#1
Hey guys, I've been having trouble playing my new acoustic. I've always played electric with low guage strings, and now that I'm so used to it, I have trouble pressing down the strings on the acoustic. Are there any exercises that can train my hands to hold more pressure and control?
#2
I don't have any advice, but if it makes you feel better, I've been playing for 8+ years and still have trouble playing acoustic guitars.
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#3
Maybe you should set up your guitar,lower the action.As for string gauge-in my opinion you shouldn'nt be going under 11.
#4
well ive been playing for about 4 or 5 years, but not hammering it out like 4 hours a day...i can construct a song but my hands wont help me! hahah
#5
Play more acoustic. It's possible that the action on your acoustic is abnormally high because of neck warping, but more likely than not it's just that your hands aren't strong enough. I've been playing daily for several years and sometimes just playing barre shapes on acoustic in low positions will wear my hand down after an hour or two.
#6
You could try building up your finger strength by using even heavier gauges such as 13's on your acoustic for a while. You'll suffer in the beginning, but it's definitely worth it later on.
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#7
I had this problem as well, mainly being an electric player. What I did was keep the action nice and low, which always helps, and dropped the string gauge from 12s to 11s.

Given that I didn't enjoy playing my acoustic before this I think it's a good idea to change string gauge. That little bit less of tension has made a massive difference. Give it a try and see what happens - and think about whether you need to make a truss rod adjustment.
#8
the action seems fairly low, i honestly wouldnt go much lower than it is right now. i would also go with 13s to build strength, but id much rather just be comfortable with some 11s. i cant actually tell what the guage is right now, but it seems abnormally heavy thats for sure.
#9
Quote by Van Jensen
Are there any exercises that can train my hands to hold more pressure and control?




Here
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#10
The average acoustic usually comes with 12's on them. It may feel abnormally heavy, but if you mostly play electric, it WOULD seem that way.
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#11
ahh, the varigrip seems pretty handy...
that was terrible. but i may very well invest in one!
#12
Quote by Van Jensen
ahh, the varigrip seems pretty handy...
that was terrible. but i may very well invest in one!


Yeah, I found it easy enough to get to grips with....

See the grey bit? That is rubber. You take it off, put it over the finger bits, under where it was are simulated strings, so you can keep your callouses up.
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#13
Oh also, I forgot to mention, think about what you're trying to play on the acoustic. Shred etc ain't gna work too well with a standard setup and heavy strings.

As for varigrip and stuff like that, well, I came across a website that had really good hand and finger exercises. Some required a guitar but others you could do anywhere.

Not specifically for strength but a good one was to hold your hand on a table, like the hand in the Addams family (or at the same angle a pianist does) with all your finger tips touching a table. The exercise is to move each finger independently - as in pick up one finger at a time in whatever order. It can actually be quite difficult, but since you can do it anywhere it's a great little exercise. Something for lessons/lectures/car journeys etc.

EDIT: actually not like 'Thing' from the Addams family, just googled an image and it isn't right!

you want your arm to be parallel to the surface, and apply some pressure with your fingertips but not as much as it seems 'Thing' does. The only thing I can immediately think of (which isn't a good sign) is imagine what you do with your hand when you're squeezing a girl's tit. Keep that hand position, put it on a table, and apply some pressure.

(God I'm crap at explaining things!)
Last edited by Duv at Sep 30, 2010,
#14
Quote by Duv
Oh also, I forgot to mention, think about what you're trying to play on the acoustic. Shred etc ain't gna work too well with a standard setup and heavy strings.

Oh hush.

It seems to me that changing string gauges would just be skirting the issue. The only way to resolve the problem is to play regularly.
#15
Quote by GC Shred Off
Oh hush.

It seems to me that changing string gauges would just be skirting the issue. The only way to resolve the problem is to play regularly.


Sure, in the long-term. But it sounds like it could be a case of (what I had) which was I took no pleasure in playing my acoustic when it had .012s, so I changed down to .011s and play it regularly, my finger/hand strength will increase over time, and then I can move back up.

Walk before you can run. Get used to the acoustic with a bit more tension rather than diving in headfirst. Taste your food before you add salt. That kinda thing.
#16
Quote by Duv
Walk before you can run.

I hear ya'. For a newer player I would have been more inclined to agree, but as TS has been playing for 4 or 5 years, I have faith that he can grind it out for a month or so.

Neither is wrong though, as long as it doesn't stop you from playing, TS.