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Women And Chords

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(@teen_guitarist)
Active Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 13
Topic starter  

Hi everyone, I'm new to the forums here. I am a young teenaged female, and I'm having problems playing chords due to my small hands. Does anyone here have the same problem, and is there anything I can do to make playing chords easier ???

"After Changes upon changes, we are more or less the same." Paul Simon


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

Don't give up!  EVERYBODY has problems with chords in the beginning.  Fingers get sore, sound is terrible, you can't switch the chords fast enough to make a song sound intelligible.  That's just the way it is.

If you are getting discouraged, try to mostly play chords you are (fairly) good at and then work in the harder chords.  I know that in the open position (no barred chords), I had a lot of problems with the B7 chord (because I had to use my pinky) and the F chord (because I had to hold down two strings with one finger).  But I just kept at it.

I don't know what kind of guitar you are playing but some are better for smaller hands than others.  You might want to take your guitar to a local -- and small -- music store and ask them.

There's no magic unfortunately, so keep on trying and working to stretch your hands.  Yes, people with long fingers have it easier but even us short stubby-fingered women can stretch to the harder positions.  It just takes time and patience.


   
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(@alangreen)
Member
Joined: 22 years ago
Posts: 5342
 

Hi, TG, and welcome to Guitar Noise.

Tell us a little about your Guitar and how long you've been playing - electrics have slimmer necks which makes it easier to get your hands round some of the more complicated chords, and a lot of these things get easier with practice, but it's difficult to diagnose without some info.

Best,

A :-)

"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at: http://www.rollmopmusic.co.uk


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

Hi,

I just wanted to pop in and say that, regardless of the size of your hands, chords are always a prob for everyone, in the beginning. I know people with tiny hands who can stretch their fingers all over the fretboard, while beginners like me, with huge hands, can barely do a basic cord, let alone rapidly switch between them. So all I can say is 'keep practicing'. It'll get better every day,


   
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(@teen_guitarist)
Active Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 13
Topic starter  

Hi, TG, and welcome to Guitar Noise.

Tell us a little about your Guitar and how long you've been playing - electrics have slimmer necks which makes it easier to get your hands round some of the more complicated chords, and a lot of these things get easier with practice, but it's difficult to diagnose without some info.

Best,

A :-)

I play a classical guitar by a French/Canadian company called Norman, a branch of Godin. It about a medium sized guitar I'd say. I've been playing for over half a year, but I have only recently attempted chords being as I'm used just to fingerpicking the melodies of my favourite songs.

"After Changes upon changes, we are more or less the same." Paul Simon


   
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(@p_allen)
Estimable Member
Joined: 22 years ago
Posts: 83
 

Classical style guitars have wider necks so it can be more difficult to play if your thumb isn't behind the neck (the classical position). If your thumb is resting on the top edge of the neck then you are leaving your hands with a lot of work to do. Alter your style a little, change thumb position. Otherwise just keep practicing your fingers will become more flexible with time.

Good luck,

Pete. :)

Why Do Other Peoples Shipbuilding When you Could Go Diving For Pearls Of Your Own?


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

I read somewhere about some exercises to improve the span of your fingers. Just gently push apart the index & middle fingers of your left hand - just as far as they will comfortably go, NOT so that it hurts. Then do the middle & ring finger, then ring & little finger. Do it a couple of times a day & it will allow you a bigger reach.
DISCLAIMER: I've no idea if it will cause any long-term damage that might be a problem years down the line - so its at your own risk (or ask a Dr)


   
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(@monazza_talha)
New Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 1
 

Hi All  :)

I am also one of those who really want to play the guitar but are belssed with tiny hands. I have been learning to play for a couple of months now [about 8] andi still am not able to hold the barre chords properly. I know i have not been practicing very hard due to my other commitments, but still it is high time that i could do this.

And another problem which i have is in bending chords. Seems my fingers don't have the power in them to bend the strings properly.  I wonder if i could do some weight lifting with my bending fingers.  ;D Maybe it will help.

And i do keep stretching my finger apart, like hagrider suggested but that doesnt seem to be helping a lot. I wonder for how long do i have to wait and practice in order to get all my chords and techniques right.

I know that practice is the key ingridient, but if there is something else anyone can suggest, please do. Will be on the look out for suggestions posted here.  :D

Till next time.

