Change chords on electric guitar - newbie question

Guitar Tricks Forum > Guitar Basics > Change chords on electric guitar - newbie question

Joe Newinski

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Joined: 11/13/09

Posts: 7

I find that when I'm changing chords on my electric guitar it makes a funny noise as I'm lefting my fingers up to place them on the new chord position. What am I doing wrong?

Am I hurrying the new chord positions too much? Meaning I haven't really stopped struming on the first chord and, without knowing it, I'm already moving my fingers for the second chord.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

#1

I find that when I'm changing chords on my electric guitar it makes a funny noise as I'm lefting my fingers up to place them on the new chord position. What am I doing wrong?

Am I hurrying the new chord positions too much? Meaning I haven't really stopped struming on the first chord and, without knowing it, I'm already moving my fingers for the second chord.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

Guitar Tricks Admin

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Joined: 09/28/05

Posts: 2303

Hi Joe,

Could you describe the sound?

I'm guessing it may be residual vibrations on the string as you lift up. Do you strings feel sticky, or not smooth? It's possible that your strings are old and you may need to change them. Older strings can feel a little sticky, or just not as smooth as it should be.

Another issue could be that your string height is a bit too high and your fingers are bumping into other strings.

Remember, there's always a little bit of noise when you remove or place your fingers on the fretboard, but if it's very loud and apparent, it may be another issue.

I suggest changing the strings, and adjusting the string height, maybe lowering them or even raising it, until it feels good, and sounds good.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact us.

#2

Hi Joe,

Could you describe the sound?

I'm guessing it may be residual vibrations on the string as you lift up. Do you strings feel sticky, or not smooth? It's possible that your strings are old and you may need to change them. Older strings can feel a little sticky, or just not as smooth as it should be.

Another issue could be that your string height is a bit too high and your fingers are bumping into other strings.

Remember, there's always a little bit of noise when you remove or place your fingers on the fretboard, but if it's very loud and apparent, it may be another issue.

I suggest changing the strings, and adjusting the string height, maybe lowering them or even raising it, until it feels good, and sounds good.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact us.

Joe Newinski

Full Access

Joined: 11/13/09

Posts: 7

It happens even when I'm just playing one string and a single note. I think it's the residual vibration like you're saying but to me it doesn't sound right. Maybe I'm just too concerned that I'm not playing it right.

The string are brand new string on a brand new Fender Player strat. I'm thinking the string height might be ok as well. They seem a little high close to the bridge but I'm thinking that's normal.

I think it's just me. :-)

#3

It happens even when I'm just playing one string and a single note. I think it's the residual vibration like you're saying but to me it doesn't sound right. Maybe I'm just too concerned that I'm not playing it right.

The string are brand new string on a brand new Fender Player strat. I'm thinking the string height might be ok as well. They seem a little high close to the bridge but I'm thinking that's normal.

I think it's just me. :-)

jarkko.eklund

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Joined: 09/25/13

Posts: 183

Some questions for troubleshooting:

Did you use the same string gauge as old strings were?

Does that sound come from all the strings, or is it just some string(s)?

How are srings laying in the nut. Are they in the bottom of the slot, or are edges carrying the strings?

#4

Some questions for troubleshooting:

Did you use the same string gauge as old strings were?

Does that sound come from all the strings, or is it just some string(s)?

How are srings laying in the nut. Are they in the bottom of the slot, or are edges carrying the strings?

Joe Newinski

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Joined: 11/13/09

Posts: 7

The guitar is brand new so I have never replaced the strings on this guitar.

The sounds is if the string is still viberating and you slowly left your finger off the string. It's the same sound as if you aren't pushing down hard enough on the strting.

The sound comes from all the strings.

The strings look like they are in the nut correctly. The only one that's not really in there "solid" is the low E string. (String 6). But I think that's normal just because it's a thicker string.

Again, this is happening to me as I'm changing chords. So I've played the inital chord and go the sound I was looking for and then I'm moving onto the next chord and that's when it's happening.

Thank you everyone for all the help.

#5

The guitar is brand new so I have never replaced the strings on this guitar.

