TAC Family Forums

Share your wins, get unstuck, or see how others use the TAC Method to create a fulfilling guitar life!

  • The fretting

    Posted by Ping on February 9, 2022 at 9:05 am

    I never played guitar or any other instrument before. I just started the “30 days to play”. I saw Tony in the lessons not moving his left hand when he switched from fretting his index finger at the 2nd fret to his ring finger at the 4th fret for A section (also for D section and E section), but I had to move my left hand down the guitar neck for my ring finger to reach the 4th fret. Is it because my hands are too small or my guitar is too big for me? or is it okay to move the left hand up and down in that situation? Also, it feels so difficult for me to put my fingers on 3 or more strings at the same time to create a chord. Any advice? Thanks in advance.

    • This discussion was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by  Ping.
    N-lightMike replied 2 years, 1 month ago 10 Members · 28 Replies
  • 28 Replies
  • puckstopper29

    Member
    February 9, 2022 at 9:15 am

    I don’t know if this answers your question or not, but, if you can find a way to play it, then it is correct FOR YOU. When I go through a lesson and I find a section that is challenging, it is good for me to find another way of doing it that will work. Kind of a general answer and a solution may take some creativity, but that’s the beauty of guitar.

    • Ping

      Member
      February 9, 2022 at 6:10 pm

      @Scott B

      thank you so much for your advice.

  • Loraine

    Member
    February 9, 2022 at 10:12 am

    @Ping I think Tony has spider fingers and great dexterity that many of us lack. Yes, it is perfectly okay to move your hand to reach the string, and I agree with Scot, if something doesn’t work for you then get creative and find a solution that does work. As for stretching for better reach and dexterity, I suggest taking the Stretching Skills course. Also, just plain old preactive will increase finger control and dexterity. With chords, it simply takes time and lots of practice. Things will get easier as you move forward. My solution was to buy a chord book and play every chord for practice. They also have chord sheets that you could use. Good luck and welcome to TAC!

    • Ping

      Member
      February 9, 2022 at 6:12 pm

      @Loraine Thank you so much for your advice. Do you have any recommendation on which chord book I should buy first? or where can I find the info?

      • Loraine

        Member
        February 9, 2022 at 7:27 pm

        @Ping I have Mel Bay’s Guitar Chords, which I really like because it breaks chords up into the type of chord they are. You can probably find it on Amazon or by Googling the title. It’s not a thick book, but it has a lot in it.

      • Ping

        Member
        February 10, 2022 at 11:17 am

        @Loraine Thanks a lot for the info! 😀

  • crarod

    Member
    February 9, 2022 at 12:09 pm

    @Ping

    Welcome to TAC!

    Since both Scott and Lorraine already mentioned what I was going to say I won’t repeat it.

    However, you mentioned if your are too small, or guitar too big.

    What size guitar to you have? Maybe go to your local guitar store and see if you can try out a travel guitar instead. Travel guitars normally have a smaller fret board so if you find that easier to play, maybe see if you can rent it? Travel guitars have a shorter distance between the frets. Hopefully that works and you will be playing for many years to come!

    Cheers

    crarod

    • Ping

      Member
      February 9, 2022 at 6:07 pm

      @crarod Thank you so much for the info. My guitar is Yamaha FG700S. I guess it’s full size. I saw someone mentioned on Internet that a person who is taller than 5’2″ should use a full size guitar. I’m taller than that. Will the travel guitar limit anything in the future (e.g. is it not good for solo or certain chords?) ?

      • jumpinjeff

        Member
        February 9, 2022 at 6:29 pm

        FG700s solid guitar @Ping ; any guitar can do anything, some do certain things better than others but the difference at the get go is not as important as getting your fingers exercised and stronger, more flexible too. That comes from doing the daily lessons and starting and following through with your minimum 10 minutes a day program. Any guitar works as long as it is correctly set up with sting gauges you can be successful with. I play 12 fret guitars I play short scale guitars, I play long scale guitars I even have some guitars with wider nuts and some with narrower nuts. We are more adaptable than we give ourselves credit for.

      • Ping

        Member
        February 10, 2022 at 11:27 am

        @jumpinjeff Thank you so much for the advice!

      • N-lightMike

        Member
        February 10, 2022 at 5:32 pm

        “If you’re taller than 5’2″ you should use a full size guitar?” Wow, there are some serious idiots out there giving advice.

        There are children who play full size guitars better than I’ll ever play any guitar. Oh, and by the way, exactly what is a full size guitar?

        I have a full size parlor guitar, meant for adults. It has a 24″ scale length. I have another parlor guitar that has a 24 3/4″ scale length. The most common scale length among “full size” guitars is 25 1/2″. I have several of them. I used to have a 23 1/2″ scale length guitar. That was too small for me.

