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  #1  
Old 02-16-2020, 09:25 PM
Chotschen Chotschen is offline
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Default Finger shape imapct on

Hey there,
I have tried learning the guitar some years ago. However, I gave up very early because I found it very hard to press down the strings with my finger. The way my nail grows makes it hard/painful to press down with the top of my finger.

Before I give it another go I was just wondering if I can even play the guitar with this finger shape.

I am sorry if this is an odd question. English is my second language so I also apologize if I have worded this somehow incorrect.

Thanks a lot for your help! Really appreciated.

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  #2  
Old 02-16-2020, 09:31 PM
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Acousticado Acousticado is offline
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Welcome to the forum. Your finger looks perfectly fine to me. Itís possible that any pain or discomfort you felt is part of the normal learning process that all players go through to some degree. I say, give it a go and work through it. If it becomes too painful, seek medical advice.
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  #3  
Old 02-16-2020, 09:33 PM
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Keep fretting hand nails trimmed down to zero white.
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Old 02-16-2020, 10:13 PM
gibpicker gibpicker is offline
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Welcome, and your English is just fine, but your fingernail is too long. Try playing 15 min per day, every day, and the pain will become less and less. Also, make sure your guitar is set up correctly, and try some easy to play strings like GHS thin core extra lights if you are playing a steel string guitar. Have fun!
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Old 02-16-2020, 10:23 PM
lar lar is offline
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Like Rick-SLO said, your nails need to be trimmed back much more.

Also, make sure your guitar is setup properly. Go to a guitar shop and have them check it.

If you're just starting out - don't play for too long. Let your fingers gradually get used to the strings over time.

And BTW - I think you will be a better player than I am because your finger is pointier than mine. I suppose I could have finger plastic surgery tho (I might as well get a tummy tuck while I'm at it).
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Old 02-16-2020, 10:56 PM
lt20dbl lt20dbl is offline
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I recommend starting with nylon strings for a year, then going to steel. The shape of your fingertips will change as you develop calluses over time from fretting. More flat and much tougher. I agree about keeping the nails trimmed. practice daily.
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Old 02-16-2020, 11:23 PM
M Hayden M Hayden is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
Keep fretting hand nails trimmed down to zero white.
Exactly. This is entirely correct. If you have nails, itíll get in your way. I have a friend/student who has 1/8Ē+ of nail on his fretting hand and continues to injure himself by pushing the string for bending in a way that pulls the nail away from the bed. I keep telling him to cut his nails but he wonít.
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Old 02-17-2020, 03:28 AM
Robin, Wales Robin, Wales is offline
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For those of us who can play a bit it is easy to forget the struggle of learning and just how awkward and frustrating everything seems!

Technique for playing the guitar is not fixed; every player comes to their own method over time. As a player, I certainly don't come straight down on the strings with my fingers. The hard callouses on my fingers are a little down from the finger end and off to one side. I like to grip the neck with a straight wrist and apply as little pressure as possible with my thumb. I have some joint stiffness and I lost the last joint onward of my index finger in a rock climbing accident about 15 years ago - so I had to adapt. And, given time and determination, that's what you will do - you will adapt and find a fretting technique that suits your hand. Here are a couple of photos of me holding down a C chord and the string marks on my fingers.





So don't get too disheartened, you don't have 'the wrong shaped fingers' to play guitar. Cut your nails as advised and then take some time to work out how you can fret different chords in a way that suits your hand. This will naturally change and adapt over time as you play more and more until you won't have to think about fretting at all, it will just come naturally to you.

Good luck - it is not easy to learn guitar but worth the struggle.
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Old 02-17-2020, 08:38 AM
mawmow mawmow is offline
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Welcome !
Your English is good to me even though it is not my mother tongue either. ;-)

My fretting hand fingernails are as short as they can,
some 3-4 mm behind the tip !

But first thing first : how is the action of your guitar at first fret ?
I want my folks at 1 mm, not more.

Second, you have to apply just the strenght needed to efficiently to avoid buzz.

Third, if it becomes painful under the end of the nail, acrylic glue would help.

Enjoy !
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Old 02-17-2020, 09:00 AM
Peter Z Peter Z is offline
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Problems with fingernail lenght?
And yes, she does play the guitar!
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  #11  
Old 02-17-2020, 09:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin, Wales View Post


To avoid the nails somewhat you can lean the fingertips to the degree you show in your picture but it is not a good thing to do so generally.
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Old 02-17-2020, 09:27 AM
bufflehead bufflehead is offline
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It takes a while to build up calluses on the finger tips. Practice for 30 minutes every day, and within a month much of that pain will vanish.
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Old 02-17-2020, 10:43 AM
Robin, Wales Robin, Wales is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick-slo View Post
To avoid the nails somewhat you can lean the fingertips to the degree you show in your picture but it is not a good thing to do so generally.
That's got me thinking! I'm not actually leaning my fingers. My fingers are closing in their natural plain as they do if I make a fist; and my wrist is in a natural straight position. It is the guitar neck that is at the angle. The guitar is coming across my right leg and away from my body at about 45 degrees so it appears that the fingers are leaning back but they are not it is the guitar neck that's laid at an angle across my palm. I think a lot of players do this? Take a look at the angle of Billy Strings guitar in this youtube clip and note how his fingers lay when playing a C chord with a relaxed straight wrist.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6CyQftidOw
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  #14  
Old 02-17-2020, 11:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin, Wales View Post
That's got me thinking! I'm not actually leaning my fingers. My fingers are closing in their natural plain as they do if I make a fist; and my wrist is in a natural straight position. It is the guitar neck that is at the angle. The guitar is coming across my right leg and away from my body at about 45 degrees so it appears that the fingers are leaning back but they are not it is the guitar neck that's laid at an angle across my palm. I think a lot of players do this? Take a look at the angle of Billy Strings guitar in this youtube clip and note how his fingers lay when playing a C chord with a relaxed straight wrist.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6CyQftidOw
Hard to catch everything that can come up when viewing one photo and one particular chord. Maybe you are leaning the fingerboard a bit more forward than normal for the sake of the photo. On the C chord shown the center of the tip of middle finger can overshoot the fourth string and thus avoid a problem of muting the third string. Other chords you would need to place the fingertips more vertically to avoid bumping into adjacent strings (more noticeably when doing inner string pull-offs or hammers).
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  #15  
Old 02-17-2020, 11:10 AM
Lakewood_Lad Lakewood_Lad is offline
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Learning guitar hurts.

There's not getting away from it. There's no point in sugar coating it. It takes time to develop calluses on the tips of your fingers. Once you have them then it stops hurting but until you do then it's going to hurt.

Sorry but them's the breaks.

Keep going. It gets better. A lot better.
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