#1
Ok here is a question:

Granted I just starting practicing but here are some notable issues I am having. I am just practing a C Major and trying to get it down.

First off it doesnt take long before my fingers start hurting like hell after only a few minutes. Feels like they are being cut by cheese wire. I guess that will go away in time...I hope?

Next, when I attempt to play a C Major most of the time it sounds like crap.....like I am not holding a string down good enough and I have a hard time holding strings down with the tips of my fingers. Like my hand/fingers cant hold the position well.

I also have a nasty tendancy to slightly touch the 1st & 3rd string but it causes the note to sound BAD.

Are my hand just not made to play or will this be corrected probably with further practice? I know I am not going to sound like a pro after one or two short practices but it is just frustrating.
Best,

JP
DFW, TX
#2
Well acoustics are harder to start with, and many people have pain the first month until callouses develop. Just keeping working at holding down that string, but be careful not to push so hard as to cause wrist pain or anything like that.
Oppression, quiet and Repressed
Swept under the seams
the bed of the acquiesced
where we sleep, insomniac dreams
#3
your hands are fine to play, give it time, we all start sounding ****.

your finger skin will toughen, your forearm tendons will strengthen, youll naturally develop better form. just give it time and keep practicin.
#5
yea after about a month of good practice you feel any more pain
#6
all it takes is time to build up calluses and hand strength. also masturbation
#7
Welp............as you can see everyone whos ever played guitar has gone through that. it all just comes with practice practice practice.

just keep playing and learning songs. playing c chords will become second nature to you
.
.

.
.


.
.

.
.
#8
I appreciate the input from everyone. Its just easy to start doubting my skill or lack of. I was just getting frustrated. I huess I just expect to be able to sit down and starting playing chords well. Never gave any thought to how my fat fingers would be sloppy on the strings.
Best,

JP
DFW, TX
#9
Hold on a second here, are you sure you're not actually cutting your fingers on cheese wire? Cheese is delicious, but sometimes you have to wait until it has been completely cut before you put your fingers all over it.

When I was starting up, sometimes I sat at my computer with my guitar on my lap (like I got distracted from a tab by something else or whatever) I just practiced my slides, and you can do that with all four of your fingers.
Quote by markr17
go eat a hermanpherdite.
#10
were just the same... but more practice the more you get better

then go underground..ehehe
#11
Keep at it!! Right now you are trying to do things with your fingers that your brain has never done before (sounds stupid, I know, but its the truth). Developing muscle memory for each chord shape takes time and patience. We all have been there, so keep trying. Right now is when it is really easy to get discouraged. If you do, just come back here and get some positive support - we're ALL behind you and wish you well!!!
... SMILE! People will wonder what you are up to...
#12
Like everyone says, your finger strength and callouses will develop in time.

C Major isn't the best chord to start with as its quite a stretch for a beginner. Try E chords. You can get Emaj, Emin, and E7 all quite easily with only having to lift one finger to move between them.

Of the main open chords I personally found them harder to play in this order (from easiest to hardest)

E - D - G - A - C
#13
just keep working make sure your fingers arent already cut cause you might of done it and not notice and you just feel that it just hurts keep playing and like everyone else is saying your tips will get harder and it'll be easier
#14
I've been practicing for about 1 month now and I still have problems with C, takes me forever to get my fingers on them. However I can say there is no more pain in my fingers anymore so that will pass, I found it a good kinda pain anyway. I am trying not to get frustrated too, we both stink, everyone does at the start...All I keep telling myself is you cant rush it, there is no "quick fix" to be able to play. There is also no time line so play and have fun, I just hope the skill comes with practice.

I am at the point where I can play some chords in simple songs but it's still messy and buzzy. If you wanna compare notes shoot me a PM!! We seem to be at the same stage.
#15
Im teaching a kids how to play and the same thing happens. We have to stop every 3 minutes because his fingertips hurt.

Reasons i think it sounds like crap? you are not pressing hard enough. i understand IT ****ING HURTS haha Play Am - C till you get exhausted.

Another problem i usually see i the placement of (left) thumb. LOWER THAT THUMB!!!
I see it peeking out all the time. Place it, and DONT MOVE IT, at the center/middle of the neck.
It allows you to reach the high strings (like a D chord) aannddd gives you extra room so your fingers don't lean and MUTE the strings that are supposed to sound open.

