord while strumming it make sure to go through string by string plucking the individually and make sure no strings are muffly or have a sort of tiny rattle.

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