Muting strings

Guitar Tricks Forum > Guitar Basics > Muting strings

pherold0822

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Joined: 01/27/22

Posts: 2

I am struggling with chords 'Em, Am, C and

D. Fingers just don't fit touching other strings. Of course the blame game starts fingers to big, guitar to small? Researched and bought a Taylor GS Mini, nice guitar, but wondering if bigger guitar would help. Thoughts and suggestions appreciated.

#1

I am struggling with chords 'Em, Am, C and

D. Fingers just don't fit touching other strings. Of course the blame game starts fingers to big, guitar to small? Researched and bought a Taylor GS Mini, nice guitar, but wondering if bigger guitar would help. Thoughts and suggestions appreciated.

snojones

Full Access

Joined: 04/17/13

Posts: 624

Have you tried a bigger guitar? It may be difficult in covid daze to find an open music store, but go look. The only way to see if you guitar is a good fit is to try others.

Captcha is a total pain in the........

#2

Have you tried a bigger guitar? It may be difficult in covid daze to find an open music store, but go look. The only way to see if you guitar is a good fit is to try others.

Captcha is a total pain in the........

JeffS65

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Joined: 10/07/08

Posts: 1585

Originally Posted by: pherold0822

I am struggling with chords 'Em, Am, C and

D. Fingers just don't fit touching other strings. Of course the blame game starts fingers to big, guitar to small? Researched and bought a Taylor GS Mini, nice guitar, but wondering if bigger guitar would help. Thoughts and suggestions appreciated.

Always play a guitar that is comfortable for you. However, below is a picture of a guy named Brent Truitt of the bluesy bluegrass band, the 'Steeldrivers'. He's 6'4" and plays a tiny mandolin like a monster.

uploaded image

Big guy, small instrument.

The point is; one of the biggest issues for anyone starting on guitar is being able to fret chords cleanly. You're teach your hands to do something fairly complex and wanting to do it cleanly. Go to a guitar store (if you can) and playing a larger insrument and see if you can fret chords cleanly. It's an 'A v. B' test.

It simply takes time to be accurate. But....

Focus on holding and strumming one chord and adjust your hand by little bits to get it clean. To me, it's breaking down each chords to get a feel for how to properly hold it.

You should also consider that you do not need to apply maximum pressure to hold down a fretted note or chord. It's natural to think that you need to 'really press it down'. The opposite is true. As another test, try to apply as little pressure as possible on a fretted single note until it wrings clean. You'll find out that you may be 'over-gripping'.

Which also can lead to not getting a clean strum.

#3

Originally Posted by: pherold0822

I am struggling with chords 'Em, Am, C and

D. Fingers just don't fit touching other strings. Of course the blame game starts fingers to big, guitar to small? Researched and bought a Taylor GS Mini, nice guitar, but wondering if bigger guitar would help. Thoughts and suggestions appreciated.

Always play a guitar that is comfortable for you. However, below is a picture of a guy named Brent Truitt of the bluesy bluegrass band, the 'Steeldrivers'. He's 6'4" and plays a tiny mandolin like a monster.

uploaded image

Big guy, small instrument.

The point is; one of the biggest issues for anyone starting on guitar is being able to fret chords cleanly. You're teach your hands to do something fairly complex and wanting to do it cleanly. Go to a guitar store (if you can) and playing a larger insrument and see if you can fret chords cleanly. It's an 'A v. B' test.

It simply takes time to be accurate. But....

Focus on holding and strumming one chord and adjust your hand by little bits to get it clean. To me, it's breaking down each chords to get a feel for how to properly hold it.

You should also consider that you do not need to apply maximum pressure to hold down a fretted note or chord. It's natural to think that you need to 'really press it down'. The opposite is true. As another test, try to apply as little pressure as possible on a fretted single note until it wrings clean. You'll find out that you may be 'over-gripping'.