The sounds is if the string is still viberating and you slowly left your finger off the string. It's the same sound as if you aren't pushing down hard enough on the strting.

The sound comes from all the strings.

The strings look like they are in the nut correctly. The only one that's not really in there "solid" is the low E string. (String 6). But I think that's normal just because it's a thicker string.

Again, this is happening to me as I'm changing chords. So I've played the inital chord and go the sound I was looking for and then I'm moving onto the next chord and that's when it's happening.

Thank you everyone for all the help.

manXcat

"It's getting better all the time"♪♪

Joined: 02/17/18

Posts: 686

Hey Joe ...I think there's a song there

Mate it sounds to me like it'd be best if you take you new guitar back to where you bought it so they can see and hear what you are seeing and hearing and sort it for you. New guitars usually come with manufacturer warranty, and walk-ins love the customer contact opportunity to sell you something else.

jarkko knows his stuff as do the admins, but as you describe things here, it's simply difficult to diagnose from here by process of elimination beyond the simplest things already mentioned.


GL with it. It'll turn out to be something easily remedied.

"Life is just a bowl of cherries ...."

#6

Hey Joe ...I think there's a song there

Mate it sounds to me like it'd be best if you take you new guitar back to where you bought it so they can see and hear what you are seeing and hearing and sort it for you. New guitars usually come with manufacturer warranty, and walk-ins love the customer contact opportunity to sell you something else.

jarkko knows his stuff as do the admins, but as you describe things here, it's simply difficult to diagnose from here by process of elimination beyond the simplest things already mentioned.


GL with it. It'll turn out to be something easily remedied.

"Life is just a bowl of cherries ...."

ChristopherSchlegel

Guitar Tricks Instructor

Joined: 08/09/05

Posts: 5517

Originally Posted by: Joe

I find that when I'm changing chords on my electric guitar it makes a funny noise as I'm lefting my fingers up to place them on the new chord position. What am I doing wrong?

Here mention when changing chords. Then you mention playing just one string. But when you say this:

Originally Posted by: Joe

The sounds is if the string is still viberating and you slowly left your finger off the string. It's the same sound as if you aren't pushing down hard enough on the strting.

The sound comes from all the strings.

That's the sound of strings rattling against the frets. As if you aren't playing solidly & cleanly enough. I think the most likely explanation is that the string height (the action) is too low & is contantly hitting one or more frets.

It could be the nut is cut too low & the strings are fretting out on frets near the nut. Or it could be that just one fret is sticking up a bit & needs to be hammered down.

You can test this by going up each string one fret at a time to heard when the sound happens. You can also eyeball down the fretboard from the headstock to the body to see if one fret or more is sticking up.

But if you are at all a beginner I strongly encourage you to simply take the guitar to a reputable music store & have them look at!

Best of success with it!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

#7

Originally Posted by: Joe

I find that when I'm changing chords on my electric guitar it makes a funny noise as I'm lefting my fingers up to place them on the new chord position. What am I doing wrong?

Here mention when changing chords. Then you mention playing just one string. But when you say this:

Originally Posted by: Joe

The sounds is if the string is still viberating and you slowly left your finger off the string. It's the same sound as if you aren't pushing down hard enough on the strting.

The sound comes from all the strings.

That's the sound of strings rattling against the frets. As if you aren't playing solidly & cleanly enough. I think the most likely explanation is that the string height (the action) is too low & is contantly hitting one or more frets.

It could be the nut is cut too low & the strings are fretting out on frets near the nut. Or it could be that just one fret is sticking up a bit & needs to be hammered down.

You can test this by going up each string one fret at a time to heard when the sound happens. You can also eyeball down the fretboard from the headstock to the body to see if one fret or more is sticking up.

But if you are at all a beginner I strongly encourage you to simply take the guitar to a reputable music store & have them look at!

Best of success with it!

Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory

JeffS65

Full Access

Joined: 10/07/08

Posts: 1193

Originally Posted by: Joe

I find that when I'm changing chords on my electric guitar it makes a funny noise as I'm lefting my fingers up to place them on the new chord position. What am I doing wrong?

