I just got a stratocaster. I've never played the guitar before this week. When I try to play the D major chord, I get buzzing on the first and third strings.

When my first finger on the third string isn't pressed almost against the fret, it makes a buzzing noise, but it's extremely uncomfortable to have both my first and second finger that close to the fret. I want to move my first finger away a little, but it makes a buzzing noise if I do.

I'm trying to learn from JustinGuitar, but when I see his picture for fretting, his fingers aren't that close to the fret.

  • You probably need to put more pressure on. Look for diagrams/lessons online about good left hand position, as it may be that the way you're positioning your left hand right now isn't the best way to effectively transmit force to the strings.
    – Some_Guy
    Oct 22, 2017 at 12:49
  • If you're still in your first month of guitar, then you should expect a lot of buzz. Your fingers have a lot to learn in terms of muscle memory and placement, etc. If you can't get rid of buzz no matter how you place your fingers (and you might try working on each note one at a time), then you could take your guitar in for a "setup". If it's new, you might take it back where you bought it and say the setup it had when you bought it isn't very good and would they mind doing a free or discounted setup for you. Nov 22, 2017 at 17:55
  • don't forget to trim the fingernails on your fretting hand: even a little growth can cause buzzing from incomplete contact, depending on finger angle.
    – Yorik
    Nov 22, 2017 at 21:44

3 Answers 3


The closer a finger is to a fretwire, the easier it gets to eliminate buzz, as there's no need to press as hard. Just try that on one string on the lower frets. Move your finger towards the nut, and you'll realise that you need to press harder to produce a clear sound.

However - with that particular D chord, there are twelve different ways your fingers can go. There will be two or three which suit you better, probably, than the version you are playing now. Bear in mind, as a beginner, that lots of chord shapes can and are played in different ways. I'm talking about the exact same strings and frets, not other chord shapes. Experiment !


My first recommendation would be to have the action on the guitar checked. a properly adjusted action will assure that frets are leveled and the neck isn't out of adjustment. The nut and bridge will be adjusted so that the strings are most easily played. Very few new guitars have had the action set for optimal playing ease. If there is still a problem when you fret a note or chords, then the problem may be the placement of your fingers in relation to the frets.


Buzzing usually comes from low pressure or if your fingers are not close enough to a fret. A good rule of thumb is to try to get your fingers as close to the frets as possible when playing, This becomes pretty difficult later one when you have more complicated chords with complex fingerings.

When I learn new chords I check to make sure that all my fingers are pressed down and close to the frets and play it multiple times with all the strings sounding as clear as I can get them. It may seem challenging at first, but with practice, it will eventually be second nature.

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