#1
Hi guys, been lurking for a while but first post here. So, I have small hands. I'm 5 foot 3, I can just reach a 9th on a keyboard (been playing piano for twelve years) and my fingers are thin enough that all of my fingers (minus thumb) fit into the space between the nut and the second fret. I can just barely put my index finger on the first fret and my pinky on the fifth. I've only been playing for a couple of weeks, so I know that stretching will help a lot (although you'd think the twelve years of piano would have done that already). In the meantime, is it bad technique to fret with the outer sides of my index and pinky fingers? Half the time I can't reach the frets without rolling my fingers outwards or physically pulling my fingers onto the frets with my right hand so that's what my fingers naturally do. Is it a habit I should be breaking?

Also, should I be anal about (slight) fret buzz and play everything over and over again until it resonates perfectly, or can I just keep building up my finger strength and assume that'll make the buzz go away?

Thanks guys!
#2
i obsessed at first and it didnt help but then my fingers got stronger and it went away so dont worry too much
my hands are kinda small compared to like other guitarists but not that small
i think you're hands will be able to stretch more eventually


also i forgot how to make a new thread
plz tell me
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#3
This reminds me of childhood memories.
Blue eyed girls with blonde flocks.

Build strength and avoid putting your finger in between frets, put them right before the fret you're fretting, but not on them, you dig?
#4
evh had small hands. and i dont think you really need large hands, theres very few things that will require more than 1 finger to 1 fret (so all you need to touch is four frets) failing that, tapping allows you to hit notes that your fingers cant hit normally (in a basic roundabout kind of way) so anything that is too large for you to get - try tapping it. if not you can slide to the notes or whatever.

i think this is one of the things thats crafts your styles. it means you have to do things differently.

anyway - good luck

theres a few guys out there who only use 2 fingers. i cant remember the name of one, but he's very good. apparently 2 of them got damaged in a fire. i'll see if i can get the name
Last edited by CobenBlack at Nov 27, 2007,
#5
well the main thing is learning a new instrument can be difficult, even if you are proficient in something else already. over time you will discover a way to position your fingers onto the strings that will feel comfortable for you... it may take weeks or months, depends on how much you practice.

as for fret buzzing, to eliminate as much of it as you can, you'll need to try and fret as close to the fret wire as possible. another thing may be that the guitar may need to be set up to accommodate the strings you have on it. i've recently began using heavier strings on my acoustic and found i am getting much more fret buzzing than previously... but thats only if u want a 'perfect' setup.
#6
like above said, make sure its not your setup thats buzzing. theres a sweet spot about 3/4 through a fret.

if you can do 1st to 5th your stretching pretty impressively. Im about 5'10 and can hammer on 1st to 5th , but no further i can just reach 6th , but not enough to hammer on. So I think you'll be fine.
April Vineyard.
#7
Just keep practising.
I have tiny hands - 6 inches from base of palm to tip of middle finger. I do now however have a 9 1/2 inch spread from pinky tip to thumb tip, due to constant practising.
Make sure you fret all the strings cleanly from the start though, once you start developing muscle memory you want it to be correct. It's much harder to re-learn proper technique than to stick it out at the beginning. So try to fret as close to the fret as possible, and relax - playing is much, much easier if you don't have a death-grip on the neck. Try to use as light a touch as possible, practising amped up will help you find the amount of pressure needed and you will hear the notes better. Then you will know if the buzz is due to shoddy fretting or just normal fret buzz,(maybe your action is a bit low?).
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#8
i'm getting a bit annoyed with the buzzing issue as well.....my low E and A string seems to buzz as well, especially when i try to do a slide from 3rd fret to 2nd fret for the low E. Raised the action but it's still there......what's the problem man
#9
You might need the intonation sorted, I'd get a set up done if I were you.
Quote by Gunpowder
Sekhmet: Known for ritually sacrificing the innards of small woodland creatures.

Also, being a girly-girl.


Quote by Creepingjesus73
As for you, Mistress of Mayhem; just remember who it is who can lick * *** + *****'* **** *****out of the ****** of the ***!

#10
I wouldn't worry too much about it. Joan Jett is maybe an inch taller than you. If you can put your index finger on the first fret and stretch to the fifth fret with your pinky, you probably are in pretty good shape for just starting out.
#11
Quote by Sekhmet
You might need the intonation sorted, I'd get a set up done if I were you.


intonation is the intervals of frequency between the frets... i think u mean the action of the guitar, which is the height of the strings from the fretboard.
#12
Quote by Hadeed
intonation is the intervals of frequency between the frets... i think u mean the action of the guitar, which is the height of the strings from the fretboard.


I know, my mistake - I was doing two things at once and forgot to mention the set up should include neck adjustment.
If the buzz is bad she needs to get the guitar set-up properly by a tech, as the neck may be too flat. Any neck adjustment will mean the intonation will be out, so that'll need doing too.
I wouldn't recommend that she does it herself, unless you really know what you're doing a tech is the best bet.
Quote by Gunpowder
Sekhmet: Known for ritually sacrificing the innards of small woodland creatures.

Also, being a girly-girl.


Quote by Creepingjesus73
As for you, Mistress of Mayhem; just remember who it is who can lick * *** + *****'* **** *****out of the ****** of the ***!

#13
I noticed that my low E string is not sitting perfectly in the groove at the start of the neck near the headstock...didn't restring it as neatly as i could have....could that be the reason for the buzz?

btw sorry TS for hijacking your thread
#14
if your playing a bass, use your 4th and pinky finger together on the same fret till you build up strength. if it's a guitar. Do some finger exercises, chord progressions, stuff like that, 'till you build up enough power in your fingers.
#16
Thanks heaps, everyone! About the buzzing, yep I fret about 2mm away from the fret, and it does stop the buzzing most of the time (unless I've been playing too much and the fingers won't press down any more...). Was playing a friend's guitar today though and I could stick my fingers right between the frets and not buzz, so I guess it depends on the guitar as well . The action on my guitar's pretty low. (By the way, I play an acoustic.) With stretching the main issues are having to fret with the sides of my fingers (as said before), and I can't fret cleanly with my pinky at all because it won't do anything other than collapse to the side whenever it moves more than 2 cm away from my ring finger... which makes the exercises hell to do as well. But I guess I'll just have to keep at it, eh? Thanks again!

(Oh yeah, about hijacking my thread, no worries -- glad you're getting good help.)
#17
Try moving your hand itself toward the fret. My hands are a tad bit small(or I just have rigid fingers) for bass but moving the arm helps.
#18
My fingers aren't that small but i can only reach from 1st fret to 4th fret and thats only just about. =(

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#21
Bet it makes your penis feel small though.

UG Mods really have no sense of humour.....