Am I hurrying the new chord positions too much? Meaning I haven't really stopped struming on the first chord and, without knowing it, I'm already moving my fingers for the second chord.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

First, my apologies to all the great players in this thread but I kinda think there is a bit of overdiagnosing. Here's why:

Originally Posted by: Joe

Am I hurrying the new chord positions too much? Meaning I haven't really stopped struming on the first chord and, without knowing it, I'm already moving my fingers for the second chord.

To me, the answer is simply timing. I don't want to over-assume but I'd guess you're newer to the instrument. Nothing wrong with that! Welcome to the club!

But, in guitar, timing is everything. Moreover, when you play a chord pattern, you're doing a number of complex things; you have three to four fingers needing to find their correct home on a selection of 6 string and within a range of 20+ frets. All the while, strumming a pattern in time and striking the correct strings for said chord. Then, you have to move your hand to the next chord and do it all over again...and do it cleanly...again.

Think about all those variables that have to be right in order to execute it all correctly.

So the main point is to not be too hard on yourself. Take your time. You're learning a process that can be deceptively complex. Give yourself a break. It's not so hard that you can't overcome it. Not by a long shot. That does mean that perfection is something in your future...to be honest, we're all still trying to get to perfection though!

Think incrementally; the next time it'll be a little bit better than the last. Not perfect, just a little better.

Baseball pitchers don't throw 100MPH heaters in Little League. It takes time to build up that skill.

#8

Originally Posted by: Joe

I find that when I'm changing chords on my electric guitar it makes a funny noise as I'm lefting my fingers up to place them on the new chord position. What am I doing wrong?

Am I hurrying the new chord positions too much? Meaning I haven't really stopped struming on the first chord and, without knowing it, I'm already moving my fingers for the second chord.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

First, my apologies to all the great players in this thread but I kinda think there is a bit of overdiagnosing. Here's why:

Originally Posted by: Joe

Am I hurrying the new chord positions too much? Meaning I haven't really stopped struming on the first chord and, without knowing it, I'm already moving my fingers for the second chord.

To me, the answer is simply timing. I don't want to over-assume but I'd guess you're newer to the instrument. Nothing wrong with that! Welcome to the club!

But, in guitar, timing is everything. Moreover, when you play a chord pattern, you're doing a number of complex things; you have three to four fingers needing to find their correct home on a selection of 6 string and within a range of 20+ frets. All the while, strumming a pattern in time and striking the correct strings for said chord. Then, you have to move your hand to the next chord and do it all over again...and do it cleanly...again.

Think about all those variables that have to be right in order to execute it all correctly.

So the main point is to not be too hard on yourself. Take your time. You're learning a process that can be deceptively complex. Give yourself a break. It's not so hard that you can't overcome it. Not by a long shot. That does mean that perfection is something in your future...to be honest, we're all still trying to get to perfection though!

Think incrementally; the next time it'll be a little bit better than the last. Not perfect, just a little better.

Baseball pitchers don't throw 100MPH heaters in Little League. It takes time to build up that skill.

Joe Newinski

Full Access

Joined: 11/13/09

Posts: 7

Originally Posted by: JeffS65
Originally Posted by: Joe

I find that when I'm changing chords on my electric guitar it makes a funny noise as I'm lefting my fingers up to place them on the new chord position. What am I doing wrong?

Am I hurrying the new chord positions too much? Meaning I haven't really stopped struming on the first chord and, without knowing it, I'm already moving my fingers for the second chord.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

First, my apologies to all the great players in this thread but I kinda think there is a bit of overdiagnosing. Here's why:

Originally Posted by: Joe

Am I hurrying the new chord positions too much? Meaning I haven't really stopped struming on the first chord and, without knowing it, I'm already moving my fingers for the second chord.

To me, the answer is simply timing. I don't want to over-assume but I'd guess you're newer to the instrument. Nothing wrong with that! Welcome to the club!

But, in guitar, timing is everything. Moreover, when you play a chord pattern, you're doing a number of complex things; you have three to four fingers needing to find their correct home on a selection of 6 string and within a range of 20+ frets. All the while, strumming a pattern in time and striking the correct strings for said chord. Then, you have to move your hand to the next chord and do it all over again...and do it cleanly...again.

