#1
HELP! I have learning and practicing guitar for a while now. I always get my left hand right when playing a power chord or just a regular chord, but when I strum sometimes it will sound like I am just muting the strings. I am trying to press down as hard as I can. Will it come in time? I want it to sound smooth like it should! Is there anything else I could be doing wrong? I am a girl, and I have small hands and fingers(if that would have anything to do with it). My guitar is a steel stringed. Any thoughts or ideas will be greatly appreciated! Thank you!
#2
How long have you been playing?

If just starting out then it will come with time as you develop finger strength. I have found people just starting to play will be pressing down as hard as they think they can, however often more pressure is needed then they initially thought. Practice, practice, practice and it will come!

edit: also acoustic guitar require more finger strength than electric. Starting out on acoustic will pay off in the long run with stronger fingers though
Last edited by Faux at Apr 17, 2011,
#3
Thank you. I thought that I just needed time.

Yeah, I am just starting out. It just kind of frustrating, because I want it to come out smooth. I tried last year, but gave up. But this year I really, really, really want to learn badly. I feel great, because I already know three songs, but the chords won't come out smooth xD. I will give it time and won't quit!

I noticed that when I played my friend's electric.
“Johnny Cash:Take one fresh and tender kiss Add one stolen night of bliss One girl, one boy, some grief, some joy Memories are made of this.”
#5
i think this is by far the most hardest physical and most depressing part about learning guitar.at the beginning u have to have good willpower no matter how much it ****s u of ,that u cant play etc just keep going .with in the 1st month i think a lot of people just give up but u will get over that bump it will be so good for u trust me.u play 30 mins everyday for 1 month on an acoustic i promise u will be able to play even power chords not just chords smootly.the 1st month is always hard but it will get better and better and u will love playing soooooooo much after a wile.i have played now for 4 months and tbh i look back and laugh so will u .also i respect u are learning on an acoustic and that will make it harder at the start but as the other dude said will help u amore later down the line .if u get to the stage were u are like i cant cope say cause the strings are 2 hard etc get a cheap second hand electric and tiny amp take it to a shop get low gauge strings and get it set so the strings are closer to the fret board i did something similar and i feal it really really helped me .but if u stay with the acoustiic its much better for u at this stage
#6
I am glad to know that it was just not me that has problems with that. Haha! Thank you guys so much. I will stick with it. My fingers are already starting to hurt xD! But thanks guy.

This is unrelated, but I am also new on this site. How do I get a photo to show up like you guys have(Marilyn Manson and the emo icon)? :3
“Johnny Cash:Take one fresh and tender kiss Add one stolen night of bliss One girl, one boy, some grief, some joy Memories are made of this.”
#7
yeah i remember getting that same mutting sound. i think it was because i didn't have enough muscles and enough calluses to get a clean sound. you should also note, that if you don't have calluses, the strings dig into your fingertips which hurts like hell. that forces you to press lighter than you're actually able to.

just give it time, you'll get there.
Last edited by jsync at Apr 18, 2011,
#8
also i helped my sister learn guitar, she has tiny 4 inch hands (i have like 8 inch hands). the fact that she had small hands made it especially hard for her to build up muscles.

may i suggest that you try some lighter strings, you'll probably find them easier to press. probably 9-42 gauge.
#9
try using extra light acoustic strings - they're 10's, not 9's. also get a luthier to check your guitar as the action may be high.
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#10
I forgot to mention this earlier, but this technique was crucial to my playing development. Use less of squeezing of your fingers and more of the weight of your arm to push down on the strings if that makes sense. You don't want to be squeezing the neck between thumb and fingers. The thumb should rest lightly on the back of the next with most of the pressure coming from the weight of your arm pulling your fingers down on the strings. When i first heard about this technique i found it helped my ability to play cleanly IMMENSELY.
#11
Thank you very much. I will put everything in consideration when practicing.
“Johnny Cash:Take one fresh and tender kiss Add one stolen night of bliss One girl, one boy, some grief, some joy Memories are made of this.”
#12
Quote by darkangel2444
I am glad to know that it was just not me that has problems with that. Haha! Thank you guys so much. I will stick with it. My fingers are already starting to hurt xD! But thanks guy.

This is unrelated, but I am also new on this site. How do I get a photo to show up like you guys have(Marilyn Manson and the emo icon)? :3

Click "control panel" (just below the title of this thread) And then edit avatar option to the left of your screen.

And to emphasis what others are saying, it will come with time. Perhaps stick to open chords (C A G E and D) before going to powerchords/barr chords?
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#13
I have pretty small hands for a guy and used to get so frustrated (still do sometimes) when chords do not come out clean. There's a few different things that you should know/do...

#1. Play a lot, but not too much. You want the tips of your fingers to become tough. After a day's worth of playing you should see dead skin on the tips of your fingers (I think it's called calysts or something... Idk how to spell it lol). It's fine to continue playing after you see the dead skin, but if your fingers start hurting very bad or start bleeding then stop immediately; because you want to be able to play again the next day to continue toughening up your fingers. Eventually, your fingers will become very strong and you will notice that it's a lot easier to press and hold down chords (which obviously contributes a great deal to making chords sound clean). Also, try to hold down the strings harder when you are strumming, since strumming give the strings more constant vibration which makes it harder to hold down the strings.

#2. Your fingers are flexible! Just like your legs! (to a certain extent at least...) No you won't be able to do the splits with your fingers (unless your like double jointed or something lol), but, in time, your fingers will be able to stretch further than they were able to when you started. So... Do not try to find alternates to chords, unless you seriously can't get close to being able to put your fingers on the notes.

#3. Final thing is make sure you are not dragging your hand on the strings when strumming. (i.e. only the pick should touch the strings)


Practice This: When a chord does not come out clean... Keep your fingers exactly how you have them. Then, pick all of the strings individually. This will show you which note/notes in the chord are not coming out clean, therefore, will let you know which notes need to be paid closer attention to when constructing the chord.


I hope this help! =)
Last edited by AWPtic at Apr 18, 2011,
#14
lol man I've been playing for more than ten years and I'd say power chords up the neck on an acoustic are probably the toughest thing to learn to do well! Like everyone else said it takes time and practice and it will come.

One thing I like to do to keep my arm and hand strengh up even when I can't play is use a Gripmaster. I keep it in the truck and use it while driving around and at work. I'd say it's worth a try for a beginner -

http://www.amazon.com/Gripmaster-Exerciser-Medium-Tension-7-Pounds/dp/B0006GC5D8
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#15
Somthing to consider is a short scale guitar 24"scale. The have less string tension and the frets are a little closer together. If you search around there a few companys who specialize in short scale guitars Take a tape measure and from the nut to the bridge where the strings touch, see what your scale is..Most comon are 25.5, 24 3/4, 24. This is not so common knowledge but it really does make a difference for thoes of us with smaller hands.
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