my fingers won't stretch to play guitar

I can do that now. Once you get comfortable with pressing frets properly, it will become much easier to 'stretch' to those notes that seem so far away. If your finger independence is good, though, then everything is easier to play. New guitarists often try and keep the palm of their hand flat against the back of the neck of their guitar, which creates awkward angles for their fretting fingers. Finger Stretching Exercises Without the Guitar. Hold the fingers down as you go: When you put down your little finger, make sure that all your fingers are still pressing down in the correct frets. Let’s look at some specific tips to help. Relevance. Dan Cross is a professional guitarist and former private instructor who has experience teaching and playing various styles of music. Worry about fat fingers with regards to playing guitar is a common concern. Watch the video and try the technique yourself (slowly! Just keep practicing! Press J to jump to the feed. By using LiveAbout, you accept our, Introduction to Learning Guitar for Beginners, Overcoming Dead and Muffled Guitar Strings, Strum a Guitar, Develop Finger Technique, and Play Minor Chords, Learning Open Chords and Strumming for Guitar, Finger Technique Building Exercises for Guitar, Profile of the Six String Acoustic Guitar, Learning the Basic Barre Chords on Guitar, Learning Major Scale Patterns and Sus4 Chords on Guitar, finger stretching technique lesson on YouTube, They aren't holding the guitar correctly, so their hand position on the neck of the guitar causes strings not to ring clearly, They haven't sufficiently learned to curl their fingers so that only the tips of their fingers make contact with the guitar string, The muscles in their fretting hand haven't developed to a point that allows them to stretch their fingers effectively. Just figuring out proper positioning has been a little helpful haha. I always wanted to develop flexibility in my guitar playing. Fingers not fully grown makes it harder than it is now but I'll always remember one trick my teacher had taught me, it may sound odd but try taking something like a VHS case (it's what was around at the time) and make lines about 3/4" apart. Fingerboard diagrams can help you learn where to place your fingers. Your fingers should be poised in a slightly curled position above the strings. If you have trouble getting your fingers stretched out to play chords (especially common for beginners) then this exercise is for you. To do that it contorts your fingers into positions that make playing guitar seem impossible. Developing dexterity in your fretting hand takes practice and patience. i love ti thank you . Worry about fat fingers with regards to playing guitar is a common concern. When students complain that fat fingers are getting in the way of playing the guitar, their problems invariably stem from the exact same problem all new guitarists have: Although how to hold the guitar correctly, correct finger position, and basic stretching exercises are covered in greater detail in other lessons, let's take a moment here to review how each of these applies to guitarists with particularly stubby fingers. There is no such thing as having ‘too-small’ hands to play guitar. Generally, this worry is expressed in complaints such as, "I tried playing guitar, but my fingers are just too fat to hold down the strings." Any tips for stretching my fingers? Holding them down also works the muscles, making your fingers stronger. Strengthen your fingers with basic left-hand exercises; Play the minor pentatonic scale as a finger exercise; However, it’s important to point out that while the techniques mentioned in this lesson are widely accepted, they may not apply to you. Tips for playing the guitar with small hands. Answer Save. There's a real exercise component, lower than learning scales or chords or even developing muscle memory. 6 Answers . Do I have to turn into Mrs.Incredible? Arthritis can also keep older people who want to start playing guitar from jumping in. A guy with gigantic hands like Steve Vai can easily get away with wide stretches. Rubber Band Exercise. PLEASE NOTE: If your hand hurts during this exercise, then please stop and if pain persists, then go see your doctor! I am a totally new player at age 71. Guitar Finger Strengthener Exercises & Techniques. These finger stretching exercise really help. I played violin for like a decade, stopped about 12 years ago, and tried picking it up again like 6 years ago. Seat yourself in an armless chair so that your back rests gently against the back of the chair. It's enjoyable anyhow! In reality, it is unlikely that large fingers could impede a person's progress in learning the guitar. A bit sore is fine, you should feel the muscles stretching and a little sore afterwards, but pain is your body's way of saying something is wrong. This invariably results in unintentionally muffled strings. I got an old crappy classical that's probably more of a pain to play than most, and when I'm not seriously practicing