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Guitar moving when changing chords

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(@mrodgers)
Trusted Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 75
Topic starter  

Here is something I have a problem with that I have not read on the forum here....

I've found and watched a few videos on youtube and it has inspired me to pick up the guitar again for the 183rd time, LOL. This is what usually happens, I get busy and forget about it, then watch a youtube video so I pick it back up again.

Anyways, one of the things that is deterring me from continuing consistently is when I change chords, the guitar neck moves away from me when I release to change. Does that sound strange? It sounds strange and difficult for me to say it in words. I don't know if it's the way I am sitting where ever I am as I sometimes am sitting on the couch (don't seem to have the problem there), sometimes in the basement in front of the computer on my computer chair, or sometimes just sitting on the bed in the bedroom (not a good position sitting on the bed, I do know that.)

I have a guitar strap, but it is one that just ties around near the nut. It is loose and is generally useless when I am sitting down. I can't tighten it because that just brings my guitar up to my neck and it's way too high.

Just wondering if anyone understands what I laid out about the fretboard moving away from me when I release a chord to change to another. It is annoying as I don't have the greatest guitar and it is taking me quite a bit to press down the strings when fingering a chord.

And for the new folks, what inspired me to pick it up again is some videos I saw on youtube. I found Marty Schwartz (from a guitar newsletter) and he has some DVDs and some youtube vids that I watched. One of his vids talks about the minor pentatonic scales and a run that doesn't just go up through the 5th and 8th fret. It moves from the 3rd/5th on the top strings sliding to the 5th-8th then down near the bottom slide to the 8th-11th fret. Watching him do that just made a lot of sense in quite a few easier solo type stuff that I look at on TABS. Now I want to once again work on getting fluid with the minor pentatonic scale (I think) and do some of the stuff in his videos. Here's the one video that I found really neat - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DuhHdbwWBG0&feature=channel_page . I don't know what that is called, I just thought it was neat as I haven't really learned anything on the guitar other than open chords and trying to play along with some TABS.

One of these days I will consistently pick up my guitar and actually learn how to play this chunk of wood that just collects dust, LOL.


   
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(@acousticfish)
Trusted Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 37
 

Sounds to me like you're totally releasing the neck when you change chords, in the first position you should have your thumb placed at second fret and remain there during your changes. Alot of the time when you change chords your hand position will remain the same just your fingers will adjust, for example C to Am. Your only moving your ring finger from 3rd fret fifth string to 2nd fret 3rd string, would your guitar move during that change, if so I'm not quite sure whats happening. :?


   
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(@kent_eh)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1882
 

Like acousticfish said, but don't push on the guitar neck with your thumb either. You don't want to be pushing the guitar away from you.
Just keep it in contact while the other fingers re-arrange themselves.

I wrapped a newspaper ’round my head
So I looked like I was deep


   
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(@mrodgers)
Trusted Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 75
Topic starter  

Cool, thanks for the replies. I am completely releasing when changing chords. At the moment, I am really only using C-G-A-D as in Patience. That's what I'm playing along with Brain Damage from DHodge's Easy Songs.

A-D is fine as the index finger doesn't move, but for all the other changes, all fingers lift off to a different string/fret.

I'm not that fond of an acoustic guitar as the bulk doesn't feel comfortable to me and I can't seem to position the guitar or myself comfortably. But it's the only guitar I have so I have to make due. The way it ends up positioned, I don't like it and end up pulling the neck in with my left hand/arm to make it more comfortable to reach with the fingers. Perhaps my problem isn't with the lack of guitar skills, but lack of doing situps, LOL.

I do know one problem I have is soft fingertips. I can't seem to toughen up the fingertips fast enough and end up putting the guitar down for a period of time (long period) thus starting all over again when I pick it up again. With the soft fingertips and the cheapie guitar, I have to press pretty hard on the strings to get any sound. Then I release to change the fingers around and the neck is moving away from my body making me need to move the fingers even further. I guess maybe I just need to be patient with waiting for the fingertips to toughen up so I don't have to concentrate on pressing the strings down as hard.


   
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(@kent_eh)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1882
 

Then I release to change the fingers around and the neck is moving away from my body making me need to move the fingers even further.

Hmmm.. Maybe try shortening or lengthening the strap a bit. Perhaps it'll fit against your body better..
Or see if you can adjust how your picking hand forearm presses on the guitar.
Can you post a picture of you in playing position?
I guess maybe I just need to be patient with waiting for the fingertips to toughen up so I don't have to concentrate on pressing the strings down as hard.
It comes with time persistence and practice.
Everything is always about the practice.

I wrapped a newspaper ’round my head
So I looked like I was deep


   
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