#1
Hi all,
Just signed up to this forum as it seems to be a great place to learn. I got a guitar 2 weeks ago to the day and am determined to learn as well as I can. Im unfortunately not in a position right now to afford lessons (very expensive around my area), but have been using Apples Garage Band, which I am finding very educational, and easy to follow. Every time I practise I can feel a little more and more progression.

I have gone over the lessons (multiple times), covering E, G, C, A, D cords and E, A, D minor cords (as well a strumming patterns and the other features it covers).

Everything seems to be going fine, however, when it comes to the C cord, I can not hit it even half as well as any of the other cords. Everytime I think I do, Im hitting some of the other strings and it sounds muted and flat. I have spent a LOT of time trying to correct my hand posture and finger placement, but I just can't seem to make any progress with it.

If anyone has any tips, or exercises I can use to better this, it would be greatly appreciated. Im not looking for a quick fix, if its anything I need to do again and again and again, Im willing to do it, as my main goal now is to get as good as I can.

Thanks for reading guys
Dan

[EDIT]
I hope thats enough information by the way. If you need to know any other info, Ill be happy to post it.
Last edited by Blashark at Jul 27, 2014,
#2
You've only been plying 2 weeks, I assume given you got a guitar, so I wouldn't go over thinking it too much: you're still barely even taking baby steps. Just keep working on it and you'll get it in time; you know what's going wrong so you know what to work on and that's quite enough for now.
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#3
yeah like he said, just take your time. make a little song with the c chord in it, instead of just practicing the chord over and over again. that way you'll get use to changing it and be pro at it in no time.

Aminor chord is a good chord to use with a Cmajor since the changes are pretty easy. you're only using your 3rd finger to change. the rest stay where they are. assuming you're doing 3 fingered chords, as you should anyways when starting out. forget the 4 finger chords and barred chords for now(that will come with experience), just start with the most basic chords and rhythms.

Amin Amin Cmaj Cmaj and repeat.

when you start getting confident in your changing, start throwing an Fmaj, or a Gmaj in there.

Amin Amin Cmaj Cmaj
Amin Amin Fmaj Fmaj
Amin Amin Cmaj Cmaj
Amin Amin Gmaj Gmaj

when you get good at changing, start using different chords/patterns/strums and keep practicing whenever you can.
#5
Thanks for the advice Zaphod_Beeblebr.

I guess I should have included that in my original message as well. I am VERY green and I understand I need to just work on it. I just don't want to get into any early bad habits. The other cords sound ok so far, but C just sounds terrible.

Quote by Manovvar
yeah like he said, just take your time. make a little song with the c chord in it, instead of just practicing the chord over and over again. that way you'll get use to changing it and be pro at it in no time.

Aminor chord is a good chord to use with a Cmajor since the changes are pretty easy. you're only using your 3rd finger to change. the rest stay where they are. assuming you're doing 3 fingered chords, as you should anyways when starting out. forget the 4 finger chords and barred chords for now(that will come with experience), just start with the most basic chords and rhythms.

Amin Amin Cmaj Cmaj and repeat.

when you start getting confident in your changing, start throwing an Fmaj, or a Gmaj in there.

Amin Amin Cmaj Cmaj
Amin Amin Fmaj Fmaj
Amin Amin Cmaj Cmaj
Amin Amin Gmaj Gmaj

when you get good at changing, start using different chords/patterns/strums and keep practicing whenever you can.


This is excellent. Thanks very much Manovvar. I'll use this to practice.

Thanks for the link sam2289, ill check it out.

REALLY appreciate the help guys!
#6
Try picking through each string you are pressing down. Figure out which ones sound bad and adjust from there. Also, when working on chord progressions, try changing chords(not cords) without strumming.If you are having a hard time with certain chords just keep going back and forth between the two. You will get better I promise! When working on something just break it into sections and take it one step at a time. Keep practicing and it will pay off!
#7
It's best to go slow, the C chord streches your fingers all over as compared to the other chords that you have mentioned. Hold the chord and pick one string at a time, the ones that sound muted adjust your hand for those. Keep at it and you'll eventually get it.

Good luck and keep us posted
#8
Quote by Blashark
....[ ]....I guess I should have included that in my original message as well. I am VERY green and I understand I need to just work on it. I just don't want to get into any early bad habits. The other cords sound ok so far, but C just sounds terrible. ....[ ]......
The first and foremost thing you should work on with technique, is that is absolutely mandatory your first finger joint, (yes, the one with the fingernail), is at right angles to the fret board. When this is correct, your fingertip will be touching just the string you're trying to fret, and no other.

Many beginners, (especially those not under the watchful eye of a good instructor), when they find fretting to be difficult, flatten their hand against the fret board for more leverage. That's when the fingertips foul other strings, and you get all the nasty buzzes and thunk where you should be getting a clean note.

Have your guitar adjusted correctly by someone knowledgeable. If you just bought it, that store may be willing to adjust the "action" for free as a part of the sale, or at worst on the cheap, to keep you as a customer. Even if you have to take the guitar in for it's first stringing, most pros will be kind enough to help you, or show you how string it with your 1st string purchase.

After that, you need to realize there is going to be some pain involved until your fingers build callouses to cope with the strain. Once your hands toughen up a bit, you'll find the stiffness of your fingertips, will easily fret notes you couldn't before.

But, remember what I said, your fingertips should be at right angles to the fretboard when you're playing. You'll be learning barre chords soon enough, and you'll need to get you wrist further below the neck to play them at all.

The fatal beginner's mistake is to have your wrist BEHIND the neck. That's when the fingers go flat against the fretboard, and a lifetime of problems with technique ensues.
#10
Thanks again guys, all great advice. I have been working harder and harder and am making progress.

Thanks to Captaincranky; the wrist adjustment was a big help and yes, as my fingers get tougher I am finding it easier. When I strum from G to C, or Aminor to C (or vica versa) Im getting a more correct sounding C. However, I'd say out of every 5 I play 3 sound ok. But this time last week it was like 1 out of every 10.

Regarding Fret Frier & TalalK, when I pick every string, its my middle finger causing a buzz on the G string, so I need to keep working on adjusting. I still catch it the odd time. In relation to that, I take it pushing the D string up slightly is a no no? When I pluck each string, after adjusting it, it sounds fine, but Im trying to get out of the habit of pushing the string up.

Thanks guys, all this advice has been great. Im getting there slowly but surely!
#11
All great advise and it sounds like you have the right attitude to take it on board.

The main ones that helped me were all said above: Wrist position, fingertips not flattened and pick each string in turn so your ear picks out the bum notes, adjust your fingers until they go.

Also, don't let that one chord swallow all of your efforts, it will come in its own time as your technique improves generally, focus on it but keep up the practice on the other stuff too so you dont get discouraged and give up not that i think you will, but you would be surprised how many people give up over things like that.