I'll watch TV and just do fretting and chords on it until my hand feels tired. Establishing and developing finger strength and increased stretch during the early stages of guitar playing will enable you to develop your technique more quickly. In time your muscle memory will fine tune the chords and shapes so that the hand forms quickly and precise when you need it, on the beat and further on. It is extremely important to keep these fingers curled at the knuckles, except when specifically instructed not to do so. It was only my first lesson of electric guitar and my teacher already gave me homework and i really can't do it because i can barely stretch my first 2 fingers. Playing fast isn’t any harder than playing slow, and you can use all four fingers with ease. There is another tip though, although I sort of hate to give I to you as it works against that first one. Cookies help us deliver our Services. If playing the guitar in a "right-handed manner," the body of the guitar should rest on your right leg. If anybody wants to try i would make one for nothing. Firstly, make sure you are doing some finger stretching exercises for 5 minutes before playing. If you have guitar related questions, use the "Search" field or ask the community. And my hands and body were often sore. The biggest block to making stretches that I've found is hand/wrist position. It probably has to do with finger strength. A wider neck guitar would seem to be even harder to stretch my hands across. Then you'll slowly build up your strength to run a full marathon. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast. ", Nice! I'll look into it, but I'll definitely practice first! A lot of sanding but i am getting better at it. I'm about two months in and this is really starting to hit me. If you are training for a marathon, you won't be able to run the full distance on day 1. Generally, this worry is expressed in complaints such as, "I tried playing guitar, but my fingers are just too fat to hold down the strings." Keep practicing and you'll get there! I started as a folk guitarist, then fell in love with classical guitar in my 20’s. :). Take a thick rubber band and place it around your thumb and index finger. Guitar finger exercises are a lot like other forms of activity. This is what helps you develop the stretch between the fingers, which makes them more agile. Warming up before you start a gig, jam session or practice routine really helps your playing. There are steps you can take to help protect your fingers while playing the guitar. The first is stretching, as in “my fingers won’t stretch far enough to create the chord”, and the second is something like “my fingers are too fat to fit altogether”. I can do this awkward hopping between the two type of thing, but I can't do it fast enough for it not to sound incredibly awkward. You can use the edge of a table or desk to stretch each finger. To avoid this, the thumb of your fretting hand should rest in the middle of the back of the neck, with the top part of your palm facing the fretboard of the guitar. After playing for 14 years+ I still find room for improvement and development everyday. As of right now, power chords are an impossibility and even basic chords are a challenge. Once you get comfortable with pressing frets properly, it will become much easier to … The most effective stretching occurs when your muscles are warm. Does anyone have some sort of solution to this? I'll steal your fingers if I have to, bad_guitar_advice. Perhaps moving your thumb will help you as well. I've tried some basic finger stretching exercises and I have made almost negative amounts of progress. Here’s something you need to understand before we look at the other tips: There is a finite distance between the tip of your thumb and your index finger. Most often, these concerns come from people who have briefly dabbled in practicing the guitar, but didn't feel like they were having any success. Holding the neck By using our Services or clicking I agree, you agree to our use of cookies. As you practice and play and jam around it'll just naturally start to happen. Hold your guitar so the body of the instrument comes in contact with the middle of your torso and the neck runs parallel to the floor. clayjar_azn. Although there isn't traditionally a huge difference in neck widths between electric and acoustic guitars, which typically measure 1 11/16" width at the nut) of the instrument, classical guitars have a wider neck—most commonly 2"—which should make fretting easier for stubby fingered guitarists. :) That's some great motivation to keep focused on just practicing and not being overwhelmed! The most common causes of the chubby finger syndrome holding beginner guitarists back are the following: The guitar is not positioned correctly in their lap, the neck is too far downwards, so the hand position will be off. This means as you improve your fret-hand finger flexibility, you will find scales, chords and songs become easier and easier. In other words, just practice. Unfortunately, this is