For example here is a snippet from moonlight sonata.


There are two open strings here with a pretty big gap in between them. How should this be played?

  • 5
    Are you trying to play with a pick? Don't.
    – user28
    Sep 5, 2012 at 4:32
  • 1
    On guitars, picking allows to play fast, but with a lower "sound quality". Playing with nailless fingers allow to play several strings simulaneously, but without speed or sound clarity. Playing with nails enables to play fast with precision and changeable (potentially amazing) sound quality. But it takes time and care to keep your nails in the needed shape and surface state. The latter is used for playing "classical guitar". The piece you mention is a classical one, and can definitely be played on a classical guitar. Sep 13, 2012 at 8:23

3 Answers 3


If you are using a pick, you can use a hybrid picking technique (or sometimes called pick and fingers).

from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_picking

Hybrid picking is a guitar-playing technique that involves picking with a pick and one or more fingers alternately or simultaneously. Hybrid picking allows guitar players who use a pick (plectrum) to perform music which would normally require fingerstyle playing


Thumb on one. Index, middle, or ring on the other.


The fact that the guitar has six strings each tuned a 4th (or 3rd) apart means that large gaps like this can be relatively painless.

In this particular instance, you can trust the tablature that is displayed below the notes: don't fret with your left hand at all, just pluck both strings simultaneously with two different fingers on your picking hand (the thumb can reasonably be used for the lower note). This is a piece of classical literature, so you can safely assume it is intended to be played on a nylon-string guitar without a pick.

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.