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will my fingers ever bend in the right way....

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(@sammiantha)
New Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 2
Topic starter  

Anything the covers 1 or 2 frets I can do quite easily with practice. But anything over more than 2 frets and its frustratingly impossible to place my fingers where they need to be. I've been playing the flute for 10 or so years - given me great control over my fingers but unfortunately it hasn't done anything for my flexibility. Any time I attempt to do barre chords I give up immensly irritated and with aching fingers.

Am I causing myself pain for nothing, or will my hand eventually do what my brain is asking of it?


   
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(@chris-c)
Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 3454
 

Hi,

In my experience, yes, they should learn eventually. I think that the real question you should be asking yourself is "how can I keep myself motivated and interested for long enough for the practice to start to work?":) (I've seen "months" quoted on some sites for how long it can take to get the knack of barre chords.)

How do you go with C and F chords? Both of those span 3 frets. I've heard that most beginners seem to hate F to start with, but come to terms with C much quicker.

When I started a year ago (with fairly stiff and gnarled old hands) I thought that my fingers were too big, my hand would never stretch, I'd never get a barre right, I'd never be able to change chords accurately or fast enough, and all the usual beginner worries. But the more I practiced the easier it got. That's about it really.

My guess is that for most learners the biggest hurdle isn't any specific technical problem it's finding out exactly what motivates them to put enough good solid regular practice in. :)

My excuse was always "I don't really have enough time to practice right now".. to which my "other" self would reply "Hey, if you haven't got enough time to practice, then you aren't going to have enough time to play when you get good! Better give up right now and buy CDs instead.." :twisted:

I found the time, and kept going. 8)


   
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(@sammiantha)
New Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 2
Topic starter  

Thank you for your reply and encouragement.

I've had my guitar over a year but I haven't invested any real effort or time into it until recently. I have managed to get to grips with C just about, I can strum a couple of bars of it before I start to lose it. But with F I can't even imagine how to begin...


   
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 geoo
(@geoo)
Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 2801
 

Welcome to GN. Yes, your fingers will loosen and stretch. I remember when I started, not too long ago, I couldnt even stretch my pinky to a stupid little G chord. Now, I can do it without looking. I'm not so great at barre chords yet, but I know its the same deal there.

I think the most important thing is that you keep yourself enjoying what you are doing so that you keep on playing. Guitars are fun, not stressful work.

Have fun

Geoo

“The hardest thing in life is to know which bridge to cross and which to burn” - David Russell (Scottish classical Guitarist. b.1942)


   
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(@gunslinger)
Reputable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 345
 

You'll get there! Remember, it doesnt hurt to stretch your fingers out just before you play too. That may help you loosen up more quickly. Make sure to play with the C chord everyday until it works the way you want it to work.

Good luck!

Our songs also have the standard pop format: Verse, chorus, verse, chorus, solo, bad solo. All in all, I think we sound like The Knack and the Bay City Rollers being molested by Black Flag and Black Sabbath.

Kurt Cobain


   
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(@ignar-hillstrom)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 5349
 

Just keep practicing. I 'knew' them well enough to fret them but wasn't fast enough to properly use them for the first year. Then I got lessons and I didn't inform my teacher I couldn't do barres. So I worked my arse of and learned major/minor barres in a week, he never noticed.

It takes some work, it isn't fun, but once you manage them it is hugely rewarding. Couldn't play most songs with the band without them...


   
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(@vegas_jay)
Trusted Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 46
 

I have had a similar problem. My teacher would show me a new chord, and at first I just could not get my hand to make the chord. C and G chord were especially hard. I struggled with those for a couple of weeks (practicing every day) before I could form those chords reasonably well.

Now, I can form the chords fine (the ones I know anyways, haven't learned F or B) but I struggle to move between them fluidly for playing a song. It gets a little better each day. Someday I will be able to play a song.

Don't give up, just keep on practicing and you can do it!

:)


   
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(@josephlefty)
Reputable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 373
 

you must be using acoustic? I switched to electric. Electric is much easier and gives you more time to practice without pain or frustration.

Electric giving me more time to practice allowed me to develope skills faster and then acoustic is so much easier when you go back to it armed with being able to do things and just fine tuning yourself for little buzzes here and there. :D

If it was easy it wouldn't be worth doing.


   
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