I know this has been asked before but not many answers so I'll bring it up again. When playing at a fast tempo and I have to switch between the 7th fret B string and the 7th fret G string, I'm not sure if rolling in the best way, jumping strings with the same finger, or using two different fingers. If I use two different fingers that works ok if I'm doing (Index B-5th) ->(Ring B-7th)->(Middle G-7th)...but I cant seem to do this pattern B-7th->B-5th->G5th. My fingers dont stretch that way. As an example. Also I've been told Clapton usually does the crossover method. Is that common knowledge ?


1 Answer 1


Generally speaking, it seems like using individual fingers instead of rolling one finger to play notes on adjacent strings produces a cleaner sound. But, sometimes this just isn't possible (or it isn't possible for the player at the time), so you do whatever you have to do. There are times when I use the same finger to play two notes on adjacent strings, "jumping," as you say, but only when I am desperate. I must confess that I don't know what the "crossover method" is, but it wouldn't be the first time that somebody told me that some common idea or technique had a name.

But, I don't see how you are playing a note on the 2nd string, then rolling down to the 3rd string; this doesn't seem like an effective technique. Rolling the finger up to the 1st string would be a more common thing to do.

I would suggest practicing this pattern that is causing problems with every fingering that you can think of; flexibility and versatility are very important skills to develop. But, in particular, I would first focus on using the pinky for the first note on the 2nd string (B string). This will allow you to play the pattern without stretching your other three fingers as much.

Next, try alternating which fingers you use for the other two notes:

$2 7 5 $3 5

Play this with the pinky first, then the middle finger, then the first finger, and also play it with the pinky first, then the first finger, then the middle finger. Now, try this:

$2 7 5 $3 5 $1 3 $2 3 $3 2

Which works better: pinky, middle, first, or pinky, first, middle? Which fingers seem natural for the last three notes?

$2 7 5 $3 5 $4 5 $3 4

And which works better for this? Which fingers work best for the last two notes?

Whenever you learn a new pattern, find a fingering that lets you play your pattern (and don't forget that you have a pinky), then look for as many other ways to play it as you can. Some of those fingerings will work better than others in some situations, and some won't work at all in some situations.

  • Good answer. It seems to me that all methods are valid and the other notes in the phrase would dictate which method is best.
    – user50691
    May 25, 2018 at 1:37

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