GET OUR GUITAR SUCCESS SERIES! Learn to practice correctly....get rid of tension & bad like a pro!

* indicates required
The Guitar Principles  
The TRUTH about Learning Guitar
Improve Your Skills > Strumming & Singing > Finger Overlap: Necessary for Many Chords

Finger Overlap: Necessary for Many Chords

Often, we must squeeze our fingers into some rather unaccommodating positions on the guitar.  We know we are supposed to strive to get our fingers "right behind the fret" as we play, but, like so many things in life, we have to bend the rules (and the fingers!) sometimes (it ain't a perfect world!).


I have always found the A major chord to be a naturally antagonizing chord shape. There is no way you are going to get all 3 fingers equally close to the fret. But, we do want to get them as close as we can, and to do that, we need to know that we must "overlap" the fingertips as they go down.

We don't want to allow them to line up side by side, as they tend to do, we must make them "overlap", especially 3 and 4. By overlapping the fingers, we get the fingertips as close as possible to the fret in awkward situations like this A chord.  .

Another common, and important playing situation where we need this finger overlap is in doing the basic 5th and 6th string root bar chords. In fact, we want to be able to make this overlap happen even above the strings, as you approach the chord.


Here is the common F bar chord done with finger overlap on 3 and 4.

Teaching a student to use "finger overlap" in bar chords.....

This students 3rd and 4th finger do not have the development yet to do the necessary overlap.


I am grabbing the students fingers and forcing them together, overlapping them. I am also bringing them as close as they can get to the fret.

This can be helpful, but what is really needed here is consistent practice of the Left Hand Foundation Exercises found in "The Principles Of Correct Practice For Guitar".

Here is an exercise for building the muscles in the hand that bring the 4th finger into overlap position.

Simply touch the pinky to the thumb. This strengthens the "Opponens Digiti Minimi" muscle, located in the palm. This muscle brings the pinky into overlap position.

Do this with the 3rd finger also, hold your hand out, fingers spread, and bring the 3rd and 4th fingers together, touching.

One last word, and again, this falls in the "it ain't a perfect world" category: people vary in the shape and size of their fingertips. It is easier to do the finger overlap if you have more tapered fingertips. Some people have more "bulbous" shaped fingertips, and it will make it a bit harder to overlap, but you can still get a little more finger in a little less space by doing the overlap technique.

article 1
Adding Vocals While Playing Guitar
After learning our first chords, we should begin to add the vocal over the strum. This means, essentially, learning to play two instruments at once! Here are some important tips on doing that.
>
article 2
Proper Form on the G7 Chord
This supposedly easy guitar chord can be quite a challenge to do easily. It requires the first finger to be flexed back all the way to the 1st string, while the 3rd finger is stretched out to the 6th.
>
article 3
The Best Left Hand Position For Chords
There is a lot of confusion about how the left hand should approach various guitar playing situations. Thumb under, or over? Hand against the neck or out and away? It depends on the playing context.
>
article 4
The Slap Strum
Using the "slap strum" is a great way to add some nice percussive effect to your guitar strumming. Here is how to learn to do it.
>
you might also like
How To Practice Chord Changes
Chord Confusion
The Alone Place
Do I Need Guitar Lessons?
Adding Vocals While Playing Guitar
Proper Form on the G7 Chord
Finger Overlap: Necessary for Many Chords
The Best Left Hand Position For Chords
We Never Email More then Once a Week.
The Principles of Correct Practice for Guitar-Hard Copy
Why Is The Principles The Best Way to Learn Guitar?

156 - Why Is The Principles The Best Way to Learn Guitar?

All other guitar methods have serious flaws that leave you struggling on guitar. The Principles is different....
Learn To Play a Guitar by Learning HOW to Practice!

16 - Learn To Play a Guitar by Learning HOW to Practice!

Everything that happens when you play is the direct result of what you do when you practice. Learn to train your fingers EFFECTIVELY when you practice guitar.
Your First Perfect Guitar Lesson

18 - Your First Perfect Guitar Lesson

Many guitar players carry for a lifetime the mistakes they learned when first learning how to play the instrument... Tips to avoid this can be found here!
What Are The Principles?

15 - What Are The Principles?

Those who know "The Principles" know that there is no other guitar method like it. It is the key to using every other method! Find out for yourself.....