Turn on thread page Beta

Attempting to learn the Guitar - Quick Question watch

    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Hey all,

    For the longest time it's been my aim to do so many things in life, and I've decided this is the year I do them, so I'm starting with something I've long wanted to learn, the Guitar.

    So I was raring to go, I've got a tuning thingy, ordered some books of Amazon and I've got my plectrum ready. I decided to start by watching a few videos on YouTube, just to see what they were like, and I picked up a few things and was happy, however I seem to be having a few problems...

    I don't seem to have the necessary dexterity in my little fingers to use them to play notes/chords. I was learning a scale, and whenever I get to this point I find myself struggling. I've got massive hands, so I'm not sure if that's helping or hindering me at the moment, but just to make things clear I've got a few questions:

    1. Is it common for people to struggle to get their little fingers to the right angles to play notes/chords?
    2. If it isn't, and I am indeed the deformed freak I've convinced myself I am, is it possible to get by playing the guitar with only 3 fingers on the fretboard? (I'm guessing that's a no)
    3. If it is common what can I do to gain flexibity and dexterity in my pinky so I can actually do this?

    It's somewhat frustrating as I like to think that I was able to pick up what I have relatively quickly, however I just can't get my pinky to do it's job and I find myself leaving it out whenever possible...

    All help much appreciated.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by RobertPires)
    Hey all,

    For the longest time it's been my aim to do so many things in life, and I've decided this is the year I do them, so I'm starting with something I've long wanted to learn, the Guitar.

    So I was raring to go, I've got a tuning thingy, ordered some books of Amazon and I've got my plectrum ready. I decided to start by watching a few videos on YouTube, just to see what they were like, and I picked up a few things and was happy, however I seem to be having a few problems...

    I don't seem to have the necessary dexterity in my little fingers to use them to play notes/chords. I was learning a scale, and whenever I get to this point I find myself struggling. I've got massive hands, so I'm not sure if that's helping or hindering me at the moment, but just to make things clear I've got a few questions:

    1. Is it common for people to struggle to get their little fingers to the right angles to play notes/chords?
    2. If it isn't, and I am indeed the deformed freak I've convinced myself I am, is it possible to get by playing the guitar with only 3 fingers on the fretboard? (I'm guessing that's a no)
    3. If it is common what can I do to gain flexibity and dexterity in my pinky so I can actually do this?

    It's somewhat frustrating as I like to think that I was able to pick up what I have relatively quickly, however I just can't get my pinky to do it's job and I find myself leaving it out whenever possible...

    All help much appreciated.
    Firstly, Welcome to the cool club that is the guitar players clique

    You will be pleased to know that big hands can be a major advantage for a number of things on guitar. You will also be pleased to know that no-one can control their little finger when they first start, you can gain alot more control over it and I'm afraid the answer is just practice, the more you use it the better it will get.

    Also it is perfectly possible to play the guitar with 3 fingers. It just will limit what you can play alot. Just keep working on the little finger thing, practice basic scales like pentatonic and make sure to use your little finger, it will get better with time I promise you

    I've been playing 5 years and I regularly have arguments with my little finger for not going where it should, most players will admit its their weakest finger, just the way it is, but it gets better.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    1. Yes
    2. Yes
    3. Practice.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by RobertPires)
    Hey all,

    For the longest time it's been my aim to do so many things in life, and I've decided this is the year I do them, so I'm starting with something I've long wanted to learn, the Guitar.

    So I was raring to go, I've got a tuning thingy, ordered some books of Amazon and I've got my plectrum ready. I decided to start by watching a few videos on YouTube, just to see what they were like, and I picked up a few things and was happy, however I seem to be having a few problems...

    I don't seem to have the necessary dexterity in my little fingers to use them to play notes/chords. I was learning a scale, and whenever I get to this point I find myself struggling. I've got massive hands, so I'm not sure if that's helping or hindering me at the moment, but just to make things clear I've got a few questions:

    1. Is it common for people to struggle to get their little fingers to the right angles to play notes/chords?
    2. If it isn't, and I am indeed the deformed freak I've convinced myself I am, is it possible to get by playing the guitar with only 3 fingers on the fretboard? (I'm guessing that's a no)
    3. If it is common what can I do to gain flexibity and dexterity in my pinky so I can actually do this?

    It's somewhat frustrating as I like to think that I was able to pick up what I have relatively quickly, however I just can't get my pinky to do it's job and I find myself leaving it out whenever possible...

    All help much appreciated.
    You're going to hate me for not offering you a magic incantation, a secret fingering position or special potion you can buy off amazon....but....practice!

    It's trite, I know, but it works. Start those scales slow! Start at a speed where you can complete them in rhythm without error, no matter how slow this is and just repeat. Eventually you will be belting them out at a nifty speed - even if this does take weeks of practice.

    I find that most fretwork is 'muscle-memory' and getting this ingrained into your head will initially take time. It's good your starting with scales though because most riffs or progressions will take elements of those scales to preform.

