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> My Fat Fingers, Fingers to fat to touch just one string at a time
Jimmy Fats
post Jan 1 2008, 11:27 PM
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Good day all.

I'm new to the site here and what I've seen is pretty damn good.
I'm 43, I started to play when I was a 8 but gave up after a year due to parents financial situation. Picked up a guitar when I was 16 to try again and had no structured practice just goofing around so I never really learned anything. Now that my daughter has shown interest in guitar I picked up mine and now realize the situation with my fingers.
My question is,
what my problem is and I can't seem to get around it is my fingers have a strange shape to them, where as the spot where my fingerprint is in the middle of my finger, my finger actually comes to a point there and I cannot fret one string without touching the adjacent higher string.
Also in order to get a clean sound from the string I have to press it down so hard on the fretboard t the point where I leave string dents in my fingertips making them numb, there by touching the adjacent string even further. This is very bothersome to me. Especially when I see people playing and it looks like they are barely touching the string to the fret. I love to play but when I actually do I usually get frustrated now and give up within 15 minutes. I need to find a way to get around this so I can play like I would like to. What really gets me is when I see these guitarists my size, Lifeson, Gilmour, Darrel Abbott and the like I can't see why I have such a problem with my fingers.

Any body, any suggestions???
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JVM
post Jan 1 2008, 11:33 PM
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Can you show us pictures? We all had problems hitting other strings and fretting at first. And I know of some guitarists with some really strange techniques... some of them have disabilities related to their hands (I have a slight disability related to my right picking hand but it's easily overcome). And they're great anyhow.


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FretDancer69
post Jan 1 2008, 11:36 PM
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yeah, and about the string dents in the fingers, you just gotta keep playing, calluses will form over time, but if it hurts ALOT stop immediatly, you dont want an injury, specially if you're just starting.


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PlayAllDay
post Jan 1 2008, 11:56 PM
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Hi and welcome Jimmy Fats biggrin.gif
Good on you for picking up the guitar again, there is a certain amount of finesse that you will develop when fretting strings that will enable you to get past your finger width problem for sure, I have never met a hand yet that wasn't able to...the upside of such a finger shape is you can use them for left hand string muting if you play electric guitar which is a big bonus biggrin.gif
What type and quality of guitar are you playing?? - a quality guitar with a good set up and low action will make playing soooooooooooooooooo much easier, the other kind of guitar I refer to as 'cheese graters' and will not play them.

Ok so hints and tips, I will give it a whirl...

practise fretting notes on the very tips of your fingers, make sure finger is well and truly bent at the distal(first) joint

when fretting the important aspect is that the fretwire and string makes a perfect connection - so you are only using your fingertip to facilitate that connection, use as little effort as possible, just enough and no more. Place finger just to the left of the fret so this connection will be strong as possible with minimum pressure applied.

be patient for results - look for small improvements each week - not a "crap one day and perfect the next" approach and congratulate yourself for having the commitment to attempt this difficult task.



Well that's all I got for now - sometimes my explanations are kinda confusing so you are welcome to ask for clarification of anything I have mentioned.
Happy playing!! smile.gif

PAD


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fkalich
post Jan 2 2008, 12:14 AM
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don't let this bother you. we all have things to overcome here. we don't all have the same hands. I would like to have Gabriel's long fingers, but I don't. You just do what you can with the tools that you have, and if you keep at it, you will have satisfactory results. Sometimes those without the best assets still come out ahead, the old tortoise and hare paradigm.
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JOhn
post Jan 2 2008, 08:28 AM
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laugh.gif lol Pictures?


















Ha ha ha just kidding but you should soon get used to the guitar i know that when i started i pressed the strings down very hard but you just start using less strength after time. I also doubt that your finger are that fat. Iv seen alot of fat people play guitar but it doesn't really seem to affect them. So keep on playing smile.gif


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mattacuk
post Jan 2 2008, 01:25 PM
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I would say for at least 6 months my fingertips were so sore I could have cried (a bit like when Kris drops his guitar on the floor laugh.gif ).

I remember playing with my live instructor and thinking, "man i cant go on my finger trips are so sore". I remember makeing a thread on GMC about the pain i was suffering also!!

Many times my finger tips were stripped bare, but evantually they callused over completely! Today 1 year on the end are rock hard !! ohmy.gif laugh.gif It is amaizing how the body adapts to situations like this. Also I suffered alot of joint pain this also went away!!

The point Im trying my best to make is that this is a temporary problem if you keep up a practice routine and stick to it. biggrin.gif This is something we can help you with also wink.gif


best wishes

matt


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mysql> SELECT * FROM master_name WHERE ((firstname = 'Paul') AND (lastname = 'Gilbert'));


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Freddie Fourfing...
post Jan 2 2008, 01:37 PM
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I have had similar complaints regarding my own fingers.

First they were too fat.
Then too skinny.
Then they wouldn't reach or spread out far enough.
Too spastic.
Bent funny.
Painful.
Too soft.
Too callused.
Not connected to my brain.

Now I think my problem is....just not enough skill in using what I have...so I'm gonna stop worrying about it and just practice.


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jacmoe
post Jan 2 2008, 05:41 PM
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If the fingers still give you trouble, consider trying a guitar with a broader fretboard (Like the Gibson SG), or Jumbo Frets or a scalloped fretboard (so that you don't have to press the strings down that much).

However, I agree with everyone else: Practice, practice! Endure, endure! biggrin.gif

In the beginning I also had to press a lot to get a clean sound - now I barely touch my strings.. smile.gif

Strange, isn't it?


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Start by playing something - a bend, a riff, a scale, a song - very slowly; if you make a mistake, start over; do this over and over, until you can play it flawlessly - and I do mean flawlessly - many times in a row. Next, gradually increase the tempo. Eventually you'll be flailing like a madman.
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jacmoe
post Jan 2 2008, 06:01 PM
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If everything else fails, try this. tongue.gif


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QUOTE ("Steve Vai")
Start by playing something - a bend, a riff, a scale, a song - very slowly; if you make a mistake, start over; do this over and over, until you can play it flawlessly - and I do mean flawlessly - many times in a row. Next, gradually increase the tempo. Eventually you'll be flailing like a madman.
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Moon Boots
post Jan 2 2008, 06:04 PM
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If your finger tips are getting sore then it might be worth get a much thicker string gauge, as thicker strings hurt much less than thinner ones.

Lowering the action would help massively as well.


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