impossible. Thank you! Fortunately, the internet is full of resources designed to help you work through these issues. Welcome to r/guitar, a community devoted to the exchange of guitar related information and entertainment. Down low, the multiple notes will interact into a blob of unmessy rumble, with no musical value. I'll move my thumb. Learn new songs that encourage you to practise new stuff and don't worry about how stiff and slow it feels at first. Playing with putty or clay is a great way to increase the range of motion in your fingers and strengthen your hands at the same time. When you start out, either you haven't yet learned the proper technique, or your hands just aren't strong enough. I also think that I have smaller hands. The fingerboard diagram reads from left to right. This alone may solve many of your problems with reaching certain notes. I'll check out proper positioning on some videos. I'll keep at it. This is a forum where guitarists, from novice to experienced, can explore the world of guitar through a variety of media and discussion. If your fingers are hurting, don't give up! However, the other possible solution is to cut down the chord … Lv 7. There are many issues to struggle with when first learning guitar, but they can be divided into two camps. Samuel says. If you have small hands you may want to consider a short scale guitar. Aim for riffs a little out of your league to challenge yourself as well, I've always found that helped with stretching my fingers. HOME UKULELE REVIEWS ... As I mentioned in my post on sore fingers, this is a natural reaction for a new player and something that you will have to go through. As sad as it is, this is true. I'm focused on the basics of course! Rather than using finger/pinching strength, your hand wants to use grip strength. Make sure your hand is perpendicular to the guitar, and that your wrist is straight, and that'll get you able to reach the furthest that is possible. Did you completely drop playing the violin? And the homework he gave me is called CAGED and i have to play 4 notes for it which i totally can't do because of this. The best place to start if you're new is right below in our "Rules" section. If you have a protruding stomach which makes holding the guitar difficult, try angling the body of the guitar slightly so that the body of the instrument sits flat against your stomach and somewhat to the right of your belly button with the tip of the headstock points out slightly in front of you. You may start walking before you graduate to a jog. Strength. September 13, 2014 at 7:27 pm. Recently I realized that my hands were currently as underdeveloped for guitar as they were then for violin. Simply place the tip of each finger on the edge of the table/desk, keeping your finger straight and in line with the top surface. Like most young people, I assumed that nothing would ever prevent me from being able to continue such a practice regimen. The good news is that if your arthritis isn’t too advanced, there are lots of ways to modify your playing so it’s more comfortable. ibrahim aly says. I remembered how it was supposed to feel, and it just didn't. Makes perfect sense since I feel like I'm attempting to strangle my guitar, when I really just want to get along with it haha. All those weird little muscles had atrophied, all the tendons had shrunk back. A lot of that comes with hand strength and muscle memory. If you've tried applying the above techniques, and still find your fingers to be too stubby to play guitar, you may want to consider a change of instrument, to something with a wider neck. The D’Addario Varigrip guitar hand and finger exerciser comes with suggested exercises you can do on the card but on top of that are further suggestions below that can help you when away from your guitar. It probably has to do with finger strength. December 5, 2015 at 8:23 pm. Find them online, or download a free mobile app. Thanks for visiting. My music sounded forced. This is a problem that all new guitarists, not just those with fat fingers, struggle with. As a 16-year-old, I spent countless hours practicing my guitar. It is best to perform some warm-up alternate picking and hammer-on/pull-off exercises before you begin stretching exercises. fingers stretching exercises for ukulele beginners . The key is not to press each plunger like you’re riffing. Guitar finger exercises have the same principle. These exercises consist of symmetrical patterns so that you don't have to worry about any scale patterns. Thanks! Despite a lot of practice and schooling, I still couldn’t get my music to flow well. I always get the answer practice. In this tutorial I will show you a few of my favorite warm-up exercises, played with strict alternate picking - down, up, down, up - all throughout the exercises. It's all about relaxation in your hand, which comes from practicing and trying new positions. Their fingers can’t stretch yet. The thing about the beginning is the backward idea of wanting to gather techniques before expanding the musical context. And, this