#1
I have been playing since January and am progressing fairly well except I appear to be 'stuck' on two issues, both unrelated, and could use some help/pointers. Thus far I have learned most of the basic chords, basic scales and basic strum patterns. I practice 1 hour 5 times a week (usually until my fingers hurt). I practice with a meter for speed. I practice both exercises my teacher has given me and now play along with 6 songs he and I have picked.

My two issues that seem to be limiting my progress thus far are:

1. Having a heck of time fingering D chord fast. I have looked at what I think is going on, and it appears to be the one chord that I have learned thus far where the middle finger is closer to the 1 string while the fourth finger (ring finger?) is above it. It seems that the ring finger also is slow to move to the "lower" position and while I am concentrating getting it there, the ring finger does nothing and then finally "catches up." (Note sure if I explained it correctly.) Is this a common problem and if so, any exercises I can do?

It seems every other chord I know (E's, G's, A's, F's, C's) the Middle finger is "high" followed by the ring finger closer to the first string, and I have no problem getting to them pretty fast. Interesting, my first finger has almost no problem getting to where it needs to be.

I have done various exercises to speed up the fingering:

a. Strum chord on then lift all fingers strum again, then refinger and strum. Seems to help some.

b. Strum a chord say not D then D then not D, slowly and increase speed-seems to help some.

c. Best: strum chord progressions without looking at Fret board--they seems to help the most. Maybe looking at the fret board is screwing up my mind and messing with my fingers?

I am stuck and getting frustrated.

2. Kind of a weird problem, but my pinky finger has been broken several times as a kid and adult and it is bent towards my thumb. (If it was bent the other way I guess this would not be an issue.) It is bent so much that as I curl my left hand, it actually goes under my ring finger by maybe 1/4 width of the ring finger.

This is causing me all kinds of problems:

a. It seems to get in the way of fingering chords

b. Scales it keeps hitting the fret between the ring finger and where it is supposed to go. Seems to be worse the more I curl my hand, so scales on the first string are much easier than those on the sixth string.

c. It does not reach well even though I have been trying stretching exercises.

Curious if I can do anything else other than break it and bend it the other way (just kidding--that's too painfull.) I am worried some of the issues are a result of my age (almost 49) and may be related to early signs of arthritis.

Thanks in advance with any advice.
1999 Gibson LP R9
2006 Tele John Cruz Masterbuilt
2007 MIA Strat Sunburst
2008 PRS SC-J Thinline Black Cherry/Bigsby (for sale)
2009 Zerberus Hydra II
2009 Custom Red Strat

Traynor YCV-50 Blue
#2
i think you're fingering the D wrong....
maybe i just misunderstood but this is how i do it

pointer finger on 2nd fret of 1st string (high E)
third finger (ring finger, the one next to the pinky) on the 3rd fret of the 2nd string (B string)
middle finger (the one u use to flick ppl off) on the 2nd fret of the 3rd string (G string)
open 4th string (D string)

looking does mess me up to, when i play live and i look i usually mess up on stuff that i dont mess up during practice w/ out looking

i think you're pinky is messed up and you should ask a doctor if THEY could like brak it and fix it or something, something like that happened to my friend and since he doesn't really need his pinky for anything he decided to leave it bent

DRINK MILK!!!!

PATIENCE
although i think you're progressing fast, good job
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#3
addressing the D chord problem, It seems that a lot of people have trouble with the D Major chord. I assume it's because of the "compressed" nature of the fingerings. Either way, the best thing to do, in my opinion, is to keep doing the exercises that your teacher has given you. Above all, don't forget that you can modify the fingering to make the chord more comfortable to you, but do not short-cut the chord by, say, not fingering a note. Short-cuts just make it so you have to go back and re-learn the right way later. Also, dont forget about inversions, you can find a different position on the fretboard to play a D chord, you can choose and D F A notes you want, in any order you want, and octaves thereof and still be playing a D Chord.

Secondly, the broken pinky is unfortunate, because I cannot see any way around it other than working your ass off. The fact that your pinky wont stretch is a solvable issue though. stretching exercises will work, the best thing that I found while i was learning was the song "crazy train" by ozzy. It's not that far of a stretch, but it the intro is very pinky heavy.

Good Luck!
#4
Quote by led,rainsong
i think you're fingering the D wrong....
maybe i just misunderstood but this is how i do it


Damn, I just googled D chord and saw this:

http://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/content/3745/3745_chordFingeringChart.pdf

Note last picture. I have my middle and ring finger reversed. This is how the teacher taught me. Interesting, the first week he taught me this chord, I suggested it was easier to do it the way it is in the picture and he told me that I could do that, but it would hold me back down the road and the 'other' way was better longer term.

Now I am confused. When I practice tonight, I am going to re-try this way.
1999 Gibson LP R9
2006 Tele John Cruz Masterbuilt
2007 MIA Strat Sunburst
2008 PRS SC-J Thinline Black Cherry/Bigsby (for sale)
2009 Zerberus Hydra II
2009 Custom Red Strat

Traynor YCV-50 Blue
#5
Quote by jcoley2
Damn, I just googled D chord and saw this:

http://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/content/3745/3745_chordFingeringChart.pdf

Note last picture. I have my middle and ring finger reversed. This is how the teacher taught me. Interesting, the first week he taught me this chord, I suggested it was easier to do it the way it is in the picture and he told me that I could do that, but it would hold me back down the road and the 'other' way was better longer term.

