Plucking and fretting

Yousician team 1 min read

Next up in our Guitar 101 Series, we’re going to explain plucking and fretting.


Plucking is the act of using your playing hand finger(s) to pluck the strings of your instrument. You can use your thumb for this to start practicing this technique.

Rest your thumb on the thickest E-string, and pluck down. Avoid plucking out – instead, focus on plucking down. Try this a few times, making sure to land on the next string down after each pluck. This will reduce the amount of movement and save you time.

Be sure to anchor your wrist on the bridge and have a loose wrist.


The next challenge is to combine both hands in action by adding fretting. Fretting is the action of pressing down on a string on the fretboard to make a different note and change the pitch of the string. Make sure to press down next to metal strip. If you finger the fretboard too close to the previous fret, it will cause some buzzing. Be sure to keep a natural curve to your finger as well so you’re pressing down with your fingertips.

You can learn more about how to read the fretboard in this blog post.

You can watch our First Guitar Lesson for Beginners video below – check out the description for time stamps to easily access the section about plucking and fretting.


Other Articles in the Guitar 101 Series

Anatomy of a Guitar

Tuning the Guitar

How to Hold the Guitar

Introduction to Chords

Love Song Chords

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