Hey everyone,

I've been playing guitar for about 5 years. Almost all this time I've played electric, having no interest in the acoustic, but lately Im getting extremely sick of carrying around amps every where I go, so the obvious solution, it was time to learn acoustic.

So I went and bought an acoustic guitar. A Walden Natura 560, put some new strings on it, fixed the action, all that. Then I sat down with a tab of a what should be a simple easy song (Moonlight Sonata) and behold....

Mine fingers, they function not! The are suddenly grossly inaccurate, missing the most simple of changes, and fingerpicking seems to be a non-existant skill for me. Hmm....I look at the possible problems.

Finger strength? I have lots, as I play heavy strings on my hollowbody, but lights on the acoustic. It doesnt seem to be hard to fret anything. Co-ordination I have lots of, as I've been playing for some time.

I attempt the peice on my electric, and I can play it fine, so I switch back to the acoustic, still having problems. Fretboard width maybe? The artcore is definately wider...so...

I arrived on the only thing I think of. String spacing. I play (for electric) an Ibanez Artcore TM-71 and it has a wide string spacing. I tried out my friends Epi Les Paul, which has much narrower space between strings, and I had trouble playing it as well. It was like I suddenly went back 3 years, playing all around sloppy. So this must be whats wrong, the narrower neck/string spacing on the acoustic.

I guess my question is, has anyone had this problem other than me? If so how long did it take you to adjust to this new string spacing? I have been playing this acoustic religiously for 3 weeks now, and have noticed little to no improvement? Are there any relatively easy fingerpicking exercises around that can help me build some "new fretboard" coordination?

Thanks in advance.
hmm... I use my dad's acoustic he got from a sears catalog in the 70's and I can play it fine

I say practice and you'll probably eventually get used to it.
yea...i remember when i first started playin acoustic I couldn't fret as good as I wanted compared to the electric cause the strength/endurance in the fingers wasn't there. Eventually you get used to it and you'll be playing it like its nothing. Just takes some getting used to.
American Fender Strat

Taylor 314CE

Quote by pbiggie
this guy speaks truth
Spacing is probably it more than anything. Plus it's a different guitar and you're playing in a different style. Although your brain understands the concepts, you still have to create new pathways by practicing and getting used to the new instrument.
haha. funny funny.
you might want to try a classical. its got a much wider neck and string spacing
i have my dads acoustic from Berkeley and a classical i got in spain
i used to only use the acoustic, but when i broke a string and was too lazy to fix it that instant, i picked up my classical and found it was much easier to play.
but keep practicing and eventually you'll get it =]
Punkfish is right. New guitar, new style, and new string spacing = difficult to play.

You have 5 years working against you. 3 weeks is pretty short by comparison. Just give it a little more time.
Not taking any online orders.
just gotta get used to it. You'll get better in no time.
My main axe has XJ frets and If I play a guitar on which the strings are very close toghether (like a strat) it's very very difficult for me to play something on it. You're not the only one with this problem :P
OK. Thanks for the answers guys. Glad to see I'm not the only one who has had this happen. Since I last posted, I switched from Martin Lights to D'Addario Mediums, and this has seemed to help A LOT. The guitar is feeling much more natural now, could be I'm just becoming used to it though.
I think that adapting to fingerpicking will be the most difficult part, i no for sure that i cannot for the life of me play the simplest of picked pieces with a plectrum, i need to use all three of my fingers and I even find strumming with a plectrum unnatural as i feel disconnected from the instrument.

After all the string spacing is to enable easier fingerpicking on an acoustic I think? So stick at it with the practice on your right hand especially and you'll be fine!