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I am a beginner in guitar and I have the following question: When I play a chord (for example G7) my fingers aren't vertically aligned with the fretboard, but they create an angle. This happens, I think, because I don't have long fingers. Is it correct and acceptable to do something like this or I have try harder to make them aligned with the fretboard? Below I have a link with a video that they player does exactly the same.

Thanks :)

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Your fingers don't have to be perfectly aligned to the frets/fingerboard when playing chords, or any thing else really.

The important thing is that you can hear all the notes clearly when you strum, no 'dead' notes or buzzing.

Even if your fingers were longer/stronger, there are some chords where it would be physically impossible to align your fingers as you describe.

Also for you info, the guy in the video is Justin Sandercoe, he's a pro guitarist, so if he does it, you should be fine :)


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thanks @Stuart Marsh really appreciate your answer (and of all other guys). Thanks again :) – Anonymous Jan 13 '11 at 21:25

I think it's absolutely fine that your fingers aren't vertical, just make sure that they are firmly placed on the strings and that you don't get string buzz when you play. You also need to be concerned that your thumb is placed correctly at the back and middle of the fretboard and that your wrist is slightly bent and arched. It'll be uncomfortable at first, but it will get easier with time.

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You need to understand why you are supposed to align your fingers with the fretboard: this way it is sometimes easier to stretch your fingers or make every string sound clear.

However, that does not mean you have to do it, it does not mean you won't be able to play anything or play good if you won't. It's just a matter of style and habit. As you mentioned your self (giving a link to Justin's tutorial), there are many players not having their fingers fully vertical.

As you progress, you will notice many things like that: one says, that you have to do something in only a certain way and there will be a great guitar player right next to him that does just the opposite.

Once again: it's not important what you do, it's why you are doing it.

Good luck!

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