    Just keep at it! It will be slow, it will sound crap and it will be frustrating but in the end it will all come together.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    when i first started playing guitar my little finger kept on hurting when i tried to get it to the different chord positions, now it's fine, and i think my dexterity has improved a lot. basically just practice, like these guys are saying, this happens to eveyone!
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Pinkys a mofo, wait till ya get to the thumb...ohhh just wait...
    Offline

    11
    ReputationRep:
    You never really need to use your thumb, there are always better ways of fretting chords.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    Practice lots, you need to build up finger strength in your 5th finger (I'm a pianist thumb is 1st etc. even though Bass is my main instrument now). Its very important for good technique later on, if you cut corners now you'll be screwed later on. Remember the difficulty arises because the 4th and 5th fingers share one set of tendons, thats why when you try to lift one, they both move.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I've started teaching myself too My guitar arrived day before yesterday and I'm soo happy after reading your post. I had also convinced myself I was a deformed freak with wierd hands
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by RobertPires)
    1. Is it common for people to struggle to get their little fingers to the right angles to play notes/chords?
    2. If it isn't, and I am indeed the deformed freak I've convinced myself I am, is it possible to get by playing the guitar with only 3 fingers on the fretboard? (I'm guessing that's a no)
    3. If it is common what can I do to gain flexibity and dexterity in my pinky so I can actually do this?
    1 - yes
    2 - yes but you're going to struggle eventually
    3 - scales, stretching exercises

    You need to build some tough skin on your finger tips to so if it hurts initially that's normal
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Just practice practice practice and you'll start getting it eventually

    I started by looking up my favourite songs on www.ultimate-guitar.com, then learning the chords I needed to know for each particular song. Knowing it so well you can go through it and sort of put them in place - it really helped me but might not help you, so find the best way for yourself.

    Books and stuff can only teach you so much though - the key thing is to practice!
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Thanks for all the advice guys, I'll just keep plucking away (pun intended) I guess.

    It's a shame there isn't some magical pinky strengthing potion, that woulda been ******* sweet, anyway cheers guys, will probably be back to ask for more help soon anyway!

    Oh, and just one other thing, if I'm serious about this, worth investing in an electric guitar or best learning on the acoustic? The one I've got at the moment is of... questionable quality, seeing as I got it from Argos about 5 years ago.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    Argos + music = :|
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Hey- I'm in the exact same position as you are now. I've also started to learn the guitar myself- and also having the same problems with finger dexterity/pinky strength- so much of it that at first I was wondering if something's wrong with the guitar I bought :p: But slowly I learnt that- as everyone else here have said- it will take TIME and PRACTICE to get the finger positioning on the fretboard precise so the notes/chords ring out clearly.
    I dont know which videos you have seen on youtube for learning- but heres what I'm following after a lottttt of browsing thru all other online lessons(some of which arent even free: Clicky I'm finding that website realllly useful; and also feeling a lot more confident than before It might help you too dude
    Good luck with learning- keep us updated
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by RobertPires)
    Thanks for all the advice guys, I'll just keep plucking away (pun intended) I guess.

    It's a shame there isn't some magical pinky strengthing potion, that woulda been ******* sweet, anyway cheers guys, will probably be back to ask for more help soon anyway!

    Oh, and just one other thing, if I'm serious about this, worth investing in an electric guitar or best learning on the acoustic? The one I've got at the moment is of... questionable quality, seeing as I got it from Argos about 5 years ago.
    Hey again,

    Yeah I wish there was some strengthening stuff, a few of my mates say that squeezing a tennis ball many times over helps gain control of your fingers a bit more never really done it myself but I can see how it might.

    If your serious then yes I would advise making an investment. I too bought an Argos classical as my first guitar £29.99 bargin. It makes it alot harder to play, doesn't sound as nice and therefore gives less motivation for practice. I would say Invest in a second hand electric and practice amp (15W), as long as its half decent you will find it much more enjoyable and will no doubt sound better. There are plenty around (I'm about to sell my first guitar) and if their second hand they hold their value quite well too. I bought mine with case and amp for £125 and I'm confident I'll get about £90 back for it.

    However it depends on what you want to play, if you prefer acoustic music then maybe an acoustic would be the better option but it would still be worth investing in a half decent one.

    The reason an electric is usually the best option for a beginner is it has a low action (Strings are closer to the fretboard) meaning it is easier to play. A typical beginners guitar is usually the Fender strat copy. There are literally millions of choices, mine was a Peavey Raptor which I would reccomend.

    It depends on price range really. If you have £200 maybe you can go a bit more up market, don't forget you'll need a lead,case amp and often new strings if its second hand, to include them in your budget.

    But to answer the question in simple form, if your serious then yes its worth the investment. Feel free to PM me if you have any other questions
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by azhao)
    Argos + music = :|
    I just got myself an accoustic guitar from Argos to teach myself to play. For £87.99 I realise it isn't top of the range but reckon it should be good enough for learning the basics.

    Maybe I should of went to a guitar specialist shop and got some recommendations but I suppose that will be my next step :yes:
 
 
 
Poll
Which accompaniment is best?
Useful resources

Articles:

TSR wiki music section

Quick link:

Unanswered music threads

Groups associated with this forum:

View associated groups

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.