The Sweet Spot on My Fingers

Sweet spots are something guitarists often talk about, but mainly in reference to pickup height or settings on amp/effects.

Well, I think there are sweet spots on your fretting fingers.

It’s a tiny area that’s very close to the finger nails.  To hit them, I have to fret in such a way that the fingers pretty much fall perpendicular to the strings/fretboard.  It’s not always possible, especially with the index and pinky, if I’m barring or stretching.  And the spot on the pinky is so tiny, it takes very conscious practice to fret with the sweet spot.

Now, to tell you the truth, I’m not sure if there is a direct tonal impact from fretting with the sweet spots — but there are impacts on your sound because it makes you connect to your instrument better.  Namely:

  1. Control: fretting with the very tip of the finger gives greater, easier control of the string.  It seems as I can somehow move the finger with greater ease when it’s pivoting on the sweet spot.  I have the greater command on both bending and sliding, and tiny movements come through as micro pitch variations.  Each note seems to have more character.
  2. Feeling: for some reason fretting with the sweet spots make me feel better, happier.  I’m not kidding!  It’s not a dramatic effect, but it does affect my mood in a positive way.  There must be nerve endings or meridians or something.

You can call me crazy, but I’ve been aware of it for a while now, and when I’m warming up and practicing slowly, I focus on good fretting “posture” for my left hand so that I can consistently hit the sweet spot.

It always brings me such a joy when I hit it, particularly the one on my pinky, the first time each day — sometimes I just stand there and grin, feeling the good feeling oozing up from my pinky.

Maybe I’m crazy, but hey, it’s better than drugs!

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