First progression i played for about a month was:
- Em
- G (only finger 1 and 2) -
- a half ass D (again, i only used finger #1 on 2nd fret 3rd string and finger #2 on 2nd fret 1st) string.
- A

Not the easiest but they are the notes for a song i loved so i practiced it like hell. I only had a spanish acoustic guitar with nylon strings. Didnt hurt as much but the stretch was a bit too big.

I taught that to my student and then he asked me to learn "put your lights out" from santanas' supernatural

Am - C - G - F (only one finger on the 1st fret 6th string) - E
#16
yea I just had a really short practice tonight because I can barely hold a string down due to my finger tips being so numb. I am not going to give up but it is frustrating as all hell.

I honestly think I will have to break down and take professional lessons. I have absolutley zero skill with the guitar. This "teach yourself" stuff isnt working well for me. I will give it a few weeks before signing up for lessons.
Best,

JP
DFW, TX
#17
As most of the above posts have already said, just stick with it. It'll be a while before your fingers develop the callouses needed to play for extended periods. It's perfectly normal to get that 'cheese wire' feeling at first. We've all had it. This is the point where the expression "play through the pain" comes in. It'll be tough, but bear with it as long as possible until you get those callouses. If you can only bear it for 15 minutes, play for an extra 5. The sooner you get your fingers used to pressing on steel, the better.

That aside, I'd work on learning your basic chords at very least before you look into lessons. I won't try to talk you out of lessons, far from it, I think they're exremely beneficial. However, there are some basics you can learn before you take lessons that will not only put you ahead of the game, but save you money while you learn your "n00b stuff". Just try not to get frustrated and stick with it. If the Cmaj is getting to you, move on to another chord and come back to it. I remember fighting tooth and nail with the (dreaded) F chord for months before I finally got it. The trick is to find somthing else that interests you and work on that for a while, then come back to it. Sometimes it's just a matter of simple finger stregenth that holds you back, and by practicing other things, you build it up gradually and you'll find when you come back to it, it'll be a lot easier.

Take lessons if you feel it's necessary (in fact, I'd suggest it), just don't do it because you think it'll be a magic cure-all. The problem will still be there, you'll just have someone to give you advice about it. Rather, take lessons because you want to learn more about the wonderful instrument that brings us all to this forum.
#18
Keep at it. Granted, on an acoustic it will probably be slightly harder, as the neck is that bit wider, but this may not be true in all cases. Im sure you know the phrase 'Practice makes Perfect', right? Well, it really is true. Keep doing that chord and don't give up and you will have it down in no time. Sometimes, in my experience, I have found that I have failed to do something properly the first time I try, but then I leave it and go back to it a few hours or even the next day and my brain has had the chance to sub-conciously work on what I was failing at and I can do it. Granted, since my fingers have got used to the stretches involved in playing chords, I rarely have trouble with chords these days, but I fully sympathise with you. I remember failing to form the C major chord correctly when i started guitar but I worked at it.

Keep on rocking,

db
#19
There's nothing wrong with letting your fingers rest for a day or two before having another go at it. Just keep in mind that the more breaks you take, the longer it's going to take for your hands and fingers to strengthen and toughen up.
#20
I've heard of classical players soaking their fingers in vinegar before/after they play. Also using Aloe Vera gel after to stop the pain. No idea if it works.
Quote by Idiot_Son
i went to the pub. the look on the bartenders faces when they realised theyd been serving me alcohol illegally for the past two years was priceless.

Quote by stiff-upper-lip
DoGaLog, i think youv jst owned everyone on this thread and well done.
#21
well tonights practice went a bit better and a bit longer. Instead of only lasting 5 or 10 minutes I made it about 20 min. Instead of killing my fingers on C the whole time I worked on A & D and that went better!

Is there a good link to understand how to play TAB? I see there are TABs for songs here but I dont understand how TAB is read.
Best,

JP
DFW, TX
Last edited by First Spartan at Oct 28, 2007,
#22
Quote by First Spartan
well tonights practice went a bit better and a bit longer. Instead of only lasting 5 or 10 minutes I made it about 20 min. Instead of killing my fingers on C the whole time I worked on A & D and that went better!

Is there a good link to understand how to play TAB? I see there are TABs for songs here but I dont understand how TAB is read.


Why don't you just play till you get tired, go off for a bit, do something else and go back to it when your fingers feel a little better?
Surely that's better than limiting your practice because that way you'd technically still be pushing yourself to live through the pain and well, it makes sense I just can't seem to explain it in a good way, lol sorry.

