Videos on fretting principles

On @tommo’s recommendation I’ve decided to re-post this video from my book thread to the Show and Tell category, so that it might be viewed by more of the community.

This video introduces an important gripping concept that to my knowledge, has not been discussed in depth in previously available guitar instruction.

If there are questions about this concept I will answer them here. I intend to make short videos highlighting some things I look for when studying a player’s fretting posture, the hand at rest and a response video to @Frylock’s post discussing my initial impressions of Segovia’s fretting posture based upon those ideas.

Everything, of course, will be treated in more depth in the book.


Awesome thank you very much! I was very intrigued by your suggestion that stretches can be incorporated while using the “power grip”. So whenever you have time, if you could elaborate on that it would be great :slight_smile:


A few more videos. The first discusses the idea of the hand at rest, which I feel is of crucial importance.

The next video discusses the idea of using the strength of structures to oppose our muscular force.

I’ll make a few videos on stretching and developing flexibility later @tommo.


I really appreciate these videos. Very helpful insights. Thank you.


Applying the resting fretting hand to the guitar neck.

Stretching and flexibility of the hands and fingers.


This is one thing that I intuitively applied in my fretting from very early on. In particular, I tend to tend to point my thumb toward the neck joint more than “conventional wisdom” prescribes so that the thumb MCP joint’s passive resistance to torque and flexion beyond a certain range provides a relatively passive opposing structure.

Another activity where this general principle of exploiting strength of structures gets applied is rock climbing. Using extended legs as rigid members compressed between two surfaces is one textbook example of energy conservation in rock climbing. Another is hanging from the structural tensile strength of relatively relaxed extended arms (versus bent arms).

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A lot of people do, even people who’ll tell you that “the correct posture” has a pinching aspect.

I’ve done a little climbing, I started indoor climbing in January. Not long enough at it to be any good at all.

A Quick question:

What would be a good stretching “schedule”? I tend to overdo things like that, because I am otherwise worried that I don’t do it enough to have an effect. But that might hurt something…

Great vid!


EDIT: Just to clarify, I mean the stretching excercises you display in the “Stretching and Flexibility” vid, specifically the ones with maintaining abduction while adding flexion/extension.

Playing Allan Holdsworth ))
You whether get nice stretch or go to hospital after this

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No more than a few minutes a day. Shake out the hand well before and after. Hold each stretch for just a few seconds. Stretch far enough to feel a stretch, not to feel pain.

Regular, light stretching is much more beneficial than stretching to the point of pain. We’re want our hands to be able to move themselves into these positions comfortably under their own strength.


Thx! That is very helpful

Helpful, I come from a Flamenco/Classical background and always wondered why steel string players had their thumb looped over the top. The steel string fretboard is also much narrower and the neck thinner making this more possible, it is more difficult with a classical guitar in my experience, but for steel string this makes a lot of sense. Gracias.

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I’ve only watched the first video so far - AMAZING INSIGHT!!!

There’s been some discussions about the left hand on the forum that have touched on this. Thanks to Cracking The Code not only I fixed my right hand problems but it gave me the energy to find and fix my left hand problems too.

The damage that the “classical” posture has inflicted is enormous.

Inspired by CTC, I started to watch the left hand positions of the players I like, like Clapton, and totally changed my approach. My left hand now goes into a “violin” shape, or even a “handshake” with the thumb over the neck.

Gone is the weird almost right-angle in the wrist that results from trying to apply the “classical” posture to an electric guitar hanging from a strap.

Edit: watched all the videos, great stuff. Can’t wait to have the book! :wink:

I would be curious on study of the type of hand shape and finger length, and if one is double jointed or not ,and how that effects things. I think studying these things and what the differences and what strengths the different structures have would be very interesting.