Music: Practice & Theory Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for musicians, students, and enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm going through the beginning of a guitar arrangement of the first movement of Moonlight Sonata, and I'm not sure how to fret the bass notes in some cases.

For instance, there's a part where I fret an Am chord and fret an F# on the low E. It's a terrible stretch for the pinky finger, and I end up muting a few other strings.

Am I doing it right? If so, how do I do it properly?

(Bonus question: is Moonlight Sonata always played transposed on the guitar? If no, should I learn an "original" version?)

share|improve this question

I don't have my guitar with me right now. but it's probably easier to fret the F# with either your thumb, or to use the 2nd finger on f#, either that or the following:

-1- 1st
-2- 4th
-2- 3rd
-2- 2nd

Hope that helps :)

share|improve this answer
Exactly as I was writing, with the addendum that using the thumb is not "proper" classical technique, if attaining such a thing is a goal of the asker's. – Aaron Hipple Mar 4 '14 at 14:23
There's an illustration of using the thumb like this in Sor's Méthode Complète pour la Guitare. – luser droog Mar 4 '14 at 19:30
@luserdroog man, that guy is totally pulling a metal face >:( – Alexander Troup Mar 4 '14 at 20:06

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.