#1
Especially for chords involving barring, I often have to press down my fingers REALLY hard, so much that hurts my hand muscles. Note I'm not saying my fingers. My fingers feel fine and they're calloused enough to handle just about anything: sliding, barring, etc. It's just my hand muscles (like inside my hand or around the palm) tighten up so much that it hurts. (The pain is very similar to a charlie horse if you know what that is, but it's not as extreme as it.) While I'm pressing the string down firmly, even the slightest loosening of strength causes the strings to kind of do a dull buzz.

I'm pretty sure it's just my guitar since practically on any other guitar I play just fine with no pain problems at all. I do feel like my action is a bit high as I'm still just using the action my guitar came with when I first bought it. However, I've heard that higher action results to more volume from your guitar, so maybe I should just cope with it?

So what should I do? Should I try going to a guitar technician to lower my action? Or perhaps should I just try strengthening my hand? Or maybe there's something else that could be a solution this problem that I'm overlooking? Post your comments and suggestions please! I'd really appreciate it.

And if you're wondering, this is my guitar model:
http://guitars.musiciansfriend.com/product/Seagull-25th-Anniversary-Dreadnaught-Guitar?sku=516401
I've seen some reviews and forum posts about it saying the model came out of the factory with its action a bit too high, so I do have a suspicion it may be the action.
#2
Well you would know if the action was high. It's the distance between the strings and the fretboard.

Otherwise you'll just have to play until your muscles in your hand develop more until it doesn't hurt to push down the strings anymore. Now note that holding chords down takes more strength from your hand to push down than soloing - you are holding down more strings at a time. If you spend more time soloing than playing chords, it's a matter of practice.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#3
Quote by AlanHB
Well you would know if the action was high. It's the distance between the strings and the fretboard.

Otherwise you'll just have to play until your muscles in your hand develop more until it doesn't hurt to push down the strings anymore. Now note that holding chords down takes more strength from your hand to push down than soloing - you are holding down more strings at a time. If you spend more time soloing than playing chords, it's a matter of practice.


Well I pretty much spend equal time with soloing and chords since I play solo fingerstyle which commonly mixes between both styles. It's not that I have problems with chords, but I'm pretty sure it's the action on my guitar.
#4
Can you measure between the top of the 12th fret and the bottom of your low E string? The measurement would need to be accurate down to at least the 1/32nd of an inch.
#5
it could easily be your guitar - most guitars can benefit by a trip to the luthier to be adjusted to suit the player. the luthier can cut/lower your nut and lower your saddle, and every seagull i've played (including my own) can use a bit of lowering.

that will probably take care of it, but if not, try extra light strings. there's no advantage to hurting your hand, and you will still build some strength with lighter strings and better action, but you'll be able to play longer.
#6
Quote by jimtaka
Can you measure between the top of the 12th fret and the bottom of your low E string? The measurement would need to be accurate down to at least the 1/32nd of an inch.


Measure the height of the top of the first fret to the bottom of the low E string as well. I suspect that it probably has a high cut nut slot. A lot of companies do this because different players prefer different heights for their respective styles. By leaving it high, it allows the player to choose their setup. You can always shave off some of the nut slots, but it's hard to make the nut slots higher.

My 25th anniversary flamed maple Seagull also has pretty high action. It's about 1cm at the 12th fret. Not sure how high it is at the nut, but it's not easy to barre.
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#7
Hey TS, weren't you the one who I directed toward that guitar a couple months back? If so, glad to see you finally got it! And if not, nice choice! I love that guitar

As has been said above, check your action. If you have smaller hands, the Seagull's wider neck could be a contributing factor, but I wouldn't bank on it.
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