I've been teaching this kid a month and he is having a hard time now that i started to introduce him to (open) chords because his finger are....a little too fat

Today I showed him Em and finger 2 kept hitting the G string or his whole finger 1 wont arc and mute everything (i'll post a demo picture later).

I never had this problem with a student so i dont know what to do. I had to stop and tried to teach him "smells like teen spirit" with 5 chords (just root and fifth using 2 fingers) and he got it but again had a little problem since he cant arc his hand.

Since lesson 1 i showed him the 1 2 3 4 (and now 5) down on each string and he is good with that.

Well help me out. because if he doesnt get it in a while, i wont know what to do and i dont wanna look like im milking his parents money.
recommend he switches to bass. it's just as good as guitar and maybe a little funner.
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Did you try explaining to him that he might be able to better manoeuvre and position his fingers if experimented with different postures and guitar angles?

We all know trying to manipulate your hands and fingers when you start out seems nigh on impossible, so keep giving him positive and empathetic encouragement.
have him use his 3 and 4 fingers on the Em
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Is it on an electric guitar? Maybe he could try a classical where there is more space on the neck and the strings are thicker. Yes I know, it'd be a pain in the ass for him or his parents to have to go out and buy one if he hasn't already got one. Just a thought tho.

Cuz if he can play those "squashed up" chords on that guitar, he then might find it easier to transfer to the electric or acoustic maybe?

Also, maybe just get him to concentrate on using just one finger at a time. So the 1st on the 2nd fret A string, reomove. Then the 2nd on the 2nd fret D string, remove. Making sure the other open strings ring.
Last edited by mdc at Mar 3, 2009,
his thumb look where it is when he plays I have had this problem with students and its usually the thumb. they like to place the thumb on the very top and choke the neck. Get him to move his thumb lower like in the middle of the neck it allows people to curve there fingers a lot more.
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For once I'm thankful for my incredibly girlish noodle fingers.

Maybe a guitar with a longer scale length would suit him?
If not, then try different fingerings of the chord? Or analyze his thumb position, as others have said, it may be too high.
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I think Shawn Lane had stubby Fat fingers at the end of his career but he still managed to shred. Your student has to try different ways to angle his fingers and hand. It takes a while to get used to. Different guitars have different neck widths too.
i've had fat fingers my whole life and i don't have any issues with what you're mentioning. first and foremost your student needs to practice PROPERLY on his own time. he can't expect to just play 1 hour a week and get better in a month. sounds like you need to sit down and physically arc his hands and show him how to hold his fingers. i did this to myself when i first started playing and realized when i was squelching strings that i needed to fix how i played.