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New girl to the guitar, please help!

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(@katrina85)
Active Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 3
Topic starter  

Hi there!
well, i got my first acoustic guitar on Monday, and naturally i want to play. Never anticipated just how painful it really was going to be. So my first daft question is, is there anything i can do to speed up the proces of building up these callouses on my fingers?! or something I can put on them to ease the pain?!
Secondly, why is it that when I strum along to a cd, the cd makes it sound as though its an individual note, whereas when I do it, it sounds as though im hitting it string individually? Does this make sense? Like, iv learnt E, D and A, and when i play these notes it just sounds as though im catchin eachstring individually and sounds stupid to me! What am i doing wrong?!
I seem to have real problems with not making it buzz either, and im a woman, i have pretty small fingers! But i find it really hard to get them into the correct position and exert enough pressuer on them! am I the only one that has these kind of problems?

Thanks!

"The mind is like a parachute - it works better when its opened"


   
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(@nicktorres)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 5381
 

You can't really speed up the process, but stop playing when your fingers hurt too much.

It will take about 3 weeks give or take, before your fingers stop hurting.

When you are strumming chords, be loose. Relax your wrist and forearm. Think smooth.


   
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(@crank-n-jam)
Noble Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 1206
 

One thing I did to help build my finger tips up was to do slides on the low E string using each finger. Sounds silly, but doing this for a few minutes each time I practiced did seem to help. Now I don't really have callouses, but my finger tips have lost some feeling and I can play for hours before my fingers start hurting.

"Rock And Roll Ain't Noise Pollution"


   
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(@metaellihead)
Honorable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 653
 

You're probably not strumming the chord quickly enough. Now, by that I don't mean frequency, or how quickly you do chords in succession/one after the other. No, I'm talking about how fast each stroke is across the strings. If your stroke is slow the chord will sound more like induvidual notes rather than the entire chord going off together. Try and experiment with the speed of your stroke, see how you can alter it's sound by picking it at different speeds.

Play around some, see how you can change the voicing of your chord by stroking it at different speeds and putting more emphasis on the bass or treble strings. But don't worry about that too much. Right now you've really got to focus on playing those chords cleanly and switching between them just as well.

Try and visualize your fingers going into the positions you need for each chord. You'll build up muscle memory and those chord changes will be easy after a while. Everyone starts out with these problems, don't worry about it.

-Metaellihead


   
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(@david-m1)
Estimable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 122
 

About the hurting fingers like someone above said, you should see improvment in about three weeks.. I recommend several short sessions a day as oppossed to one long session, play rest play rest.....

Something else that will help your hurting fingers, is making sure the action on your guitar is set nice and low, strings should be close to the fretboard. You can have this adjusted if there too high.

The buzzing and getting your fingers in the right postion will come in time, before you know it (sooner not later)you'll switch with out looking or having to think about it. Practice slow and accurate, speed will come.

Best of luck, I hope you enjoy your guitar.


   
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(@bmxdude)
Estimable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 119
 

Learn how to play this song:

https://www.guitarnoise.com/article.php?id=36

And then some of these

https://www.guitarnoise.com/easy.php

"The answer is practice.
Now, what's the question?"
Words by David Mead.


   
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(@moonrider)
Noble Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 1305
 

Hi there!
well, i got my first acoustic guitar on Monday, and naturally i want to play. Never anticipated just how painful it really was going to be. So my first daft question is, is there anything i can do to speed up the proces of building up these callouses on my fingers?! or something I can put on them to ease the pain?!

The best suggestion I can give is to do short sessions starting out, about 30 minutes or until your fingers begin to hurt. Remember, not only do you need to build up pads on your fingertips, you need to build strength in your hand. Once a short session is comfortable, you can extend the practice time.
Secondly, why is it that when I strum along to a cd, the cd makes it sound as though its an individual note, whereas when I do it, it sounds as though im hitting it string individually?. . . What am i doing wrong?!

Brush the pick across the strings faster, until the chord seems like a single beat.
I seem to have real problems with not making it buzz either, and im a woman, i have pretty small fingers! But i find it really hard to get them into the correct position and exert enough pressuer on them! am I the only one that has these kind of problems?

Nope :) The notes and chords will clean up as you build hand strength and muscle memories.

Playing guitar and never playing for others is like studying medicine and never working in a clinic.

Moondawgs on Reverbnation


   
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(@anonymous)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 8184
 

2 schools of thought on the buzzing.
1. your fingertips are soft right now so the strings tend to sink into them causing you to have to exert more pressure to play clean.
2. it may be possible that your guitar is not set up right, in which case you will never get rid of the buzzing until you get a proper setup.
One other thing, and this will effect the buzzing and getting clean tones, how far behind the fret are you putting your finger? It should be right up next to the fret (not on top of it but behind it)
As others have said the pain will go away in about 3 weeks or so, you will see gradual improvement.
Ways to help? See what size strings you have, you may be able to go to a lighter string. The pain is your bodies reaction to injury. It is partly do to inflamation. Take an anti-inflamitory such as Ibuprofen. It will not get rid of the pain all together but will lesson it.
Sore fingertips are normal but if you start getting pain in your wrist and/or numbness in your hand STOP playing and do 2 things.
Rest for awhile and give youself a chance to heal and take a closer look at how you are holding your guitar.
Keep plugging away at it and before long you'll be playing all kinds of songs and really start enjoying the experience.
Best of luck


   
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(@yoyo286)
Noble Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 1681
 

This might help, though I dont have any experiance with it: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/srs7/g=guitar/s=accessories/search/detail/base_pid/423501/
And welocme to guitarnoise, katrina! :)

Stairway to Freebird!


   
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(@katrina85)
Active Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 3
Topic starter  

Thanks for all your replies!!

Well, this weekend, i got myself a few picks/plectrums, and i noticed that strumming seemed a whole lot better when i used one, more powerful, louder, and clearer. In answer to various questions, I am putting my finger just behind the frets, and i belive that my strings are also close enough to the fret board. I do believe that it could be that my fingers are too soft at the moment which is why the strings are sinking in and maybe not being pushed down enough.
Iv noticed now, that the ends of my fingers feel a little different, a kind of pins and needles feel to them! and on sunday, there was an improvement in the level of pain i experienced.
Im going to carry on practicing the few notes i know, as id rather build up my speed etc in those than learn any others just yet. I am getting better, but its defiantely going to take a while, need to learn where to put fingers on fret board and where to strum, and it takes a fair bit of brain power! but its all good fun.
very helpful advice on this board!

"The mind is like a parachute - it works better when its opened"


   
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