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When I play w/ simple tabs such as The GodFather which does not mark finger number or chord types, I just feel uncomfortable between notes: I'm not sure whether my hand style and the finger pressing string are correct and when my thumb should move and when it should not. Please help. I've copied the tablature below.

update marked current using finger numbers. Inside parens sign is where I'm not sure

 11 4  3  1 4  1 3   1 2  4  1     1 1 4  3  1 4  1 3  1(3 2 1)         

 1(4) 2(4)  1 4  2 3  3 1 4  2  1 4  2  2  1 1(1 2)    2 2 2(2 1)

 3  3  1 2  1   1 4  1(1)   1 4  2 3 
--------------------------------------|  repeat this part 2 times

Or should I continue my current learning of books such as "A modern method for guitar" and "Troy Stetina Metal Rhythm Guitar" and someday I'll find out howto finally? I'm not quite sure. Thanks =)

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Do you play this on an acoustic or electric? I ask because if you're playing it on an electric like I am, I'd be tempted to suggest shifting some of the positions around. Like the first section you've marked (Ab-G-Gb) I would play on the third string. – morten Apr 16 '12 at 23:07
@morten I play on an Ibanez electric guitar. I've tried your suggestion and found that it is another different fingering to learn =) – okm Apr 17 '12 at 13:56
Yeah, I was afraid it might be, although it does lead to some easy things to play in the next few bars. Since you got a good answer from @Matthew Read I'll not spend more time on this. Thanks! – morten Apr 18 '12 at 2:44
up vote 3 down vote accepted

You're relying on your pinky finger a lot, which may be adding to your discomfort. If you want to train your pinky right from the beginning that's OK but you always have the option of using it less. Particularly there are a lot of parts you're playing 1 4 1 3 that could easily be played 1 3 1 3 and so on. You don't need to assign each finger to a fret and keep it there, you can move around.

In the second bar you have:

 1(4) 2(4)

I would play this 1 3 1 3 rather than 1 4 2 4 myself. That way your fingers are always the same distance apart and you're playing the same pattern with the same fingers both times.

There are other portions I might play differently but I'd just encourage you to experiment. If something feels uncomfortable then try a different fingering. One thing you'll want to try is adjusting your fingering during a run before you need to move up or down the fretboard. It seems that you're switching fingering at the same time as you need to move, which makes the complicated parts more complicated. For example, at the end of the second bar:

2 2 2(2 1)

I'd play this as 2 3 4 3 2 instead. It's easy to adjust your fingering while playing the same note repeatedly, and then the descent is simple and not complicated by adjusting your fingering during it.

share|improve this answer
Great answer, very delightful, thanks! – okm Apr 17 '12 at 12:52

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