Hey everyone,
I just started playing the guitar about a week ago. I found an older one in a closet, put new strings on it, and tuned it. Now the hard part is trying to figure out how to play it! I've been starting with basic chords. I can do an E-major chord pretty well, but I've tried the C-major chord and the D-major chord and they sound awful.

My problem is where exactly to place your fingers, how hard to push down on the string etc. When I play a chord, some chords make a metallic off-tune sound because I'm not pushing down hard enough, some just make a dull thud sound. I've tried moving my fingers, pushing down with different parts of my fingers, but I don't seem to able to fix the problem at all.

I was wondering could help with this. Thanks in advance!
It sounds like your fingers may be touching strings other than those which are ment to be played. Make sure that when you have your hand in the chord position that your fretty fingers arn't touching anything other than the note they are supposed to
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Thanks for the reply. I figured it was something to do with that...how exactly should you place your fingers so that they don't hit anything else and actually sound like a chord?
press the strings with the tips of your fingers. try to get your fingers perpendicular to the fretboard, (coming straight down on). put your fingertips directly behind the fret, (the metal bar on the fretboard). place your thumb in the middle of the neck positioned behind the middle finger. appegiate each note (play each string of the chord one at a time) and make sure there is no buzzing. practice chord progressions - moving from one to another smoothly.

try this site to find chords and how they should sound:

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One thing you can do is when you think you have positioned your hand right for the chord, play each note separately. They you can see which string is not being held hard enough or is being touched by another finger. Move finger that is touching the other string, or push fingers harder (depending on which of the 2 problems it is). And the chord will work. I used to have that problem with all chords (in first week of playing) because I did not push hard enough on strings. I thought my guitar was broken. LOL. I now only ever have that problem with barre chords. (don't worry if you don't know what barre chords are. If you have a teacher he/she will show you them eventually, if you don't have a teacher, post here on UG asking what they are and how to play them after you have played for about 4 to 6 months.)

I forgot to tell you this, has nothing to do with chords but is common beginner mistake. Don't hold your left thumb (left if you are playing normally, right if you are playing left handed) push to hard on the guitars neck, or it will slow your hand down when you move it up and down neck. Your thumb can rest on neck though, let it rest comfortably. Just don't try to hold onto the neck with it.

Tiarella Jones also has some good advice. (post above mine)

If you have any problems or are unsure on something private message me and I will do my best to help.
Last edited by kilbie at Jan 12, 2007,