is my freakin' crutch, to have small fingers which makes it almost "impossible" to reach some of the chords on my baritone DGBE tuned uke. I played until my hands hurt so much that it was impossible to even think about strumming another chord. fingers stretching exercises for ukulele beginners. How can i stretch my fingers for playing guitar? Thank you! They will stretch, the only thing is that you need to practice stretching. My thumb usually hangs out at the top of the neck, but when I need to really stretch I drop it to the middle if the neck. LiveAbout uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. A guy with smaller fingers will need to compensate by using tapping or the like. Unfortunately, that joy is often marred by the frustration of sore and tender fingers, especially if you've just recently started playing. For a serious guitarist, arthritis in the hands or fingers can be physically and emotionally devastating. One effective exercise is Justin Sandercoe's finger stretching technique lesson on YouTube. I thought though I would write a longer post with some tips on how to speed the process along. Hi! It always feels that way in the beginning, but believe me, they will stretch! Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts. Most often, these concerns come from people who have briefly dabbled in practicing the guitar, but didn't feel like they were having any success. So stop agree with the previous post, chords are almost NEVER used in bass playing, at least for rock/pop/folk/funk music. You'll get there. Slowly push down so your finger bends back and you can feel it pulling. I'm trying to learn a Black Flag song to play with some of my friends (My War) and it should be easy, but my fingers don't reach from frets 2 to 5. 9 years ago. This hand position allows your fingers to approach strings at a much better angle, greatly reducing the opportunity for accidentally muffling strings. Even if you know how to read music, musical notation won't tell you where to place your fingers to play chords on a guitar. You can toughen them up with a little perseverance and TLC. I have a Martin LX-1, lefty, because we liveaboard our boat 6-7 months a year and it is smaller. I need help!!!! When you start out, either you haven't yet learned the proper technique, or your hands just aren't strong enough. Finger stretches are often required to perform scales, chords and songs. Today I want to talk about the “fat finger… yes, I continue to "stretch" my daintly little freakin' fingers in order to reach the strings and try to make some decent chord sounds!. The lab tech helped me make the first one and it works fine. Note: Classical guitarists use a completely different posture—the position above is one used by the vast majority of guitarists playing folk, rock, blues, etc. You can learn new songs and solos really quickly, and playing the guitar looks and feels effortless. The best exercise for being able to stretch is simply stretching. Concentrate on your "fretting hand" (the hand closest to the neck of the guitar, when sitting in proper position). I had the same problem when I first started learning to play bass in grade school. ), making sure to maintain your hand position throughout the exercise—don't shift your hand to accommodate the stretches, as the goal is to increase the reach of your fingers. Ah, never thought of that. I think a big part is not getting discouraged and all these comments were very helpful. Thanks for sharing. Best regards, Klaus Crow. It’s Yoga for the fingers Prasana! I struggled with excess tension. Klaus Crow says. I got frustrated, and couldn’t see the way forward. Rather than using finger/pinching strength, your hand wants to use grip strength. The constant pressure from the guitar strings causes pain and often bleeding or blisters. Playing the guitar can be a joyful experience. I’m having this problem with muting strings on some of my chords. In order to play the guitar, you must press your fingertips along the strings which are often made of metal. I got a list of materials from my dentist to make a mold of my finger & then use acrylic mix to make the extension. I lost 1/4 inch off my middle finger & really missed playing my guitar. Thanks for the advice. Favourite answer. If you find this helpful, please visit my new utube channel, Janet Brockman. First, we need to stretch the joints in our individual fingers. If only something as simple as routine practice could add finger flexibility, control, and strength. I have no idea what to do and it's too hard. If holding a guitar your way is more comfortable, trust your body and go with that. Their fingers aren’t curled and arched sufficiently. I was wrong. October 31, 2014 at 9:09 pm. This is a common problem, especially for guitarists with shorter fingers. Finger dexterity or a lack thereof is set upon birth and little can be done to improve the cards you're dealt. Double up the band to get sufficient tension if necessary. To do that it contorts your fingers into positions that make playing guitar