Need advise, bought guitar last week and gone throught 100s of vids on youtube for biginners, how to hold, tune,chords all that but one thing that is discouraging me is my fingers touching the other strings!! No matter how much i try to keep my fingers perpendicular to strings, bottom part of fingers keeps touching the adjacent strings. I am feeling like my fingers are not for guitar. Can anyone help how to avoid this touching thing, does fingers gets thinner when callus builts up? enter image description here

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3 Answers 3


It only really matters when your finger touches a string that needs to be sounding, and stops that happening. Touching another string that isn't played is not a problem. And in fact, you'll find out later that touching some strings in that very way is actually a necessary skill to achieve!

It does take time and practice to get accurate fretting when one is a beginner, so just keep going, bearing in mind that often you will be pressing too hard, and that in itself will spread your finger onto adjacent strings.Examine which fingers you are fretting with, and if possible, use the thinner fingers.

It may be worth considering a different guitar, with a wider fingerboard, thus wider spaced strings. Maybe not what you want, but classical guitars usually have wider fretboards.

I've played for a long time, still do most day,(guitar and bass) and haven't had callouses for over 60 years. They're often the product of guitars that need a good set up, or not-so-good technique. Some players swear by them, they're welcome! Anyone reading this, please tell why you disagree!

  • Tend to agree about callouses - i tend to get them when my technique is rusty, then find that they soften up again as I get back into the groove and am able to use a gentler touch again! Apr 1, 2021 at 8:47
  • @topoReinstateMonica - thanks for the feedback. Maybe we're the only two in the world who have that point of view...to some at least they're a badge of honour!
    – Tim
    Apr 1, 2021 at 8:50
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    I find it's just the opposite. The callouses are nice a hard when I maintain a regular practice schedule and soften when I'm rusty. And I have a light touch.
    – user50691
    Apr 1, 2021 at 19:58

It looks like you're trying to get your fingers perpendicular to the strings, with the finger centred on the string its fretting. But you don't have to do either of these things: often the most comfortable hand position that lets the chord ring clear won't allow you to have all the fingers centered and perpendicular. Try to get into a cheater's mindset: on that bottom E string, for example, you can move the finger a little more towards the edge of the fretboard so that it doesn't foul the A string.

It's very important not to just try to do the shapes with your fingers : move your arm around to find the wrist position that works best for each chord. One of the reasons it takes many beginners a long time to learn chords shapes is that it takes them time to learn to move the arm and wrist around like this; if you can remember which wrist position works best for each chord, you'll learn a lot faster.

Also make sure your guitar setup is good, so that you're not having to press too hard with any of your fingers.


There are a few problems with your had position. First of all the edge of the fingerboard should not be touching your palm. The only points of contact should be your thumb pad in the back, and your finger tips when playing fretted notes.

Second, it looks like the string is touching your finger right up at the finger nail and you don't need to place the string that far up on the finger tip. Also, your nails are a bit long and jagged which might impare your ability to fret notes correctly.

In general the correct position is to use the finger tip and not the pad, but that also depends on the situation. There are times when you have no choice but to use the pad. But there is no need to severely bend the finger until the angle is 90 deg. Having the flesh of your finger touch other strings is not a big issue unless you are trying to play a chord with some open strings, then you must not touch them or they won't sound. It takes time and practice to find the right touch but is you move your finger up a little, and pull the palm away from the finger board that should help.

  • My nails protrude up to 3mm - way longer than those of the OP. Never been a problem at that length.
    – Tim
    Apr 1, 2021 at 18:45

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