I'm a "beginner" at guitar playing, been actively on my guitar for at least a month practising every day. I've enrolled with Guitartricks, I've been watching MANY Youtube videos on beginner lessons and still having a tough time with the bottom skin of my fingers touching bottom strings... Becoming very frustrated and looking for some advice if any. I can accept the fact it's me and it will take time. I don't believe it's my guitar: I purchased a Yamaha FG800.

Sincerely Frustrated,

2 Answers 2


The Yamaha has a slightly wider neck than, say, a Fender acoustic, so unless you can find a guitar with a wider neck, like a classical style guitar, you'll have to be careful how you fret.

It may be that you're pressing too hard anyway - most beginners and a lot of more experienced guitarists tend to do that. By pressing too hard, you're squashing the fleshy ends of your fingers, and they spread out too far, as you're aware. Try not pressing so hard, only as hard as needed to make the notes sound clearly. Changing strings for a lighter set will mean you don't havee o press as hard anyway - that's another option.

Maybe you need to press hard due to an action which is quite high. Get that checked - there are many questions here enquiring about action.

Exlpore the possibility of using one finger for two strings - if your fingers are wide anyway, it's not difficult to do this, and it means there's more spare space around. Also consider which fingers you're using. For example, on an open A chord, middle, ring and pinky take uo less space than the oft-suggested index, middle and ring. Try swapping fingers round, so they configure differently. An example here is open D, with a good twelve - yes - twelve different fingerings.

Also think about the angles your guitar is at. Both vertical, and what angle the neck's at. Pointing up into the ceiling, and pointing away from you. If you're tilting the guitar u so you can see fingers and frets, that's making another problem for you - the angle of the guitar against your body. If you need to look, play in front of a mirror.

Other than that, practise carefully, and clinically, using fingertips rather than pads. Not always possible, true, but a good rule of thumb (finger!)

  • 1
    Definitely agree with the point about guitar position. Your finger position depends on your wrist position, which depends on your arm position and the position of the instrument, which depends on your whole body position and the way you use your strap... Mar 25, 2021 at 14:14

One thing that helped me was learning to only touch the back of the neck with the tip of my thumb. Not the meaty part, and above all, don't try to hold onto it like a baseball bat. Also, try to keep your wrist as straight as you can. You will likely need to hold the guitar higher up your torso and with the neck at a different angle that what you have been doing so far. Good luck!

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