By Jamie Andreas

January 16, 2018 minutes read


Don't Begin Guitar At The First Fret!!

If you began to learn guitar by learning notes or chords at the first fret, you most likely have left hand form and tension problems........unless you are a professional who has overcome the bad effects of starting guitar at the first fret. Let me explain......

Why The 1st Fret Is A Bad Place To Begin

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1) The 1st fret requires the arm to be extended away from the body. This means the large muscles of the shoulder ares must support the 8 to 10 pounds of arm weight while you attempt to use your undeveloped beginner fingers. There is no way a beginner can do this without creating great tension in the shoulder, and other areas of the body.

Because of muscle memory, this tension will remain, and be reinforced every time you practice. You will think the tension is normal, as you try to bend your fingers into a chord, or get them down on individual notes. This tension will affect your playing the most when you try to play smoothly, or fast.

If you can't make it through a whole song, or you have trouble playing scales fast, your problems likely started here.

2) It is an anatomical fact that the more the fingers bend, the harder it is to separate them. It is also true that to play on the first string (the thinnest string) the fingers must bend more than when playing on the lower sounding strings. So, it will be difficult or impossible for a beginner to play notes on the first string at the first fret while keeping the fingers not being used close to the string, and relaxed enough to play the notes they have to play. A beginner struggles to get from one note to the next.


If you have been playing for a while, and have a pile of songs and pieces you can't play without breaking down, the tension locked into the muscles of the hand and arm from starting to learn at the first fret is the primary reason.


The fingers must be re-trained higher up the neck, and the sensation of finger lightness must be built into the fingers. Then, certain movements must be practiced extremely slowly while relaxation of the arm and shoulder is maintained.

Free PDF Download: "7 Things That Will Change Your Guitar Playing Forever!" - learn to play guitar without pain, bad habits or struggle. Go here for instant access now >>

Want to get this training in your fingers?

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Join us on Sept 10th as a new group of guitar players gets "The Principles" training directly from Jamie herself!

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Jamie Andreas

About the author

Jamie Andreas has one goal: to make sure that everyone who wants to learn guitar is successful. After her first 25 years of teaching, she wrote the world acclaimed method for guitar "The Principles of Correct Practice For Guitar". She put everything into this method that was essential for success on guitar.
Called "The Holy Grail" of guitar books, the Principles has enabled thousands of students who tried and failed to play guitar for years or even decades, to become real guitar players.

In 2012 Jamie was profiled in "Guitar Zero" (Penguin Press 2012), a study of how adults learn to play guitar. Jamie was interviewed along with some of the worlds leading guitarist/teachers, including jazz legend Pat Martino and Tom Morello ("Rage Against The Machine").

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