Ground   Techniques   Scales   Chords   Theory & Mapping   Reading   Systems   Nucleus  

Finger Labels & Position

Core Location: Ground

I use the terms motor & fretting hand, rather than left & right. It took some practice, but I got there, sometimes resorting to "left" and "right" if a student needs that language.

finger labels and position

Motor Hand

p = pulgar i = indio, m = medio, a = anular, c = chiquita. These are Spanish terms. Way to remember: p-iMac.

Fretting hand

T = Thumb.


Position = location of the fretting hand, based on which fret the index is located. If your index is located at the 5th fret on the fretboard, you are in 5th position.

Finger-Fret Assignments = when in a position, each finger gets a fret. If the index is at fret 5 (5th position), it will play the 5 frets on every string, the 2 finger plays the 6 frets, the 3 finger plays the 7’s, & the pinky plays the 8’s.

Position is often indicated with Roman Numerals (I, II, III, IV, V, etc.). We will indicate positions with P1, P2, P3, etc.

Shifting is changing positions.

When a finger goes outside of normal finger-fret assignments, this is extension. When a finger goes inside of normal finger-fret assignments, this is contraction.