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Should my fingers touch more than one string?

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(@irideflatland)
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Joined: 19 years ago
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Topic starter  

I just got my guitar today, and when I push one finger on a fret, my finger always touches the string next to it (touching 2 strings and frets at once). Should I not do this? It is really hard not to do.

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(@vegas_jay)
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From one newbie to another, it's all very hard at first. Keep at it, in no time at all you will easily be doing stuff that today you would say, "This is physically impossible for me to do."


   
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 Nils
(@nils)
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Yes it is really hard not to touch adjourning strings when you are starting out. It is all a matter of the technique of how you place your hand on the neck. You need to get your fingers perpendicular to the strings so when you press down you are pressing straight down on the one string. To do this you may have to have your thumb somewhere around the middle of the back of the neck and not choking the neck with the hand.

There is a second factor and that is until you build callouses on your finger tips they will spread out more when you press them especially if you press too hard. So, look forward to the pain in the finger tips until the callouses start to form. With steady practice this comes in about 2 weeks on average but everybody is different so it could be longer.

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(@ebuchednezzar)
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Is it necessarily a bad thing if your fingers do touch the other strings? For instance, as I learn patterns that include open strings and notes on adjacent strings, I sometimes fret the next note in a less perpendicular way so that the meat of my finger can mute the string I struck first. Otherwise I get a ton of noise. Is this "bad technique"?

"There's no easy ways man," he said. "You gotta learn the hard parts for yourself."


   
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(@gizzy)
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Joined: 20 years ago
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I had that problem when I first started, cut my nails as short as I could get them and adjusted my fingers and things got much better over time. :D


   
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(@Anonymous)
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Ebuchednezzar,

I feel your pain...LITERALLY!! I am just starting as well and the same thing is happening...just keep practicing and it will work itself out...


   
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(@ebuchednezzar)
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Well, at one point I probably was doing it unintentionally back when I was just starting out. But now, I've been learning to read music so starting with C Major at first position, there are a lot of open string tones. When I'm moving around in that area, I use the meat of my fingers on purpose, to keep things clean and quiet. I'm just not sure if it's "correct" to do that on purpose.

"There's no easy ways man," he said. "You gotta learn the hard parts for yourself."


   
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(@vegas_jay)
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My guitar teacher tells me that playing the right note is only half of the battle. The other half is not letting the wrong notes play. He says it's important to get into the habit of muting strings you don't want to ring. I am not very good at it yet, but the two main ways he has shown me is using the palm/edge of your strumming hand and using fingers that aren't fretting a note on the fretting hand.

If you have found a way that works for you, I think you are probably doing it right.


   
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(@jimbob)
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Is it necessarily a bad thing if your fingers do touch the other strings? For instance, as I learn patterns that include open strings and notes on adjacent strings, I sometimes fret the next note in a less perpendicular way so that the meat of my finger can mute the string I struck first. Otherwise I get a ton of noise. Is this "bad technique"?

I'm not sure,

but i'll put what i think and let someone comment - after all thats what its all about!

Does it depend on what your playing - if your playing a lead solo or riff and your just hitting notes one at a time i would have thought it wouldn't matter if your fingers are touching other strings because your not playing them. but then i think it would be good practice to try and not touch other strings so your used to it for chords and strumming.

I know you probably can't tell if thats a question or advice but its basically something i'm thinking on this subject that i also would like to know if is correct.

:shock:


   
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(@anonymous)
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Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 8184
 

That WILL happen.It WILL go only by time.You are playing guitar for first time so give it some days , maybe even months.I know only that how hard it was for me to play Cmajor chord :( .But Yeah i did play it and now i don't knw what was my problem. 8)


   
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(@undercat)
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Joined: 20 years ago
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Does it depend on what your playing - if your playing a lead solo or riff and your just hitting notes one at a time i would have thought it wouldn't matter if your fingers are touching other strings because your not playing them. but then i think it would be good practice to try and not touch other strings so your used to it for chords and strumming.

I know you probably can't tell if thats a question or advice but its basically something i'm thinking on this subject that i also would like to know if is correct.
If you're perfectly precise with your right hand then I suppose that you don't have to worry about muting the other strings, but at least for me, I've found that's rarely a reality. Especially on stage when things are getting intense or you're improvising in a jam session, your pick tends to hit those other strings. In addition to that, you get your gain high up, you'll find that jarring the guitar with onstage antics will produce a chorus of unintentional notes.

All that to say, lead or rhythm, I'll be muting unfretted strings using either the flesh on my fretting hand fingers or the palm of my picking hand.

Do something you love and you'll never work a day in your life...


   
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(@ebuchednezzar)
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Not sure if I was clear, I meant a C Major scale pattern, not the chord. There's a number of ways that I can mute the low E on that chord, but what I was referring to before was lead playing. Like, one note after the other. When you play a C Major first position scale, D G and B are open. After I play those notes, I have to mute them as I'm playing the next note in order to maintain a clean sound, otherwise the open string will just hum and hum and hum. I usually do that with the tips of my fretting fingers because I find muting with my right hand, at least to the fine extent of a single string, to be cumbersome. Especially if it's a higher string like B.

Also, I don't find this difficult or have trouble executing it. I picked it up easily after making a conscious decision to use it as a technique. But, I don't want to be fingertip muting as I do now if it's going to hinder my development at some later point.

"There's no easy ways man," he said. "You gotta learn the hard parts for yourself."


   
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 vink
(@vink)
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After I play those notes, I have to mute them as I'm playing the next note in order to maintain a clean sound, otherwise the open string will just hum and hum and hum.

This is helpful. I just recently got an electric guitar, and I've noticed this problem to be much worse on it than accoustic, and I was trying to figure out how to mute those with my right hand.

--vink
"Life is either an adventure or nothing" -- Helen Keller


   
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