Which also can lead to not getting a clean strum.

pherold0822

Full Access

Joined: 01/27/22

Posts: 2

You do not know how much I appreciate your advice/ideas. I have only had my guitar since last Sunday. Practicing and getting better. Finding the high E is muted often from hold guitar any thoughts.

#4

You do not know how much I appreciate your advice/ideas. I have only had my guitar since last Sunday. Practicing and getting better. Finding the high E is muted often from hold guitar any thoughts.

Violanted

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Joined: 03/21/21

Posts: 48

hi there

my advice is:

fretting chords cleanly is tough and complex to achieve.

it is 8 months I started playing guitar and the trick is playing with high focus even if for only 30 mins a day maybe 15 min each session.

the goal is not to play chords fast but very slowly and switching between them accurately. Stop anch check fingers position and angle and play each note of the chord to see if sounds a clean tone.

memorize the position and repeat and repeat.

I am nearly the end of GT Fundamentals 1 Lisa and I have deliberately progressed slowly and I have seen amazing results.

I have mastered 2 songs labelled easy and use them as my warm up routine while progressing with the course.

Thanks

Dave Mojo

davide.violante@rockers.rocks

www.rockers.rocks

Netheralnds

#5

hi there

my advice is:

fretting chords cleanly is tough and complex to achieve.

it is 8 months I started playing guitar and the trick is playing with high focus even if for only 30 mins a day maybe 15 min each session.

the goal is not to play chords fast but very slowly and switching between them accurately. Stop anch check fingers position and angle and play each note of the chord to see if sounds a clean tone.

memorize the position and repeat and repeat.

I am nearly the end of GT Fundamentals 1 Lisa and I have deliberately progressed slowly and I have seen amazing results.

I have mastered 2 songs labelled easy and use them as my warm up routine while progressing with the course.

Thanks

Dave Mojo

davide.violante@rockers.rocks

www.rockers.rocks

Netheralnds

lanier.wk

Full Access

Joined: 01/10/22

Posts: 6

It is nice to know that it just takes time and persistance and that I am not unique with the struggles of not muting strings

#6

It is nice to know that it just takes time and persistance and that I am not unique with the struggles of not muting strings

lanier.wk

Full Access

Joined: 01/10/22

Posts: 6

I bought a taylor academy 12 for a starter guitar and I like it alot. I was having trouble and still do from time to time if I don't get the chord shapes down perfectly. I bought a used seagull s6 for a good price that has a wider neck. I thought that would be better and in many respects it has. I practice on both. I will say that on the wider neck it is a stretch to do chords like G. I will still mute strings and if I am playing the Am with the "g" pressed on the low e string, I have to be very careful to not mute strings. I don't have small hands, but I think it is more about memorizing the sweet spot and limbering up the hands to contort into shapes that the fingers are not used to doing. I have noticed I can stretch fingers more easily now so I think it is just a matter of practice and skill development that will come with time. The biggest lesson for me is patience. I want it all now. LOL Hope this helps.

#7

I bought a taylor academy 12 for a starter guitar and I like it alot. I was having trouble and still do from time to time if I don't get the chord shapes down perfectly. I bought a used seagull s6 for a good price that has a wider neck. I thought that would be better and in many respects it has. I practice on both. I will say that on the wider neck it is a stretch to do chords like G. I will still mute strings and if I am playing the Am with the "g" pressed on the low e string, I have to be very careful to not mute strings. I don't have small hands, but I think it is more about memorizing the sweet spot and limbering up the hands to contort into shapes that the fingers are not used to doing. I have noticed I can stretch fingers more easily now so I think it is just a matter of practice and skill development that will come with time. The biggest lesson for me is patience. I want it all now. LOL Hope this helps.

aliasmaximus

Hippie at Heart

Joined: 02/22/22

Posts: 249

Hey pherold0822, you obviously did some good research as Taylor's GS-mini is IMO a great little guitar. However, you sound like a big person and a beginner. You combine that with a guitar that you can't play and you have a recipe for the kind of frustration that often leads to fledgling guitarists just throwing in the towel.

