I'm new, working on learning hey there delilah, I was wondering if it's bad to slide my finger down and up the string since it's fast or if I should pick it up? Possibly a silly question, but I'm new haha

  • How bout both? When you have a fork in the road the best option is to take both, this way you are always right. Makes sense? It should, if not, try both and see.
    – Gupta
    Apr 4, 2022 at 3:33
  • I noticed that if I slide too much my nails get a small groove like they were filed down. So that might be a factor to weigh in...
    – Emil
    Apr 4, 2022 at 6:09

3 Answers 3


The big issue is that you can get noise when you drag a finger up and down a wound string.

If that's okay for the song, if that's okay for you, that's okay. If you find it annoying, and putting lotion on your callouses doesn't stop it, then pick up your fingers.

  • 1
    Some people don't seem to mind that noise. But I find it really off-putting — sometimes to the point where it's unlistenable.
    – gidds
    Apr 4, 2022 at 12:59
  • 2
    It's also worth adding that as soon as you start adding any sort of effects to the music, this drag noise will get amplified. If you've got any sort of metal-style distortion, it will become extremely obvious. Which is fine if you want it, but you don't want to learn to play in a fashion where you can't play without making it IMHO Apr 4, 2022 at 16:09

Sounds to me like there's no reason to slide up or down for this guitar part anyhow.

There's no sliding sounds on the recording, and the notes don't call for sliding up or down any string.

However, if you're determined that's what you'll do, either way will work, it's just tidier to release the string rather than have that scratchy sound - although it could be a feature of the song itself if you like. To me, often it sounds amateur though, as if it's happened through self-learning and can't be rectified.


There's a complete lesson about "Hey There Delilah" on GuitarNoise.com (not affiliated), and good tips from David Hodge for playing the many bars of D5 & F#m (emphasis mine):

Speaking of fingering, this simple progression might prove to be one of the more challenging parts of this song for some of you. And if you don’t mind a suggestion, try laying your index finger flat in a “mini-barre,” covering the first three strings at the second fret. This way you won’t have to move very much to make the change between these two chords. I usually use my ring finger to get the D note (third fret of the B string) on the D5 chord and then my pinky to get the F# note (fourth fret, D string) on the F#m. Those of you with larger hands may prefer to employ your middle and ring fingers, respectively, for those tasks, but since this progression lasts a while, I find it helps to have my middle finger help support the index finger in the barre by lying on top of it!

I find it much easier to play this song this way.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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