Proper Hand Placement

OK lets just say I have picked up a few bad habits over the years of playing on and off. But a year ago I signed and made a commitment to resolve all of my playing issues on and off.

My question is this. Is there a set rule for where your hand should be placed on the neck? Say for example I want to play the 7th fret on any string. I can play it with my first or third but does it matter or based on the song and your preference?

If there is a set placement. Do I use the A pentatonic positions?

Thanking everyone who takes time to answer what I’m sure is a very simple answer lol

I think the simple answer is “whatever works”. Or maybe “whatever comes next”. So you wouldn’t use your first finger if you had to drop down a string and back 3 frets to get to the next note. But first finger is fine if the next note is 3 frets up on the same string.


If your playing scales it really depends what’s before and what’s coming next.

Usually your working in blocks of 4 frets with 1st or 4th fingers potentially going an extra fret each way

Also. Depends on bends, few people can bend decently with their pinky

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Thank you very much everyone…this is what I have been doing more or less. Just didn’t know if there was some sort of rule or starting place. Thank you for clearing that up. Cheers everyone and hope to see some of you tomorrow at the live class


If you’re asking about where your left hand should be, as far as your thumb on the neck, in general you’ll want to have your thumb roughly in the middle of the back of the neck. But there are exceptions. For some open chords, like A and D, I’m wrapping my thumb around the top and using it to mute the low strings. And if I’m bending notes on the high strings, my thumb will be on the shoulder of the neck by the low E to give me something to bend against.

If you’re asking about which finger to use where, it all depends on what you’re playing - which note precedes and which note follows. As such, you could end up playing a note on the 7th string with any of your four fingers, depending on the situation. Even in the Am pentatonic, it can vary. In the first position, you’re playing the notes on the 7th fret with your third finger. But if you move up to the next position, you’re playing the 7th fret notes with your first finger. And if you start in the first position and then slide to the second position, or visa versa, you’ll change which finger covers those 7th fret notes.

I hope that helps.

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For left hand positioning on the guitar neck, place your thumb roughly in the middle for general playing, but exceptions include wrapping it around the top for certain open chords and placing it on the neck shoulder for bending high strings; regarding finger placement, adapt based on the specific notes, chords, and positions, leading to variations even within a scale like the Am pentatonic.

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Thank you so much everyone for all your advice. At least I now know that, that is not one of my bad habits that I need to resolve lol