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Right-Hand Chord Technique
 

Right-Hand Chord Technique

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

To play a chord with the fingers and thumb, first prepare the right hand by selecting the strings to be played. Then squeeze the thumb forward and the fingers back to sound the chord. As the fingers play they will naturally curl upwards, and the thumb will travel slightly upwards and toward the first finger. However, it is not necessary to pull the hand away from the strings, particularly when a succession of chords is to be played, because the hand must quickly 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 to play a chord (left). The fingers after the chord has been played (right).

The fingers prepare to play a chord (left). The fingers after the chord has been played (right).

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


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