View Full Version : Trouble with finger hitting more than one string

09-29-2009, 09:27 PM
I am very, very new to this. I'm trying to practice the C chord but, try as I might, I keep brushing either the first or third string with my index finger. I'm looking at the video for how to hold my hand but it just isn't coming together for me.

Can anyone give any ideas how to hold my hand to help my finger be more precise?


Neal Walter
09-30-2009, 12:55 AM
This is a common problem Matt. I wish I had better advice but this is something that went away with practice for me. Make sure your nails
are trimmed. Also, as your fingertips build callouses you wont have to use
as much area on the tip of your finger to sound the note

10-01-2009, 06:35 AM
Thanks for the reply. I think building a callous seems to be key. I found it easier at the start of practice today but as an indentation formed in my finger it became more difficult. So I'll keep practicing and wait for that callous to appear...

10-03-2009, 03:06 PM
Also check your hand position to make sure your fingers are coming in straight to the strings and not angling where they can accidentally touch other strings.

I'll try to explain this in words as best I can. Make your C chord and make sure your thumb is in the center of the back of the neck, probably just above the first fret. Now - push your left wrist slightly forward and watch what a difference that makes in the angle of your fingers coming down, especially the index and second fingers. From the first knuckle to the tip, that section of the finger should be almost a perfect 90 degree angle.

When someone showed me that simple change, it really made a difference in my playing, as it almost completely eliminated my accidental mutes.

10-03-2009, 03:41 PM
Thanks for that tip Clothahump. Was a bit helpful for me as well.

10-04-2009, 10:57 AM
same problem here, actually just started now and trimming nails would really do the job ..so thnks for the tips guys

10-04-2009, 07:38 PM
I've been having the same problem but trimming the nails has been a big help. They weren't all that long to begin with but now I keep them super short at all times. Makes a difference.

10-05-2009, 01:57 PM
Developing callouses will help. If you have to press too hard your fingertips will expand on the fretboard, touching other strings.

Correct hand position will help, make sure you're coming straight down on the strings.

Also make sure that your elbow isn't "flying out in space" or "chicken winging". I had a problem with this for a long time when I was beginning. Fingertips are not symetrically round. They tend to be wider from side to side. So if you turn your fingers away from being parallel to the strings there is a good chance of touching the string above or below. Keeping your elbow close to your body will help your fingertips align properly with the strings.

10-13-2009, 03:36 PM
I have finally got calluses..and I practice chord changes all the tim (still really new)..Ive been trying not to remove the fingers from the fret board but rather slide them to the next chord..its tough but I remember trying to get my muscle memory to do 13 on base and 2 and 4 on snare and hi hat every beat,,that was a huge obastacle to over come but finally after hours of practice it did come.
Im guessing that its going to be the same muscle memory needed to do chord changes,,but I think it will come..right now im practicing a minor to c then g..its hard ..


Dirty Bill
10-13-2009, 04:05 PM
Developing callouses will help. If you have to press too hard your fingertips will expand on the fretboard, touching other strings.

I'm pretty sure that is (one) of my problems...but the callouses are coming.. :cool:

Lauen Bateman
10-14-2009, 01:16 PM
YeaI agree with Clothahump. I oftern had an issue with this not because of callouses but because my hand and finger position wasn't correct.

11-20-2009, 10:36 AM
I remember the "dents" I used to get in my fingertips, yeah it would make it hard to switch chords or whatever. Kinda felt like it wasn't even my finger ahhaha. Those dent's are going to go away, atleast the huge grooves you get at first.

11-21-2009, 06:18 PM
Yeah its not easy but after a while you'll get it bud

12-01-2009, 07:22 PM
I am a newbie and learning on an acoustic. I never thought about the problem of my finger spreading during practice but now it makes perfect sense.

How long does it take to build the callouses? Is have subconsciously trying to limit practice to 30 minutes as I noticed the longer I played the more problems I was having. I figured it was just tired fingers.


12-01-2009, 08:27 PM
The more you play, the sooner will come the callouses. When I started playing acoustic, I played until it was simply too painful to continue. Tore my fingertips up sometimes. I don;t recommend that. It's important to play every day if you want to build them up, though. Even now, if I break for a few days I really notice the sensitivity coming back.