#1
So after a 6 year hiatus i've got back into playing my Fender acoustic guitar. Now i don't know if this is my technique, lack of experience, or my guitar.

It seems that i have to put really excessive amounts of finger pressure down on the strings with my left hand to make contact with the fret wire and allow me to play chords properly. I can't put down enough pressure to push the string down far enough without causing severe agonising pain and this results in either muting the string or causing buzzing. Some chords such as A major are nigh on impossible because i can't get my first finger near enough to the fret wire to contact it regardless of how hard i press down.

Is this because i've not build up the tolerance in my fingers, or is it that the wires need replaced with lighter ones maybe? Is the action possibly too high? They're steel ones for reference. I never found this guitar easy to play especially compared to the ones i learned on in lessons years ago, hence why i stopped playing for so long.
#2
looks like guitar shopping is in your near future ! lucky you !
need more gear and a lot more talent(courtesytuxs)
#3
Quote by stepchildusmc
looks like guitar shopping is in your near future ! lucky you !

You think it's the guitar being incompatible with me as opposed to just needing to get better technique/tolerance of the pain?

I was already looking at buying an electric guitar a few months from now but in the mean time i'd like my current one to be a bit more playable.
#4
i would suggest lowering the action,put some lighter strings on and possibly get it professionally set up. Aside from building calluses on your fingertips that's pretty much all you can so besides getting a new guitar.
#5
Quote by strat-O-matic92
i would suggest lowering the action,put some lighter strings on and possibly get it professionally set up. Aside from building calluses on your fingertips that's pretty much all you can so besides getting a new guitar.

I had a feeling these are things i should try. I know it's meant to hurt at the start but at the minute it's about 5 minutes i can play for before it's agonising and i have to drop it until the next day.
#6
When was the last time you had that guitar set up by a professional luthier? The action may need tweeking, the neck mad need some adjustment.
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#7
Quote by MikeBmusic
When was the last time you had that guitar set up by a professional luthier? The action may need tweeking, the neck mad need some adjustment.


Never. Bought it off the shelf when I was 15 and never adjusted anything. The action seems high, when I push a finger down at the far end of a fret the string won't contact the fret bar regardless of the pressure applied. To me that doesn't seem right as some chords are rendered impossible to play cleanly without muting or buzzing some strings.
#8
I think (actually I'm sure) it is two things:

The nerves have grown back into your fingertips, and it will take them a while for them to retreat again. I once stopped playing fretting styles for about four weeks, and it hurt a bit when I went back to it. This just needs patience and practice, maybe with light (11-something) strings until you get desensitised again.

The guitar needs a set up. It is possible that the geometry of the guitar has deteriorated to the extent that a decent set up can't be done (ie relief set correctly, but not enough saddle left), so you might have to invest in another guitar if you really want to start playing again. You can always turn the Fender into a lap steel if this is the case. That don't hurt the fingers either.
#9
you should be able to put pressure to make the notes sound. Is it just chords or individual notes that you can't make sound as well.

I vote guitar setup as well -

I wouldn't suggest lighter strings. You can definitely build endurance to medium guitar strings after consistent practice. Sometimes the lighter strings will make the guitar sound like a bit thin if you ask me; i'd just want to practice with medium, but of course, you don't want to quit playing because your not enjoying. So it's your call.

Just for curiosity, I'd be curious to see a pick of the neck action from the side if you'd want to post it.
#10
Gents, I will post a photo tonight if i can. I'm aiming to take this to a local expert tomorrow in a bid to have his opinion on it and hopefully he can make some changes that will benefit me.

Pain i can tolerate, but this is something else. If i play an A chord my three fingers are obviously too close to have them all up against the fret wire so the first finger is towards the other end of that fret, and no matter how hard i press down that string isn't going to cleanly contact the fret wire and thus muting or buzzing occurs.
Last edited by bennett346 at Jul 18, 2014,
#11
As the others have indicated... If the guitar has sat, strung, and tuned to tension for some years, it's very likely that the neck has pulled up to the point that it's uncomfortable/impossible to play.

Another possibility...Stored under conditions of less-than-optimal humidity... The bridge area may well have pulled up as well... Compounding the problem.
Usually, a spate of proper humidification and gradual tweaks of the truss rod will restore these things to normal.... But often on older guitars you see things so bad that the only recourse is a neck reset.. Likely costing more than your instrument is worth.
Wait with fingers crossed for the diagnosis from your tech.
#12
Sounds like this guitar needs a set-up. That means you have two options. Option A: Do some research and learning, spend some money on a few tools such as: an allen wrench, nut files, feeler gages and some sandpaper and do it yourself. Here is a good reference. http://thbecker.net/guitar_playing/guitars_and_setup/setup_page_01.html

Option B: Take it to a shop and pay a luthier to do it for you.

Setting up a guitar isn't difficult by any means and all the tools you need can be had for less than $50, but it is time consuming tedious work and you'll need to do some research to make sure you have a good grasp on it before you attempt anything.
#13
Just an update to this i took it to a local guitar expert and he said the action was way too high and he's putting new strings on it for me and taking the action down for a nice price.