I've been taking guitar lessons for a few months and I love it, but I'm planning to quit. Its seems impossible to me because I have huge pulps on my fingers which mute some chords. Any tips or device to put on them?(apart of buying a customized guitar, I'm just a beginner).enter image description here I'm desperate. My teacher told me he has never seen something like that.

  • 1
    You wrote, that you've been taking lessons for a few months. I think it's normal (independed of the size of your pulps) to have problems of your fingers muting some strings at this stage. It can take a really long time being able to use your fingers so they mute only the strings you want them to mute und dont interact with the strings you dont want them to (and get this whole thing to a "clean" level). As Tim mentioned in his answere its all about finding a way for your own personal body circumstances to get things going. So dont give up and keep going.
    – Olli
    Jan 25 at 13:38
  • As add-on: try to reveal the advantages you have from this anatomy ... use it and develop it. (You may be unable to do "standard" things, but CAN do things nobody else can, musically.)
    – MS-SPO
    Jan 25 at 13:46
  • I use a tuning (G-D-d-f-g#-b, with the fifth (D) string being the lowest) which allows a wide variety of movable chords to be played using the flats of the fingers--one per fret. A G chord would be x-5-5-6-6-8, (move up or down the neck for Eb through Ab), C would be 5-5-5-7-8-8 (move up and down for A throuh Db), and a really awesome sounding D chord would be x-0-4-4-6-7. If you can reasonably comfortably barre the bottom three strings on fret 2 with your index finger, the second and third string with the ring finger on fret 4, and play the top string on fret 5 with your pinkie (Am)...
    – supercat
    Jan 25 at 22:36
  • ...this might be a useful tuning for you to noodle around with. You wouldn't be able to use pre-printed chord charts, but the fingerings are pretty easy to learn.
    – supercat
    Jan 25 at 22:38

3 Answers 3


It is unusual, no doubt. But your teacher watches you, and has the best solutions. We don't. You won't find a custom guitar which will alleviate the problem, but you (and teacher) will have to adapt your fingers instead. Use different fingering, hold the guitar at different angles, higher or lower, and actually try to use the problem to your advantage, rather than see it as a problem. Dare I quote Django..?


No two guitar players anatomy is identical. Some players have short thick sausage fingers. Some have long skinny fingers. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to guitar technique.

Some people's arms are longer than others. Some people have bigger hands than others. Some people strum from the wrist, some from the arm. Some people can handle and enjoy a Jumbo acoustic. Some people could not even get there arms across a jumbo.

A lot of rockers in the 60's and 70's liked Les Paul's, but then Angus Young came along and popularized SG simply because he is a little dude that could not play extended shows with a guitar that weighs 4 kg.

Tony Iommi lost fingers in a factory accident, still played. So did Django Reinhardt. Problems with finger also did not stop this guy...

I have seen children with Downe Syndrome playing violin. I have seen children who are deaf in one ear play violin. Where there is a will there often is a way.

A certain amount of guitar techniques is universal, but a lot of it is just find a way that works for you. There is no standard way to play the guitar, unfortunately.

What I think is going on is that you wanted to play guitar, but are now realising that it is harder than you thought it would be. Now you are searching for a reason why it is hard.

This is not uncommon for newbies. I remember many years ago the russian singer Anna Netrebko said in an interview that when she was studying at the rimsky-korsakov conservatory in St Petersburg one of the things she was told is that nobody that listens to your music that is not a musician can ever know how hard you work in regards to your music. Musicians make it look easy or effortless, but it really is not.

Music is entertainment. It is showbiz. Nobody that consumes music and does not produce it is ever given the idea that making it could be hard. That is how it should be. If people knew how hard it is that would not increase the enjoyment of it.

All that being what it may, none of that should stop anyone that wants to play guitar from playing guitar. You finding it hard is not uncommon but if you persevere you can find a way.


I'm not convinced your finger is all that unusual. I believe the problem you're facing is: "When I stop one string and also need to play the next higher string, my finger touches the upper string a bit and mutes it." This is common to all string instruments. The solution is to place your finger a bit differently in this situation. If I weren't worried about the higher string—say, if another finger were also going to be stopping that string on a higher fret—then I'd let my lower finger go ahead and touch it, no problem. But if I need that higher string to ring, then I'd either arch the finger more, making a "tunnel" that the string goes through, or if that's not enough, place the finger slightly more to the side than usual. The trick is not to go so far to the side that you're no longer pressing down the lower string.

If you absolutely can't get it to work—with patience and the help of a good teacher—I'm not a guitarist, but I think the strings are spaced a bit wider apart on a classical guitar? You might try that.

  • 2
    Yes, classical guitars have wider string spacing. Also, spacing between strings varies between various models of acoustic (steel string) and electric guitars. Jan 25 at 17:01
  • 1
    Classical guitars most often have flat rather than cambered fingerboards, which may/not help the situation.
    – Tim
    Jan 25 at 17:49

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