Think about all those variables that have to be right in order to execute it all correctly.

So the main point is to not be too hard on yourself. Take your time. You're learning a process that can be deceptively complex. Give yourself a break. It's not so hard that you can't overcome it. Not by a long shot. That does mean that perfection is something in your future...to be honest, we're all still trying to get to perfection though!

Think incrementally; the next time it'll be a little bit better than the last. Not perfect, just a little better.

Baseball pitchers don't throw 100MPH heaters in Little League. It takes time to build up that skill.

Thank you. I think you're right. As is many things in life, timing is everything. :-)

#9

Originally Posted by: JeffS65
Originally Posted by: Joe

I find that when I'm changing chords on my electric guitar it makes a funny noise as I'm lefting my fingers up to place them on the new chord position. What am I doing wrong?

Am I hurrying the new chord positions too much? Meaning I haven't really stopped struming on the first chord and, without knowing it, I'm already moving my fingers for the second chord.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

First, my apologies to all the great players in this thread but I kinda think there is a bit of overdiagnosing. Here's why:

Originally Posted by: Joe

Am I hurrying the new chord positions too much? Meaning I haven't really stopped struming on the first chord and, without knowing it, I'm already moving my fingers for the second chord.

To me, the answer is simply timing. I don't want to over-assume but I'd guess you're newer to the instrument. Nothing wrong with that! Welcome to the club!

But, in guitar, timing is everything. Moreover, when you play a chord pattern, you're doing a number of complex things; you have three to four fingers needing to find their correct home on a selection of 6 string and within a range of 20+ frets. All the while, strumming a pattern in time and striking the correct strings for said chord. Then, you have to move your hand to the next chord and do it all over again...and do it cleanly...again.

Think about all those variables that have to be right in order to execute it all correctly.

So the main point is to not be too hard on yourself. Take your time. You're learning a process that can be deceptively complex. Give yourself a break. It's not so hard that you can't overcome it. Not by a long shot. That does mean that perfection is something in your future...to be honest, we're all still trying to get to perfection though!

Think incrementally; the next time it'll be a little bit better than the last. Not perfect, just a little better.

Baseball pitchers don't throw 100MPH heaters in Little League. It takes time to build up that skill.

Thank you. I think you're right. As is many things in life, timing is everything. :-)

Joe Newinski

Full Access

Joined: 11/13/09

Posts: 7

I want to thank everyone that has provided comments. As someone that's new to this, it's sure is nice to have a place to come and bounce ideas/comments off of folks.

My "learning" continues. But I think I might have figured out one piece of the pizzle. I noticed that when I'm changing chord from say a D chord to an A chord, I was dragging the pointer finger because it didn't really have to move much (with the way I was taught the A chord). When I started lefting all my fingers off the strings on the end of the D chord and put them back down on the A chord.....much cleaner sounding.

As I said, might not have solved everything. But I think it's a step in the right direction. Got to love the learning process otherwise might as well just go home, right!

I will say, the last day or two I've noticed a break through in my changing of chords. It's getting faster (still not totally there yet), more accurate in placement of fingers and it's starting to actual sound better. I'm going to keep on pluggin' away. :-)

#10

I want to thank everyone that has provided comments. As someone that's new to this, it's sure is nice to have a place to come and bounce ideas/comments off of folks.

My "learning" continues. But I think I might have figured out one piece of the pizzle. I noticed that when I'm changing chord from say a D chord to an A chord, I was dragging the pointer finger because it didn't really have to move much (with the way I was taught the A chord). When I started lefting all my fingers off the strings on the end of the D chord and put them back down on the A chord.....much cleaner sounding.

As I said, might not have solved everything. But I think it's a step in the right direction. Got to love the learning process otherwise might as well just go home, right!

I will say, the last day or two I've noticed a break through in my changing of chords. It's getting faster (still not totally there yet), more accurate in placement of fingers and it's starting to actual sound better. I'm going to keep on pluggin' away. :-)