Fretting hand positioning problems


meloquence
Full Access
Joined: 03/27/23
Posts: 2
meloquence
Full Access
Joined: 03/27/23
Posts: 2
04/07/2023 2:50 pm

Hi 👋 


I've recently been learning the D and C major chords and have been replaying the lesson over the past few days because I'd like for it to sound exactly how it's meant to before I move on. 

I have been having trouble with making sure my fingertips are directly on the strings. I try to rotate my left hand around so that it makes my fingers more "straight on" but really struggling with accidently muting (is that the right word?) strings underneath. I find myself moving the guitar around on my lap from left to right but that's making my positioning on the fretboard incorrect because I think I'm on the right fret and I'm not because I've shifted. I've been sitting on my bed half cross-legged to try and play because it feels comfortable but could this be hindering me? 

I started off my guitar learning with some books I had where it was just finger picking with single notes and so because I was just holding down one string at at time I never had to worry if my fingers where at an angle because it didn't matter as I was only plucking one string. Maybe this put my left fingers in a bad habit of not being "front on" to the fretboard? 🤔 


Any suggestions or guidance is much appreciated 🙂


edited

•meloquence•

# 1
bartmaag
Full Access
Joined: 01/09/23
Posts: 9
bartmaag
Full Access
Joined: 01/09/23
Posts: 9
04/08/2023 3:57 pm

Hi,


I had the same problem.


For me the problem was solved by cutting my left finger nails short. :-) No joke.


Somehow the (too) long nails made the angle of the other fingers wrong.


Perhaps it helps.


 


# 2
meloquence
Full Access
Joined: 03/27/23
Posts: 2
meloquence
Full Access
Joined: 03/27/23
Posts: 2
04/09/2023 2:34 am

thanks for your reply :) Yeh I thought that might have been the case too lol but I cut them right back and still not having any luck. It's like my fingers just won't stretch far enough apart! Perhaps I'll have to try some sort of finger stretching exercises 🤔 😅


•meloquence•

# 3
RonJ66
Registered User
Joined: 02/23/23
Posts: 21
RonJ66
Registered User
Joined: 02/23/23
Posts: 21
04/09/2023 6:52 am

Yeah, I think this is a common problem.  


Personally I find as my calisus become harder, clear sounding strings happen more often.  Also as I practice I'm getting faster (At a very slow pace).  But progress is progress.  


Best of luck to you.


# 4
ArielJ
Full Access
Joined: 04/08/23
Posts: 1
ArielJ
Full Access
Joined: 04/08/23
Posts: 1
04/09/2023 5:46 pm

Piggybacking off RonJ66's comment...


For the D chord, I discovered that I wasn't pressing the high-E string down far enough because it HURTS!! So now I stop and really think about pressing that middle finger down. Now I've gone from being happy with the sound 1 in 10 times to closer to 7 in 10 times. 


I'm really looking forward to those calluses, haha!


 


 


# 5
RonJ66
Registered User
Joined: 02/23/23
Posts: 21
RonJ66
Registered User
Joined: 02/23/23
Posts: 21
04/11/2023 2:45 am

ArielJ you're so right about pressing down with fingers.  I really started to take things slow.  I move my elbow in or out.  Check my shoulders, wrist angle.  So much effects the fingers I find.


I seem to be a little more constent with everything when I place my guitar on my left leg, guitar body very straight vertacally and the neck angled up untill my wrist and hand feel natural.


BTW, my caluses are still coming in, and I can feel that my fingertips aren't as squishy alowing me to press lighter.


Really helps finding others have the same issues I do.


# 6
LisaMcC
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 11/02/06
Posts: 3,976
LisaMcC
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 11/02/06
Posts: 3,976
04/11/2023 4:53 pm

Hi meloquence, and all,


Some really good suggestions here.


I will chime in and say you should be playing in a straight-back chair, with no arms. Sitting on a bed is comfy but it completely changes the body's physical relationship to the instrument.


Try using a chair, maintaining good posture, and you should find that frees you up quite a bit to keep experimenting with those micro-adjustments need to get good postioning and good tone, with no muting of the strings. 


Hope this helps a little! - Lisa


Lisa McCormick, GT Instructor
Acoustic, Folk, Pop, Blues

Full Catalog of Lisa's Guitar Tricks Tutorials
Find Lisa on Facebook!
# 7
mariah9xx1
Registered User
Joined: 02/05/24
Posts: 4
mariah9xx1
Registered User
Joined: 02/05/24
Posts: 4
02/05/2024 3:48 am

Sitting cross-legged on your bed might be comfortable, but it might not provide the best support for maintaining proper posture and hand position. Experiment with different sitting positions and find what works best for you. wordle


# 8

Please register with a free account to post on the forum.