I'm not saying that you won't eventually be able to easily and effectively play a GS-mini (I believe you will) but it seems clear that you cannot play it right now. And now is a very crucial time for you. I suggest getting as big a guitar as you can comfortably handle. Go to your local Guitar Center and try out different sized guitars.

There's no formal sizing nomenclature or specifications for guitars so different companies have different sized guitars and use different descriptors. Here are a couple lineups:

Guitar Body Types

Body Sizes

I'm 5' 4" with proportionally sized hands and even I find the GS-mini a bit too small for my taste. For reference, the GS-Mini is approximately the size of a Parlor or a 00, at least in the above lineups. I have a Martin 00 which is bigger than the above 00 so remember that guitar sizes are not standard across different brands. The flattest, roomiest fretboard easily belongs to the Classical, but realize that's a nylon string guitar.

Whichever size of guitar you choose (including the GS-mini), muting is going to be less and less of a problem as you progress. For two reasons:

1.) Your muscles and brain will eventually optimize the placement of your fingers on the strings.

2.) You'll develop thick calluses that will allow you to press a string down without your soft fingertips spreading out over the fretboard like tiny toilet plungers.

BTW, have you ever heard that pretty ukulele mash-up of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow/It's a Wonderful World"? That uke is being played by a 700 lb Hawaiian (Israel Kamakawiwo' ole) with fingers the size of bratwursts. It's totally mindbending to watch him play.

Nicolai

"Whatever you are, be a good one" - Abraham Lincoln

#8

Hey pherold0822, you obviously did some good research as Taylor's GS-mini is IMO a great little guitar. However, you sound like a big person and a beginner. You combine that with a guitar that you can't play and you have a recipe for the kind of frustration that often leads to fledgling guitarists just throwing in the towel.

I'm not saying that you won't eventually be able to easily and effectively play a GS-mini (I believe you will) but it seems clear that you cannot play it right now. And now is a very crucial time for you. I suggest getting as big a guitar as you can comfortably handle. Go to your local Guitar Center and try out different sized guitars.

There's no formal sizing nomenclature or specifications for guitars so different companies have different sized guitars and use different descriptors. Here are a couple lineups:

Guitar Body Types

Body Sizes

I'm 5' 4" with proportionally sized hands and even I find the GS-mini a bit too small for my taste. For reference, the GS-Mini is approximately the size of a Parlor or a 00, at least in the above lineups. I have a Martin 00 which is bigger than the above 00 so remember that guitar sizes are not standard across different brands. The flattest, roomiest fretboard easily belongs to the Classical, but realize that's a nylon string guitar.

Whichever size of guitar you choose (including the GS-mini), muting is going to be less and less of a problem as you progress. For two reasons:

1.) Your muscles and brain will eventually optimize the placement of your fingers on the strings.

2.) You'll develop thick calluses that will allow you to press a string down without your soft fingertips spreading out over the fretboard like tiny toilet plungers.

BTW, have you ever heard that pretty ukulele mash-up of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow/It's a Wonderful World"? That uke is being played by a 700 lb Hawaiian (Israel Kamakawiwo' ole) with fingers the size of bratwursts. It's totally mindbending to watch him play.

Nicolai

"Whatever you are, be a good one" - Abraham Lincoln

snojones

Full Access

Joined: 04/17/13

Posts: 624

Pherold,

To make things even more complicated.... As soon as you can play chords without muting any strings... you will have to learn how to start muting selective strings. Not only that, but you will also have to start using you Right Hand as well!! As you develop as a musician, muting become part of how you shape the sound of your instrument. Musicianship is full of irony.

Captcha is a total pain in the........

#9

Pherold,

To make things even more complicated.... As soon as you can play chords without muting any strings... you will have to learn how to start muting selective strings. Not only that, but you will also have to start using you Right Hand as well!! As you develop as a musician, muting become part of how you shape the sound of your instrument. Musicianship is full of irony.

Captcha is a total pain in the........