#1
Well, at least thats how it feels. I just picked my guitar back up a day or two ago - a friend of mine repaired the neck back to pristine condition and got it into perfect shape. The catch is I must learn to play it - totally worthwhile trade I think

Anyways, I'm starting with something simple... Johnny Cash's arrangement of Hurt. I can't even play the Am chord! No matter what I do I can't seem to press with enough force to play all of the notes clearly without making half the notes buzz.

My hands feel like they're too big for the fretboard. I know some of you have to have encountered this... how do you get used to it?
#2
Practice man, only way really. If you try an increase your finger dexterity by doin some simple exercises, say practice playing the major scale or something. Try when playing the notes individually to get them to ring clearly. After u've done that then just try simple chords like D major etc., loads of lessons on here, the important part is to take your time and not rush, make sure you can here the notes playing clearly and u've done well. Don't try and do it all at once. Your hands will adjust to the size of the neck in time. Hope this helps.
#3
It's all practice I think. When I first started, I coulda sworn that there was no way in hell to do the Dmaj properly or Amaj or Fmaj or barre chord Fmaj either. Now I can do them. I actually have been doing Amaj open chord with fingers 2-3-4 cause I couldn't fit in 1-2-3. Now for the last week I have been doing fingers 1-2-3, I seem to be able to fit them in now, so it is all practice.

The real improvement comes when something *clicks* in your brain and all of a sudden you feel like you understand where your fingers are on the chord and position them just very slightly to be just that little better.
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#4
Note: Sometimes pressing harder isn't always better, As Joe Satriani said, he can tell guitarists that have only been playing a little while because they apply excessive amounts of force to the strings in order to hit notes. . . . I think everybody starts out doing that though, I've played some guitars that I have to struggle with myself though, but I felt like that could be a nice little food for thought comment.
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#5
Thanks guys - I'm going to take some advice from one of my other friends as well and just keep playing even if the notes aren't ringing properly. The ringing clearly will come with time so long as I spend a few minutes focusing on it. Hoping to learn this song by the weekend.. I mean.. its 3 or 4 chords.. nothing too bad
#7
Quote by msarro
Thanks guys - I'm going to take some advice from one of my other friends as well and just keep playing even if the notes aren't ringing properly. The ringing clearly will come with time so long as I spend a few minutes focusing on it. Hoping to learn this song by the weekend.. I mean.. its 3 or 4 chords.. nothing too bad


I would actually focus on the chords individually, and adjusting your hand position until all the notes ring out. Practising with things wrong just makes you better at playing it wrong. Once you can go from a relaxed hand position to doing each of the chords with all strings ringing out first time, then move onto the song, where you should only have to watch for the chord changes, as playing them should slowly become natural.
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#8
Quote by gm jack
I would actually focus on the chords individually, and adjusting your hand position until all the notes ring out. Practising with things wrong just makes you better at playing it wrong. Once you can go from a relaxed hand position to doing each of the chords with all strings ringing out first time, then move onto the song, where you should only have to watch for the chord changes, as playing them should slowly become natural.


I would agree, except when I tried that in the past, my lack of gratification led to me putting down the guitar and waiting a year + to pick it back up... even if it doesn't sound great and its wrong, hearing something with *some* semblance to the real thing keeps me going. Playing a chord just gets boring to me

I'm going to try to mix and match both I think, since the way the song is played not having each note ring clearly sort of wrecks it anyway, lol.
#9
Quote by msarro
I would agree, except when I tried that in the past, my lack of gratification led to me putting down the guitar and waiting a year + to pick it back up... even if it doesn't sound great and its wrong, hearing something with *some* semblance to the real thing keeps me going. Playing a chord just gets boring to me

I'm going to try to mix and match both I think, since the way the song is played not having each note ring clearly sort of wrecks it anyway, lol.


Of course, mix exercises up with songs etc. Just don't just play songs. You miss out on a lot of techniques and/or can only use them in the ways you have met in songs. Practising general exercises like scales, arpeggios etc helps you in all areas.

So take the chord that is giving you the most difficulty, and then spend 10 mins trying to get it to ring out perfectly. Once you have got it down, try playing to song, integrating the practise, and the subtle motions that make all the difference.

If those chords still have problems, give them a bit more practise. If not, move onto the next chord.
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#10
This won't be written very well at all, because I wondered, "How can I learn about all this jargon, terminology, theory and tricky fiddly guitar techniques?" and went "DUH, you're on UG!" so...I'm working on it

I'm self taught and have been playing nearly 4 years. The only way I learned anything at all was by playing different songs all the time, not so much to learn the songs themselves as the chords in them. One of the first songs I tried was Jolene by Dolly Parton, I thought the C chord was the devil! Then I played around with a load of other stuff and eventually I got it. The only downside is because most of the tabs or chord sheets I find seem to have their own chord definitions or charts, I know of about 3 different Bb's, Bm's, A7's, Cm's, etc. But that just makes trying new tabs more interesting!

My father has the same problem with big hands and a small fretboard. I swear his fingers are as thick as two of mine on top of each other. Even though it'd sound different and could be inconvinient, or more convinient depending on the result, maybe you could learn the same chords but in different positions? I don't know what the proper name for these kinds of chords are (*sigh* no0b!) Like a G might ordinarily be 320003 or something, but it can also be 355433...possibly. I dunno, but it might require less intricate fingering until you get more confident and learn to work your fingers?
#11
Open chords cannot really be substituted. They have such of a different sound. Just take it cool and it'll come, unless your fingers are so fat that they hit 2 strings at a time, if so... you should try bass guitar.