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Old 01-13-2019, 07:47 AM
LiveMusic LiveMusic is offline
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Location: Louisiana, USA
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Default Pressing too hard to fret

I think I press too hard when I fret and I've been doing it for about 50 years! How the heck can I change this other than just do it! Anybody found anything that helped fix it? Even with good callouses, if I play a jam session or gig of, say, four hours, my fingers are sore, there is a dent in my fingertips lol.

I know lighter string gauge would help but I play 13-56 string gauge a lot because I play a lot tuned Eb to Eb, a half step down. I would just rather fix it by pressing lighter.

I wonder if practicing on an electric would help. I don't have one lol! I could get one if it would help! But, playing singer-songwriter material solo doesn't exactly lend itself to being enjoyed playing electric like you do an acoustic.
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Old 01-13-2019, 08:04 AM
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Bob Womack Bob Womack is offline
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Taller frets will cause the strings to pull out of tune if you mash too hard.

"It is said, 'Go not to the elves for counsel for they will say both no and yes.' "
Frodo Baggins to Gildor Inglorion, The Fellowship of the Ring

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Old 01-13-2019, 08:07 AM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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Hi, I have also done this for many years, but playing slide (bottleneck) on my National taught me an important lesson.

Many (including me) thought that you needed a high action on a resonator in order to play slide but this complicates what fretting you need for chording etc.

Therefore I changed my set up n my national to the same action with same gauge strings as my dreads etc. (EJ17s) and learnt that you need to plat AND play slide as lightly as possible and put the power in with the picking hand.

THEN --- I realised that those clever folk who can play really fast had already learned the technique of fretting as lightly as possible.

Frankly as an old bluegrass rhythm guitarist, I'm still struggling with this, but I recommend it!
Silly Moustache,
Elderly singer, guitarist, dobrolist and mandolinist.
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Old 01-13-2019, 01:43 PM
TRose TRose is offline
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Im a newbie. I had a revelation. I found that my thumb position ( high on the neck) caused me to grip the neck more firmly. This resulted, I believe, in harder fretting and slower transitions. Also caused my fretting hand to cramp. Once I repositioned my thumb closer to the center of the neck my hand relaxed, my fretting speed increased and I felt that my pressure was no longer excessive, more efficient, if that makes sense. It has also allowed be to not only embrace but enjoy wider necks, Vintage v-necks and the like.
Does this ring true to those of you who know about such things?
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Old 01-13-2019, 06:45 PM
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815C 815C is offline
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Give this a try. Although the lesson is about mastering tough chord changes, it teaches using a light touch.

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