Now I am confused. When I practice tonight, I am going to re-try this way.


That looks like a d7 chord, not a d major chord.
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#6
First:

You just started in January. I understand the frustration, but damn man, give yourself a break. Do you have any idea how much stuff there is to learn about guitar??? When I think about that, I almost wanna quit.

That said, the D chord is my best chord. LOL Ive already come up with a few tunes starting in D and sliding up and down the neck.

I might be mistaken, but that picture is showing you a D7 I believe.

D as I know it is:

------2------------2
------3-----------3
------2-----------1
------------------0

However I do:

-------2-----------1
-------3-----------3
-------2-----------2
------------------0

the numbers on the line are the frets. The numbers at the end are the finger.
The way I do it, you can slide your 1st finger back to the first fret to make a Dminor. Pretty easy.

I could be wrong though.........
#7
Quote by 5kuzgib
That looks like a d7 chord, not a d major chord.



Your correct that is the wrong picture. Had it backwards in my mind.
1999 Gibson LP R9
2006 Tele John Cruz Masterbuilt
2007 MIA Strat Sunburst
2008 PRS SC-J Thinline Black Cherry/Bigsby (for sale)
2009 Zerberus Hydra II
2009 Custom Red Strat

Traynor YCV-50 Blue
#8
Quote by Axe Murderer

D as I know it is:

------2------------2
------3-----------3
------2-----------1
------------------0

However I do:

-------2-----------1
-------3-----------3
-------2-----------2
------------------0



Correct--the first way is the way I learned and finger 3 is the problem. I will try the second way tonight.
1999 Gibson LP R9
2006 Tele John Cruz Masterbuilt
2007 MIA Strat Sunburst
2008 PRS SC-J Thinline Black Cherry/Bigsby (for sale)
2009 Zerberus Hydra II
2009 Custom Red Strat

Traynor YCV-50 Blue
#9
Quote by jcoley2
Correct--the first way is the way I learned and finger 3 is the problem. I will try the second way tonight.


Well, if finger 3 is the issue, the way I do it might not help much as you can see, finger 3 stays the same in both instances.

If anything, it just sounds like you need to practice more and get the hand trained.
#10
i dont really have much advice on how to help with the D chord, but i also have broken my pinky and bent it at a bad angle, skateboarding actually (which i am absolutely **** at) but then luckily, i guess, i also broke it almost back during last football season, (i play defensive line) so im not sure what you should do, but id probably have mine rebroken and re-set by a doctor, if i were you

oh and in case your wondering, i didnt re brake my pinky so its normal, it just curves, so the part closer to my hand curves out, then the tip arcs back in close to its regular position.
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#11
Since you've found a bad habit. You need to put an extra step into re-learning the fingering for the D chord.

Instead of your normal practicing, start at say...a C major chord. Don't push down too hard, I'm sure your teacher has told you about the tension problem a lot of people have, yes?

Then, pickup and put your fingers on the strings and form a D chord. Don't press down, waituntil all your fingers are in the right spot. Then (this might hurt a little at first) press down fairly hard that D chord you formed. Not very hard as this might damage your fingers when you are doing this.

When you press down harder then normal, you are building more muscle memory. This will get rid of your bad habit eventually. Just keep working on it.
#12
Quote by Ze_Metal
Instead of your normal practicing, start at say...a C major chord. Don't push down too hard, I'm sure your teacher has told you about the tension problem a lot of people have, yes?


No he has not. . . please elaborate.
1999 Gibson LP R9
2006 Tele John Cruz Masterbuilt
2007 MIA Strat Sunburst
2008 PRS SC-J Thinline Black Cherry/Bigsby (for sale)
2009 Zerberus Hydra II
2009 Custom Red Strat

Traynor YCV-50 Blue
#13
Well, people tend to press down on the guitar strings WAY more then they need to. This is called extra tension. When you do this, you're not relaxed so you will play slower and more sloppy.

Touch the string, and then apply little press increasing by a tiny bit each second. See how little tension you need to get the string to ring. You'll be surprized.
#14
I have problems transitioning between a couple chords, so what I do for practice is to just transition back and forth while watching tv. No strumming, just moving my hand back and forth between the two spots.

When I'm learning a new chord, I'll hold that chord non stop for an hour or two while watching tv also. It tends to hurt after a while, and every few minutes I need to shake my hand out, but it helps me build a muscle memory. These two excercises are nice to do in addition to your normal lessons since it can be done easily (and silently) while watching TV.
#15
Quote by Jim85IROC
I have problems transitioning between a couple chords, so what I do for practice is to just transition back and forth while watching tv. No strumming, just moving my hand back and forth between the two spots.

When I'm learning a new chord, I'll hold that chord non stop for an hour or two while watching tv also. It tends to hurt after a while, and every few minutes I need to shake my hand out, but it helps me build a muscle memory. These two excercises are nice to do in addition to your normal lessons since it can be done easily (and silently) while watching TV.


Whats this Tee Vee thing you keep speaking of???

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