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Old 09-16-2013, 11:05 AM   #1
glhansen
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Fingers don't bend enough?

I am very new to guitar. In fact, I don't even have a guitar, I just bought a baritone ukulele, although guitar players would probably know all about this.

Some chords require using one finger to hold down more than one string while holding down other strings with other fingers. For instance, the F chord in this chart:

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But if I try to keep my index finger flat enough to hold down two strings, my other two fingers touch strings that they're not supposed to. If I lift my other two fingers so they're only touching one string each, I can't hold down both strings with my index finger.

Is there some trick or technique to that? Do I just need more flexibility in the fingers? I'm not sure what to do about it.
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Old 09-16-2013, 11:15 AM   #2
Dave_Mc
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it's just really a matter of practising more until you get used to it

also some chord positions are more difficult than others, too.
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Old 09-16-2013, 11:17 AM   #3
Banjocal
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as above, really.

but, OP, I would suggest SLOWLY changing between chords. And when changing, make sure that the fingers you're meant to be using that aren't barred are touching the strings by the TIPS of your fingers. You don't want to feel what happens if you end up playing with flat fingers when they should be bent.

And remember to take a break if your hands start to hurt too much.
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Old 09-16-2013, 03:53 PM   #4
glhansen
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Thank you. I guess it's reassuring even just to know that this is part of the process, that it's not just me.
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Old 09-16-2013, 03:55 PM   #5
Banjocal
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Being a musician is basically all about overcoming hurdles. They just get a little easier to jump with time.
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Old 09-17-2013, 11:07 AM   #6
Freepower
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Honestly if you're VERY new "barre" chords are going to be extremely difficult, I'm impressed you're working on them at all. Don't get downhearted! It can be very helpful to make sure the fingers are roughly opposite the thumb to make barring a lot easier.

This video might help -
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Old 09-18-2013, 11:02 AM   #7
bootsam
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If its any help I am a noob (18mnths) and to help with the barre I decided to try super slinkie strings instead of normal slinkies. It helps me a bit as I dont develop cramp so soon and I can keep practicing longer. Plus they make a nicer sound in my mind. Whether that last bit is true or just my inexperienced mind I dont know but going down a size of strings helped me out.
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Old 09-18-2013, 11:06 AM   #8
Banjocal
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^this is also excellent advice. Start with something lighter for barring, and then move back up.

I'd get some of those sqeezy gym hand builders too.
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Old 09-18-2013, 11:14 AM   #9
Slashiepie
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Strings dont matter, it is technique.
Thumb behind your middle finger, perpendicular to the neck.
Wrist should be as straight as possible.
Relax.
Post a video or a picture and we can give you more detailed advice.
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Old 09-18-2013, 11:25 AM   #10
Banjocal
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String tension and thickness plays an important role. Especially if the action is high.
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Old 10-14-2013, 10:56 AM   #11
matthfinn
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Getting your fingers used to playing chords where they need to stretch a lot is part of being new to guitar. I myself started almost a year ago and I am already used to stretching my fingers like that. It's mainly about experience and practice, if you keep playing, you'll get it eventually.
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