Practical Intervals in Guitar Improvisation  


Human Encounter





2011 Single


165 fingering positions you should know for guitar improvisation
by Salim Ghazi Saeedi, Feb 2011

Introduction / Table of Contents / Previous / Next

Same String Jumps

In playing any interval, you can jump on one string backward or forward with one finger. Jumping with one finger across strings should be avoided. Refer to "Across String Long Jumps" section below. Please note that you should make difference between a jump and slide. They sound different and feel different; mainly because in a slide, the second note has always a lower accent.

Across String Long Jumps

Apart from normal fingerings described above, long intervals (more than 1.5 octave) or really long intervals (even more than 2.5 octaves) have to be played with long jumps. This is not really that much complicated as it may seem at first. Actually it is rather easy if jumps are done by special fingers for each case as described below. All following items are also presented in a video as follows.


Long descending jumps across strings

Index finger as first finger

When index finger is the first finger, the second finger in a long descending jump can usually be middle finger. It is a really cool fingering ;)

Middle, ring or pinky finger as first finger

In long jumps from middle, ring and pinky fingers, the index finger is always preferable.

Long ascending jumps across stings

Index and middle finger as first finger

Unlike descending jumps in which the hand and wrist position remains stable during the jump (regardless of the distance the hand may travel) the ascending jump is a different story. In a long ascending jump, the wrist is not able to rotate anymore; so the hand has a more limited movement in comparison to a long descending jump.

In a long ascending jump from an index or middle finger, use ring or pinky finger as second note's fingering. However in cases you use ring finger you usually have to do a little "slide-in" to reach a stable left hand position. Of course such a slide will sacrifice the 2nd notes accent, but it always results in a stable fingering.

Ring and pinky finger as first finger

In long ascending jumps with ring or pinky as first finger, it is usually preferable to use middle finger to "slide-in" to higher notes. Since middle finger is longer than index finger, it usually results in a more stable landing point.

( For viewing Guitar Pro Files download DGuitar or GuitarPro)

Back to Table of Contents

More Links