#1
Hi people, I've been learning guitar for a while now and I'm finding now that my chords are not as clean as I would like them to be, as my fingers are catching other strings. I have started to put my thumb more around the back of the neck and also trying to position my wrist in the same why from some videos online that teach you how to do it correctly, but I find that if the head of my metacarpal at the bottom of my index finger is touching the guitar and sometimes catching the 1st string and giving me a nasty buzz. is there anyway to avoid this or is it normal that this part of the hand should touch the guitar?
#2
Moving your thumb around the back of the neck is not a good idea. Shift the guitar to get the headstock higher and drop your left wrist.
#3
Ahh okay thanks for the tip man ill give this a go... I just hear so many contradicting things when positioning so ive never really had an official way I play
#4
One major, and critical technique issue, is the first finger joint, MUST be a true right angle to the fret board. It's something you'll likely have to pay attention to, as long as you play the guitar.

I's actually easier to fret notes with the fingertips at a lower angle, and hence the reason that so many people do it at the start, and revert back to it from time to time, even as more experienced players.

You'll find that if your fingertips are at a true right angle to the fret board when you play, you won't be fouling adjacent strings with tilted fingers.

As Mr. Bowers pointed out, you have to get the neck up higher, your thumb behind the neck, and your wrist under the level of the neck. My 1st two paragraphs explain why that is absolutely so.

Try fingering your chord shapes with your fingertips aimed as I have said above. You'll quickly see how to set your thumb and wrist location to make that happen.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Mar 12, 2015,
#5
while practice will help, and proper position not only helps make chords cleaner but can protect your wrist from injury, but have you tried a guitar with a wider neck?
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#6
Quote by Captaincranky
One major, and critical technique issue, is the first finger joint, MUST be a true right angle to the fret board. It's something you'll likely have to pay attention to, as long as you play the guitar.

I's actually easier to fret notes with the fingertips at a lower angle, and hence the reason that so many people do it at the start, and revert back to it from time to time, even as more experienced players.

You'll find that if your fingertips are at a true right angle to the fret board when you play, you won't be fouling adjacent strings with tilted fingers.

As Mr. Bowers pointed out, you have to get the neck up higher, your thumb behind the neck, and your wrist under the level of the neck. My 1st two paragraphs explain why that is absolutely so.

Try fingering your chord shapes with your fingertips aimed as I have said above. You'll quickly see how to set your thumb and wrist location to make that happen.



Thanks for this, great advice. is like am almost trying to be parallel with my hand to the neck so the right angle makes sense and hopefully this will help me out
#7
Quote by patticake
while practice will help, and proper position not only helps make chords cleaner but can protect your wrist from injury, but have you tried a guitar with a wider neck?


Hi mate, thanks for the reply. No I've never tried a wider neck I use a Yamaha APX5A not sure if this neck is wide or not as its really the only guitar I've ever played. what are some good acoustic with wider necks?
#8
it's a 1 11/16" nut, which means a narrower neck than i will buy.

the seagull S6 has a wider neck, which i really like, as does any classical guitar - although they tend to be very wide, too wide for my taste. the blueridge A models have a 1 3/4" nut, so a little wider, while the blueridge and eastman parlor guitars have a 1 7/8" nut. a lot of martin 0, 00 and 000 size guitars have nut widths ranging from 1 3/4" to 1 7/8", although i believe the X series models have the slender nut.

i could keep going, but you can see the nut width easily by checking guitars at elderly.com - 1 11/16" is standard, and too thin for my preferences - 1 3/4" is doable, 1 13/16" and 1 7/8"s are my favorites, and most classicals (those that aren't hybrids or smaller models) range from 2" to 2 1/4".
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
#9
Try to make a good circle, and touch the tip of your thumb with the tip of your index or middle finger. That's basically the position your fingers need to be in to play.

Practice doing one note at a time, anywhere on the neck, with each finger. Make sure you have your fingers mostly at a 90° angle to the neck. It's not always possible to get a perfect 90°, but you can keep it very close most of the time. Try that with each finger, moving up one fret with each. Then back down. Your hand will stay in one place, just fret a note with one finger then the next, on the next fret, then back down. Try to keep it accurate so you don't mute the next string, and play that string too. Often it won't sound good, you won't be playing all harmony notes, but good harmonies are not the idea.

I wrap my thumb sometimes, sometimes I press it against the middle of the back of the neck, depends on what I'm doing. For a 1st fret F chord, for example, I'm usually wrapping my thumb. Other times it's pressed against the back of the neck.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...
#10
Quote by Paleo Pete
Try to make a good circle, and touch the tip of your thumb with the tip of your index or middle finger. That's basically the position your fingers need to be in to play.

Practice doing one note at a time, anywhere on the neck, with each finger. Make sure you have your fingers mostly at a 90° angle to the neck. It's not always possible to get a perfect 90°, but you can keep it very close most of the time. Try that with each finger, moving up one fret with each. Then back down. Your hand will stay in one place, just fret a note with one finger then the next, on the next fret, then back down. Try to keep it accurate so you don't mute the next string, and play that string too. Often it won't sound good, you won't be playing all harmony notes, but good harmonies are not the idea.

I wrap my thumb sometimes, sometimes I press it against the middle of the back of the neck, depends on what I'm doing. For a 1st fret F chord, for example, I'm usually wrapping my thumb. Other times it's pressed against the back of the neck.


Hi dude, thanks for your advice Ill give this a go, sometimes its more my hand touching the High e string when changing chords so keeping it at 90 will help me avoid doing this
#11
If you keep at it, you'll do better with some practice. I've been playing over 50 years and still muffle strings accidentally now and then, if I'm not careful. I like to practice on t hings that make me try to play as accurate as possible. Especially finger picking stuff that includes chords and leads. Probably the hardest one for me was the open D chord, getting the ring finger to stop muffling the E string took some practice. I also do a lot of open G doodling, and look for songs and riffs that have to be as clean as possible. For example rather than playing the whole chord at once, play all the individual notes one at a time and everything has to sustain. you can do this with a D chord moving it up and down the fretboard, and other chords too. As you work with it you'll think up things that will work for practicing accuracy.
Hmmm...I wonder what this button does...