December 12, 2023

Tech Tip: Touching the strings

Question. When I play chords I always touch the strings that I should be playing open. How can I avoid this?

Answer. Touching the wrong strings when you play chords is a common problem that many beginners face when learning the guitar. Today we will look at some simple solutions.

1. Try and press your fingers straight down. Your finger should be at a 90 degree angle with the string. This means that only the tip of your finger should be connecting with string.

2. Are your fingernails short? If your fingernails are long, your fingertip will not be able to sit on the string and your fingers will touch the other strings on the guitar.

3. Place your thumb directly on the back of the neck of your guitar. This puts your hand in a good position to keep your fingers clear of the wrong strings.

4. Practice with chords you find easy. Look at how your hand sits when you play these chords. Try to use the technique that you use on easier chords with more difficult chords.

5. Using a capo at higher frets can make it easier on your fingers as the frets are closer together. However for people with big hands this can make it more difficult. So experiment with a capo to see if it helps you.

Each person has different size hands, finger shape and flexibility. For this reason there is no universal rule that will change your playing to avoid touching the wrong strings when playing. You should practice chords as much as you can until you feel confident and comfortable with them.

Good luck with your practice.

Posted by Ben Edwards.

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