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Any tips for someone with short fat fingers trying to play guitar?

I find that when trying to get my chords, I accidentally cover over other strings.

Any tips?

share|improve this question… Here is some good advice! – mrbuxley Mar 21 '11 at 13:30

the flexibility to stretch and fret chords accurately can be developed over time regardless of your fingers. I've taught many students of different hand sizes, and they all struggle with this same problem and eventually overcome it once they are trained in the right technique.

It's easier to demonstrate this in person, but you want to make sure that your fretting hand is pressing down on the strings with the finger tips, not finger pads. The fingers should "stand tall" so as not to accidentally mute the neighbouring strings. Here are a couple of things you can try:

(1) make sure that the joints in your fretting fingers are bent

(2) make sure that the thumb in your fretting hand is not hanging over the front of the neck excessively - if you're having trouble with chords like C, F, Am, or D, try placing the thumb in your fretting hand below the middle line of the back of your guitar neck. Your left arm/elbow should be pressing against your body. This should automatically make your fretting fingers "rise" and stand taller so as not to mute other strings, and also help you to stretch to reach frets easier.

I hope this helps.. It can be frustrating in the beginning, but the other thing this also requires is time and repetition as you train your muscles to contort in uncomfortable new ways!

share|improve this answer

Go finger by finger. If you can't hold all the notes in a chord, try to hold just a few of the notes. Then, one-by-one try placing your fingers to the right position, while checking for cleanliness between every move. It is a slow and tedious process, but ultimately you will be able to learn even the difficult chords this way. Also, for inspiration, check out these amazing players with short fingers: Shawn Lane, Michael Romero. So, don't think short fingers can stand in your way.

share|improve this answer
Robert Conti does OK with fat fingers too. – Laconic Droid Jun 24 at 0:37

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