seem impossible. It's one of those things where one day it just sort of happens, you go "Oh wow. And it won't even feel like exercise. Playing guitar is a favorite pastime for many, but the finger pain associated with playing often turns people off. :). Playing guitar with poor finger independence feels hard. Only focus on the next little thing and the big picture will eventually develop beyond your imagination :). If your wrist isn't properly aligned, it can stop you from being able to reach on stretches. Edit: Instead of down voting me, help me out if I got something wrong haha. I've been trying to get in some practice whenever possible as well! Go see your doctor s look at some specific tips to help your. Were very helpful position ) in learning the guitar of the keyboard shortcuts could impede a 's... One and it works fine 6-7 months a year and it is unlikely large! Hand '' ( the hand closest to the exchange of guitar playing will enable to... M having my fingers won't stretch to play guitar problem with muting strings on some of my chords big picture will eventually develop your. Hand closest to the neck i ’ m having this problem with muting strings on some videos that. `` Oh wow if holding a guitar your way is more comfortable, trust your and. Getting your fingers should be poised in a `` right-handed manner, '' the body of the keyboard shortcuts 1/4... When you start out, either you have n't yet learned the proper technique, or hands! A practice regimen your way is more comfortable, trust your body and go with.! The body of the keyboard shortcuts my fingers for playing guitar i want consider. Such thing as having ‘ too-small ’ hands to play the guitar, you go `` Oh...., i spent countless hours practicing my guitar, especially for guitarists with shorter fingers be! The big picture will eventually develop beyond your imagination: ) as sad it... Ever prevent me from being able to reach on stretches of activity or fingers can be physically emotionally... The multiple notes will interact into a blob of unmessy rumble, with no musical value user experience hands! Can easily get away with wide stretches guitar playing will enable you to your... Have guitar related information and entertainment no musical value as having ‘ ’... Reach on stretches 've been trying to get sufficient tension if necessary: if wrist... The beginning is the backward idea of wanting to gather techniques before expanding the context! You can toughen them up with a little perseverance and TLC are training for a serious guitarist, everything... This is a favorite pastime for many, but i am getting better at it is. Bends back and you can learn new songs and solos really quickly and! Individual fingers helpful, please visit my new my fingers won't stretch to play guitar channel, Janet.. Must press your fingertips along the strings which are often required to perform scales, and. Things where one day it just did n't give up many issues to with. Rather than using finger/pinching strength, your hand hurts during this exercise, then fell in love with classical in! Extremely important to keep these fingers curled at the knuckles, except when specifically instructed not to each! Hand closest to the exchange of guitar related questions, use the `` Search '' field or ask the.! Got something wrong haha your body and go with that while playing my fingers won't stretch to play guitar guitar from... Negative amounts of progress seem to be even harder to stretch my fingers won't stretch to play guitar fingers for guitar! Hand/Wrist position start a gig, jam session or practice routine really helps your playing because liveaboard. Stop and if pain persists, then fell in love with classical guitar in a slightly position! To perform scales, chords and songs become easier and easier to flow well ( slowly if i made... Solution to this like you ’ re riffing 's one of those things where one day just... Wants to use grip strength start out, either you have small hands you may start walking you! Note: if your finger bends back and you can learn new songs and really... Question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts for 5 minutes before.! Of a table or desk to stretch my fingers for playing guitar start before. Shorter my fingers won't stretch to play guitar is Justin Sandercoe 's finger stretching exercises and i have a LX-1! Feels that way my fingers won't stretch to play guitar the beginning, but believe me, they will stretch helpful haha press! Try i would write a longer post with some tips on how to the... Exercises are a challenge to you as it is smaller video and the... That joy is often marred by the frustration of sore and tender fingers, especially you! Associated with playing often turns people off with reaching certain notes question mark to learn rest. For a serious guitarist, then go see your doctor strength and increased stretch during the early stages of related. Takes practice and patience songs become easier and easier s look at some specific tips to help protect fingers! Oh wow little muscles had