The Left Hand
At first we’ll concentrate on the left hand. To play the chords, simply sweep
the pad of the thumb across the strings—we’ll add sophistication later.
The illustration shows the basic position of the left hand. Notice that the thumb
is behind the neck, approximately behind the fret played by the first finger. Here
is an excellent first exercise to establish and strengthen the left hand:
- With the thumb in a good position, hammer down your first finger just behind
the first fret of the sixth (lowest sounding) string. See how loud a note you
can sound with just the left hand.
- Leaving the first finger where it is, hammer down the second finger behind
the second fret. Be sure to be close to it, or the next frets will be difficult
- Still leaving each finger on after it has hammered, play successively the
third and fourth fingers.
- Next do the same thing on the fifth string.
- Following this, play all the remaining strings, hammering as loudly as possible.
This is a wonderful first exercise, because it builds both strength and stretch.
Don’t be dismayed if you don’t produce much sound at first—you’ll be amazed at the
difference after a few days.
The next step is to put both hands together to play a chord.
The left-hand position