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sasquatch182
10-20-2010, 03:19 PM
I"m a beginner and was loaned an acoustic to learn on.

Is it normal in the beginning for me to mute other strings while trying to play simple cords?

I assume once the callouses build up on my finger tips this will help?

Brent Hutto
10-20-2010, 03:28 PM
I"m a beginner and was loaned an acoustic to learn on.

Yes it is definitely the place for newbie questions. Welcome.

Is it normal in the beginning for me to mute other strings while trying to play simple cords?

Yes, for most of us.

I assume once the callouses build up on my finger tips this will help?

No, not particularly.

To play cleanly you have to put your fingers on one string precisely enough not to touch any other strings (unless you mean to). It's a matter of two things. Using a hand position that lets you fret each note cleanly and gaining the coordination and flexibility to put them exactly where you mean to.

Ultimately it just takes a lot of practice. The calluses will help you practice more without your fingers bleeding so I guess in that sense it will help! You do need to make sure you're putting your finger tips straight down onto the string as much as possible rather than using the side or flat part of the finger.

acoustic_moose
10-20-2010, 03:28 PM
Hello and welcome. As an answer to your question, yes, as you start playing it is not uncommon to mute some string accidentally. But as you progress, the dexterity, strength and flexibility of your hands should increase and you should have a much easier time playing chords with the proper hand/finger positioning and that will therefore reduce or eliminate the accidental muting of other strings.

sasquatch182
10-20-2010, 05:06 PM
It sure seems like my fingers are too fat to be able to push the string down without hitting one of the others.:D

Jhengsman
10-20-2010, 10:22 PM
Yes you fingers are too fat;) no matter how wide your fretboard is and when you get to barre chords your finger won't be long enough no matter how narrow your fretboard is. You are in the wax on, wax off portion of development, teaching your hands to do things they never have done before unless you played another string instrument.

You will get there, even if for some actual physical reason you can't you can still play. Look up Django Reinhardt

daza152
10-21-2010, 12:00 AM
what chords are you trying learn? it is real hard to break through the pain barrier too when first starting out but you have to push past that, thats how you will gain callouses. :D

and put your fingers on a strict diet. welcome to AGF. :D

bluesbassdad
10-21-2010, 02:52 AM
Welcome!

I suggest that you spend part of your practice time playing single notes. By focusing attention on each finger and its placement on the string and relative to the fret it's possible that you may subsequently find it easier to play chords.

Here's one example of what I'm suggesting.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkezJz_ibuk

With luck you'll discover that accurate placement makes your fingers seem smaller. :)

JohnnyDes
10-21-2010, 03:13 PM
It sure seems like my fingers are too fat to be able to push the string down without hitting one of the others.:D

Hmmm. Sasquatch = big foot = big fingers

I do think the callouses help indirectly because the part of your finger that is supposed to be fretting (the tip) is the most sensitive part. As the callouses build, this gets easier and less painful to do. I did a lot of the unintentional damping early on and my 8 yr old son does it too. Somehow it just goes away with time. It also helps to play individual strings within chords to find out where the interference is coming from and then try to correct.

JD

Eric27677
10-23-2010, 08:04 AM
Hey there.....new here myself, really starting to dig the place...;)

Sasquatch - when I started playing, I couldn't get chord forms right to save my life. I muted strings and fumbled changes all over the place. I was playing bass at the time; when my jam circle got together, I'd start out on one of my friend's spare guitars, trying to keep up, tripping over myself and mucking up the jam. The other guys would bear with me for a bit, but eventually one would say "Hey Eric - go get your bass," with a smile and a wink. I borrowed some practice time from the bass for forms and changes on the six-string, and eventually, the other guys stopped saying "Go get your bass."

I started playing bass because one of my friends suggested that I had "sausage fingers" that might be suited to bigger strings with wider spaces between them...:) It's true, but with perseverance I was able to start making some tasty sounds, regardless of how stubby my digits are.

