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Kind of in line with this post: String sticking to the fretting finger - how to avoid?

I have a new electric guitar that has medium action. It is humbucker based. I finger that when I do barre chords the B string will kind of stick to my finger and make a plucking sound. Very annoying for recording.

If I put a bunch of lotion or chapstick on my index finger before playing the chord, it seems to help but that isn't a long term solution. My hands are not dry either.

Would lowering the action help (I want to avoid fret buzz)? Would changing the strings make a huge difference (in other words is this something that happens with old strings)?

I should also add that I don't have this problem on the other several guitars I have.

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  • This is a subtle enough motion that you may need to include an image, video, or consult a guitar teacher. The sound happens when you leave the chord shape yes? Without more detail I'd guess this is a result of poor muting technique.
    – Awalrod
    Feb 10, 2023 at 14:59
  • The accepted answer on the other question involves calluses, but I've never seen calluses on the fleshy parts of fingers where barre chords get pressed. Only (rare) place is fingertips. A teacher would be able to rectify the problem, maybe in moments.
    – Tim
    Feb 10, 2023 at 15:27
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    You might try lifting your finger with a slight forward or backward motion, rather than straight up. Feb 10, 2023 at 16:24
  • Putting chapstick or lotion on your finger before playing is a bad idea, at best it will gunk up your strings and fretboard, at worst it may cause damage to the fretboard wood. Feb 15, 2023 at 20:23

2 Answers 2

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Put only your barring finger down on the frets and lift it. If you don't have the problem, then your problem is that you are doing an accidental pull-off with your other fingers.

If you do still have the problem, do you lift your barring finger straight off of the frets with your finger in a straight line? Experienced guitar players lift the barring finger in steps. First, they relax the finger so that it forms a slight bridge, then the joint closest to the knuckle is raised, curling away from the fingerboard, then the other joints of the finger in a smooth motion. The bridge naturally mutes the higher-pitched strings.

If you're using the correct technique, bend your head close to your fingerboard so you can see from the bridge side your barring finger as it lifts from the frets. Is there some part of your finger that is plucking or entrapping the B string? The finger crease between the knuckle and the first joint might be the culprit, as could be a small callus opposite your knuckle.

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All the tips given should help to focus on your technique, which could be a reasonable question to bear in mind each time you face a similar problem, but I would focus on the key fact that you have ensured this problem only takes place using that guitar.

  • First of all, as you suggested, replacing strings would probably help. Maybe it's not a solution by itself, but a damaged or too used set of strings could produce not desired effects, and replacing it should be a usual maintenance action for guitars. If you are able to, check the exact model and gauge with the rest of your guitars. Sometimes a string model do not fit for you due to it's winding and construction material, and depending on your way of playing (as very often is recommended, a teacher may help on this matters...), but specially on your fingers touch and feel. Please, if required, take a look at any related web resources, as nowadays there're plenty of options to test (e.g., https://www.musiciansfriend.com/thehub/how-to-choose-the-right-strings-for-your-electric-guitar)

  • You refered that the guitar is configured with medium action, have you compared this with any other guitar you have? Changing action do no have costs associated if you are familiar with it (otherwise, you might talk with a luthier to make the experiment), so you could try readjusting this guitar and give a try.

Each one of us have a different hand/finger structure, and this might have an impact in playing action, depending on the guitar configuration and adjust, the main goal should be removing differences between configurations to determine if any of them is causing this undesirable effect.

Moreover, using the right amount of hand or similar product may not be a final solution, but, if this works, I would recommend to keep using it. As mentioned before, our hand may differ not only in structure, but in skin. Thi tip usually helps to get over the hand dryness on people with certain skin affections.

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