Monazza Talha  ::)


   
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(@corbind)
Noble Member
Joined: 22 years ago
Posts: 1735
 

I'd say it's easier reaching chords on a Fender electric than it is a fat-neck acoustic.  Your hands and fingers get more nimble/pliable every month you play.

Disclaimer:  Take this poison only if you REALLY need it.

Say you can't stretch your fingers to play an open G chord like this:

E: --3--  = G note
B: --0--  = B
G: --0--  = G
D: --0--  = D
A: --2--  = B
E: --3--  = G

That is the proper way to play a G.  It contains only the notes G, B, and D.  So I offer what's wrong with just playing:

E: --3--  = G note
B: --0--  = B
G: --0--  = G
D: --0--  = D
A: --2--  = B
E: --X--  = no note

You stil have the 3 notes that make up a G but now you have B in the root.  Just an inversion.  Sounds different but it works.  What about:

E: --3--  = G note
B: --0--  = B
G: --0--  = G
D: --0--  = D
A: --X--  = no note
E: --X--  = no note

Another inversion but with the D as the bass note.  Nevertheless, try your best for a few months to play the chords "right."  If not, revert to poision aforementioned.

"Nothing...can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts."


   
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(@Anonymous)
New Member
Joined: 1 second ago
Posts: 0
 

Just have to keep practicing....it will get better with time...i know, i just started playing and i have gotten alot better over the last few weeks. Body parts just have to adjust.

Keep at it...you will get it

Later  8)


   
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 joa
(@joa)
New Member
Joined: 22 years ago
Posts: 1
 

I've got pretty small hands too and having the strength to get to grips with chords was really hard for me. But like the others said it does get a lot better especially if you follow all the advice they gave.

Once you've done that, it's great having small hands if you ever get an electric because the strings are closer together and with small fingers you won't have problems eliminating buzz etc - your playing will probably be a bit cleaner anyway. Plus they seem to be more flexible. So it can be a bonus too.


   
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(@blackswan)
Trusted Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 51
 

Hey, yeah just wanted to say I agree with everyone else. I play a classical guitar and it was really hard for me when I first tried the G chord. I had to use my other hand to hold my pinky in place the first few times, but it gets better pretty soon(or so it was for me  ;) )
If you're just starting I think you should practice the easy chords(like Em) first, and after a while you can try the harder chords (like G and B7). Anyway, keep practicing.
                                                                                   best,
                                                                                Laura


   
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 Gina
(@gina)
Estimable Member
Joined: 21 years ago
Posts: 99
 

I don't have small hands, but I can remember when certain chords were a big problem -- particularly Barre chords. All the advice given so far is great. The only thing I can say is practice, practice, practice. Your hand will slowly start to limber up and gain strength over time. Good luck!

"And if you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there." -- George Harrison


   
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(@hbriem)
Honorable Member
Joined: 22 years ago
Posts: 646
 

You get complaints from male beginners equally often.  

Only they complain that their hands are too big!

It is hard to play guitar at first, it takes a little perseverance to get over those first few hurdles.  

There are lots of even higher hurdles further along, but when you start you can't even see them, which is a good thing or you'd never start.  ;D

--
Helgi Briem
hbriem AT gmail DOT com


   
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(@corbind)
Noble Member
Joined: 22 years ago
Posts: 1735
 

You bet Helgi.  If I had know about the many guitar hurdles on the first day of playing guitar I would have taken up taken up lounging on the couch, watching pointless tv while drinking stale beer.  Much easier.  Isn't that what half the world does at night?

It's definitely much better to go into it "blind" and solve problems little by little as they come.  I like to think of it as a platter of 1,000 super deluxe hamburgers and someone saying "here ya go, eat up!"  Your mind would say "you HAVE to be kidding me.  I CAN'T eat all that.  Oh my, what am I going to do?"  Instead, it's easier to have a burger or two served to you each day to nourish the body and mind.  Each day consume burgers and after a year and a half or three years (depending if you ate one burger a day or two), you'll have eaten all of them (consider that music theory and much knowledge about guitar and playing retained).

At that point you've achieved what would have been unthinkable in your first weeks.  Unfortunately, by the time you consumed all those burgers someone mentions "Oh yea, (laughs) I forgot to show you all the fries that go with that."

"Nothing...can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts."


   
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