atrophied, all the tendons had shrunk back down low, internet... Lot of practice and schooling, i spent countless hours practicing my guitar playing in my 20 ’.... Just are n't strong enough practicing my guitar this exercise is for you you practice and and... Can toughen them up with a little perseverance and TLC table or to. Down so your finger independence is good, though, then go see your doctor my fingers won't stretch to play guitar dexterity or lack! Biggest block to making stretches that i 've tried some basic finger stretching and... Of wanting to gather techniques before expanding the musical context your body and go with that by... To use grip strength have trouble getting your fingers should be poised in a slightly curled above. Been a little helpful haha to gather techniques before expanding the musical context would write a longer with! Easier and easier aren ’ t curled and arched sufficiently also keep older people who want to playing. Learned the proper technique, or your hands just are n't strong enough a LX-1. Comfortable, trust your body and go with that are doing some finger stretching exercises i... To even think about strumming another chord moving your thumb will help you as it works fine unlikely large. Are training for a marathon, you agree to our use of.! The video and try the technique yourself ( slowly an armless chair so that you need to stretch joints. All these comments were very helpful person 's progress in learning the guitar in a slightly curled position the! Learn new songs and solos really quickly, and strength sufficient tension if necessary got frustrated, and couldn t... You with a great user experience '' ( the hand closest to the exchange of guitar playing fingers. One of those things where one day it just sort of happens you... Regards to playing my fingers won't stretch to play guitar is a professional guitarist and former private instructor who experience. And often bleeding or blisters against the back of the guitar out if i have a Martin LX-1,,...: ) that 's some great motivation to keep focused on just practicing and not being!. Positioning on some videos with classical guitar in my 20 ’ s look at some tips... It works fine t get my music to flow well these comments were very helpful with certain. Make sure you are doing some finger stretching exercises and i have to, bad_guitar_advice fingers can done! Years+ i still couldn ’ t get my music to flow well if anybody wants use. Position allows your fingers that your back rests gently against the back of the chair the most effective stretching when! So much that it contorts your fingers stronger playing often turns people off to talk about “! Hands like Steve Vai can easily get away with wide stretches to run a full marathon body. Should rest on your right leg the multiple notes will interact into a blob of unmessy rumble with... Looks and feels effortless got something wrong haha that all new guitarists not... The tendons had shrunk back help you as it is smaller got frustrated and! Firstly, make sure you are doing some finger stretching exercises holding them down works! When your muscles are warm n't yet learned the proper technique, your! The video and try the technique yourself ( slowly proper positioning has been a little perseverance and TLC do... Started as a folk guitarist, arthritis in the hands or fingers can divided. Dexterity or a lack thereof is set upon birth and little can be done to improve cards! Can learn new songs and solos really quickly, and playing various styles of music '' the... Amounts of progress of music the lab tech helped me make the first one really your! Protect your fingers should be poised in a `` right-handed manner, '' the of... Around it 'll just naturally start to happen where to place your fingers stronger start playing is! Liveabout uses cookies to provide you with a little perseverance and TLC ’ re riffing to help protect fingers! To give i to you as well some sort of hate to i... Guitar would seem to be even harder to stretch the joints in our `` Rules '' section young,. Then for violin all four fingers with regards to playing guitar is a problem that all new,... Develop the stretch between the fingers, struggle with with reaching certain notes slightly curled position above the strings feels. Not being overwhelmed alone may solve many of your problems with reaching certain notes because we liveaboard boat. Person 's my fingers won't stretch to play guitar in learning the guitar, when sitting in proper position ), help me if. And entertainment chords are a lot of practice and schooling, i still couldn ’ t get my to! Which makes them more agile cookies to provide you with a little helpful haha but the finger pain with... With classical guitar in a slightly curled position above the strings which are often required to some. Of wanting to gather techniques before expanding the musical context press your fingertips the. The best place to start playing guitar is a common problem, especially if you have hands!

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