I am currently trying to learn the guitar been doing it for a week now , finger tips finally start getting those callouses but , when I ma holding chords such as c and I try to stretch my fingers to A string my 1st finger starts to slide , and I cant seem to straighten it without moving it myself, and when I do its not producing the right sound ( maybe finger strength ?) but how do you get around this , exercise ? if so what kind

2 Answers 2


Firstly, keep practicing. Secondly it's about the way you grasp the neck. I've taught guitar for a while and to be honest I've noticed if the grip on the neck isn't right the chord won't come out at all and you'll get many dead notes.

  1. Make sure your wrist is relaxed.
  2. Make sure your thumb is behind the back of your hand like a bridge (but don't press too hard!)
  3. Make sure the tips (last bend) on your fingers are touching what are pressing down the strings on the fretboard.
  4. If you still don't get the right sound press a little harder but DON'T put too much pressure down on your hands so they ache afterwards!

It MAY be not your fault. The action on your guitar may be way too high. That's the height of the strings above the fingerboard.It could also be the strings are quite thick (heavy) and hard to press down.As a beginner, you may not know about these problems and their solutions.I suggest you try on other guitars, and also let an experienced player try your guitar.A simple solution for the time being would be to tune your guitar down, maybe to D-G-C-F-A-D, as this will relieve tension on the strings, making them easier to press down.

  • When playing chords like C, the B string is fretted at 1st fret meaning you're pushing against the nut (the 'bridge' nearest the tuning pegs). I've noticed that even on some quality guitars, the nut holds the strings further away from the frets than it really needs to, making chords like C and F quite tough. I totally agree with Tim but for C and F type chords involving the 1st fret, check the action at the nut end. Ooer that sounds a bit rude. Good luck :-) Apr 14, 2014 at 11:57
  • @DougusMaximus - it's interesting, but a well made guitar should have had that sorted in the making, maybe not. I have some guitars which have a zero fret:this makes the nut redundant, and gives the same height action on each of the first few frets. You must try to press the strings down as close to the fretwire (Bridge direction) as possible. That way, you shouldn't need to press so hard.
    – Tim
    Apr 14, 2014 at 13:09
  • I agree ! I was quite surprised to find a Fender Telecaster with the "nut" issue (in a shop; I didn't buy it), and have seen it on a few pricey acoustics. However it's more common on cheaper guitars. Fortunately it's easily sorted, you can just file the grooves a little more deeply, but I wouldn't recommend anyone try this unless you know what you're doing. Apr 14, 2014 at 13:42

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