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?)

1 Answer 1


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 :)

  • 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. Commented Mar 4, 2014 at 14:23
  • There's an illustration of using the thumb like this in Sor's Méthode Complète pour la Guitare. Commented Mar 4, 2014 at 19:30
  • 2
    @luserdroog man, that guy is totally pulling a metal face >:( Commented Mar 4, 2014 at 20:06

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