Keep at it, you'll get there, brotha......;)

oldhippiegal
10-23-2010, 12:46 PM
welcome to the board and to acoustic playing both. Every new thing I learned (with a couple exceptions) seemed impossible at first and I thought I'd never get it or it would take years...and then with work, it came. Put the hours in, ask advice, and it'll come.

guitarsruleyeah
10-23-2010, 01:01 PM
Welcome. Being a beginner is an EXCELLENT opportunity to learn the right way from the beginning. One thing that will help with your string muting issues is to have the proper hand positioning on the neck. Make sure your thumb is all the way down behind the fretboard as you are forming chords. That will force you to curve your fingers enough to avoid the muting issues. It may take some getting used to but TRUST me...it will be worth it in the end. It took me years to unlearn bad habits.

Good luck!

sasquatch182
10-24-2010, 06:55 PM
Thanks all for the advice and encouragement. I'll keep at it. Right now I can't feel my finger tips but their not bleeding yet.:D

Any other advice for a total novice?
Lessons I should look at, videos, etc?

webby
10-26-2010, 05:40 AM
It sure seems like my fingers are too fat to be able to push the string down without hitting one of the others.:D

from one newbie to another ....
i got fat fingers too and my hands are on their way to "a pair of dumplings with a pound of sausages hanging out of them and thought it would really hamper me. It does in the beginning until you get more dexterity and practice in. Then it becomes easier :D

in response to what videos you shoudl look out for i use guitarjamz a lot. search him on youtube, i find him quite good to get along with although most of his stuff is how to play certain songs, but there are tips and tricks to use.

i also find trying videos from lots of different people is good as you will eventually find what works for you... other than that just keep at it. and enjoy it. its all worth it in the end :D

Fleabyte
10-26-2010, 10:51 AM
Thanks all for the advice and encouragement. I'll keep at it. Right now I can't feel my finger tips but their not bleeding yet.:D

Any other advice for a total novice?
Lessons I should look at, videos, etc?

justinguitar.com is an excellent resource with hours and hours of free video lessons for beginners (all he asks is a small voluntary donation). Between that site and this one, I don't think you really need much else...

...but youtube has some great lessons too - you just have to sort out the good reliable info from the less so reliable - stick with Justin...

daza152
10-26-2010, 12:32 PM
in response to what videos you shoudl look out for i use guitarjamz a lot. search him on youtube, i find him quite good to get along with although most of his stuff is how to play certain songs, but there are tips and tricks to use.

:D

Hery Webby, are you talking about Marty Schwartz? He is my one and only(except for Justin) Guitar teacher, he is brilliant and definately a MUST for the beginner and he explains everything simplifies it. I have learnt so much from him......The Best on You-Tube some say!!!

daza152
10-26-2010, 12:35 PM
Thanks all for the advice and encouragement. I'll keep at it. Right now I can't feel my finger tips but their not bleeding yet.:D

Any other advice for a total novice?
Lessons I should look at, videos, etc?

Mine never bleed, but even with callouses it can still get sore after playing for an hour.......funny that :D

mr. beaumont
10-26-2010, 12:42 PM
fat fingers? make sure to youtube redd volkaert. or tal farlow. or heck, bb king (though he doen't play too many chords!)

it's all about hand posture. use only the tip of the finger, keep the thumb on an invisible "stripe" that runs parallel along the middle of the back of the neck. keep your palm away from the guitar, and make sure that the first knuckle is slightly bent, not collapsing under pressure.

Push only as hard as is needed. a big problem many beginners run into is pushing harder when they hear muted notes--when they really need to play cleaner, not harder.

good luck...it's absolutely normal to be going thru this.

sasquatch182
10-27-2010, 11:08 AM
Hery Webby, are you talking about Marty Schwartz? He is my one and only(except for Justin) Guitar teacher, he is brilliant and definately a MUST for the beginner and he explains everything simplifies it. I have learnt so much from him......The Best on You-Tube some say!!!

I found him on Youtube, great teacher and makes it fun. I've only been playing about 2 weeks. I know where D, G, C, C9, and A chords are but it takes me a bit to get my fingers in the right place without muting strings. So I just keep working on them trying to get faster between switching.

I can't wait until I can do it without looking and between strums.:D