As for the tab:

http://www.cyberfret.com/reading/internet-tab/index.php

I found that, it explains it decently enough. Though once you get the general idea some of it seems pretty obvious when you get into it.
Quote by Idiot_Son
i went to the pub. the look on the bartenders faces when they realised theyd been serving me alcohol illegally for the past two years was priceless.

Quote by stiff-upper-lip
DoGaLog, i think youv jst owned everyone on this thread and well done.
#23
DoGaLog, thanks for the info. That is exactly what I did tonight. I played until my fingers could not feel anything. Naturally I still wanted to practice more but everything started going down hill fast until I got to the point where I was so pissed and disqusted with myself I serioulsy thought about breaking my guitar across my knee. Of course I know it is not the instrument's fault. I need to be having fun.....not getting pissed. Its like I am having 'road rage' while practicing.

My problem is patience. I dont have any when it comes to this. I am having to learn patience now. I think to be brutally honest I feel too stupid to be playing this. I think I may have gotten in over my head. < At least that is how I feel probably due to be frustrated.

I am using this DVD/book combo called the "Hal Leonard Guitar Method Book I". While watching the DVD there is a beginning excercise where you switch between C and G. I cant seem to get it down. Two days and I am not coordinated enough to put my dang fingers on the strings. I cant keep it straight where they are supposed to go.

I am going to go have drink.

Best,

JP
DFW, TX
#24
You sound just like me when I started....my only suggestion to you is not to quit. I quit for about 3 months, never picked up the guitar and then one day forced myself to try it again. Now I play every day and love it (I don't see how it is frustrating to alot of people).

Just get use to how far apart the strings/frets are apart. Also try to get your fingers closest to the fret bars to get the cleanest sound possible. And yea it hurt a bit when I first started but after a week of playing you get use to it.

KEEP IT UP AND YOU WILL LEARN!
#25
Quote by First Spartan
DoGaLog, thanks for the info. That is exactly what I did tonight. I played until my fingers could not feel anything. Naturally I still wanted to practice more but everything started going down hill fast until I got to the point where I was so pissed and disqusted with myself I serioulsy thought about breaking my guitar across my knee. Of course I know it is not the instrument's fault. I need to be having fun.....not getting pissed. Its like I am having 'road rage' while practicing.

My problem is patience. I dont have any when it comes to this. I am having to learn patience now. I think to be brutally honest I feel too stupid to be playing this. I think I may have gotten in over my head. < At least that is how I feel probably due to be frustrated.

I am using this DVD/book combo called the "Hal Leonard Guitar Method Book I". While watching the DVD there is a beginning excercise where you switch between C and G. I cant seem to get it down. Two days and I am not coordinated enough to put my dang fingers on the strings. I cant keep it straight where they are supposed to go.

I am going to go have drink.




Oh and I had that exact same problem. I'm going to sound like everyone else but KEEP PRACTICING. I thought I was way over my head too when I first started but I am slowly teaching myself. So don't worry about it and just keep at it. I am the most uncoordinated mofo in my town and even I learned some things on my guitar. YOU WILL GET IT.....KEEP TRYING!
#26
I really think once my fingers are use to playing and dont hurt I will move along MUCH better. I notice once my fingers start getting numb then all the chords and notes go to hell. Lots of buzzing. My fingers will also touch an open string causing it not to sound.
Best,

JP
DFW, TX
#27
Quote by AiCPearlJam
You sound just like me when I started....my only suggestion to you is not to quit. I quit for about 3 months, never picked up the guitar and then one day forced myself to try it again. Now I play every day and love it (I don't see how it is frustrating to alot of people).
Sure you do, that's why you quit for three months.
#28
Just keep going. We've all been there. It seems improssible but it will improve. I remember the trouble I had playing simple open chords when I started. Took me weeks to get them sounding right. Now I move between them in a fraction of a second without even thinking about it. I couldn't not play them right if I tried. It just about repitition and practise.

Rather than just going between two chords over and over again, try a song.

Knockin On Heavens Door

Gmaj - Dmaj - Amin7 - Gmaj - Dmaj - Cmaj

That a nice chord sequence. The G to D is on of the most common transitions in music so a good on to get down. Amin7 is a very easy chord and is very similar to the dreaded Cmaj so it good practice. Then the Cmaj at the end for the challenge.