        Then there is body size. A parlor guitar can have a full 25 1/2″ scale length yet have a smaller body. I don’t like guitars with large bodies. That means I have no dreadnoughts and no jumbos. You bet they are louder. Which is exactly one of the things I don’t like about them. If I want loud, I’ll plug in to an amplifier. I want a pleasant level of sound.

        So you see, what guitar “fits” you is a very personal thing. That generalized advice was about as helpful as purposely misleading you. The Yamaha FG700 is a dreadnought. In my experience, they are the most difficult guitar to play. They are too big for me and I’m almost 6′. So much for that advice.

        Like so many have already said, go try out multiple guitars. Many stores and online outlets give you 45 days to play a guitar then you can return it for a full refund. But you really need to get to a store where you can get several different style acoustic guitars in your hands to start getting an idea of what feels good to you.

        MG 😀

      • Ping

        Member
        February 12, 2022 at 9:52 am

        @MikeGaurnier Thank you so much, Mike, for your advice. I may go try out multiple guitars some day.

  • Skyman

    Member
    February 9, 2022 at 12:58 pm

    I couldn’t agree more with crarod, and never knew how much difference there was in guitars. I was so naive when went and bought my first guitar, and just bought the one that looked and sounded best within my budget. It wasn’t until I played a friends guitar, and it was so much easier to play that I wondered if I had the wrong guitar for me. The neck design was different, even the way it felt on the lap was different. I tried out a bunch of different guitars before ending up with the ones I have. It has made a big difference in my personal playing. You may want to take crarod’s advice and go play some different guitars and see if any of them feel any better.

    • Ping

      Member
      February 9, 2022 at 6:14 pm

      @Skyman Thank you so much. I’ll try out different guitars if I can’t get used to the current one after some practice.

  • Cadgirl

    Member
    February 15, 2022 at 3:52 am

    You have to find a guitar that fits. For my practice, I use a 1/2 size Cordoba (nylon string) guitar. The neck is shorter and the strings don’t kill my fingers, so I can practice longer. Don’t think you have to spend a lot of money either. I bought my Cordoba for $65 on sale. Give yourself a year before you start laying out good money for a guitar and make yourself a pest at the neighborhood guitar store and try them all out. Make some notes on the Pros and Cons. By the way, a 1/2 size guitar isn’t 1/2 size, it’s about 5″ shorter than a full size. Make it easy to sit in front of the computer doing those challenges. Good Luck

    • Ping

      Member
      February 16, 2022 at 11:12 am

      @Cadgirl Thank you so much for your advice. It’s so difficult for me to make all the strings sound clearly for G, C, and D chords – so hard to make my fretting fingers not block higher strings. Just wondering if that’s related to the guitar/fretboard size.

      • Cadgirl

        Member
        February 16, 2022 at 11:38 am

        It’s just going to take practice. It might not be your guitar at all, give it time, try to sit down a few times a day and just play the scales. Or look up some intros to songs. You can google ‘intro to I Walk the Line’. You’ll be able to find a tab sheet on just how to run through it. Just practice, keep those fingers moving and before you know it, you’ll be the one giving advise to new members. If you haven’t all ready put light gauge strings on your guitar. If you don’t know how, go to a guitar store and ask if they’d do it for you. Or help you do it. Good Luck

      • Ping

        Member
        February 16, 2022 at 11:58 am

        @Cadgirl This is great advice for me! I will practice the scales more. Thank you again. Have a great day!

      • Carol-3M-Stillhand

        Member
        February 17, 2022 at 12:29 pm

        @Ping one thing you could try is to place your capo on the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th fret when you are practicing your tone on your chord shapes. This will put your fretting fingers farther up the fretboard where the frets are closer together which makes it so much easier to get the muscle memory and technique perfected. Once you are happy at the fret you are working at, start moving the capo down the neck one fret and try everything there.

        Using your capo helps lower the action, and helps by letting you work out your fingers without needing as much flexability. It’s a great practice tool, and you don’t have to go buy a smaller guitar 🙂

      • Ping

        Member
        February 18, 2022 at 1:51 pm

        @Carol-3M-Stillhand Thank you so much for the tips. I don’t have a capo now but will buy one and try it. Have a great weekend! 😀

  • [email protected]

    Member
    February 19, 2022 at 6:20 am

    Not to hijack your thread…but in reading these comments, makes me wonder if the body of my guitar is just too big for me. It’s not comfortable at all.

    • N-lightMike

      Member
      February 19, 2022 at 11:55 am

      Hi Dawn ( @[email protected] ),

      First you aren’t hijacking anyone’s thread. You could, of course, start your own topic. But this thread is about this very thing.

      Anyway, many newcomers buy a dreadnought right out of the gate because that’s the most common acoustic guitar. The body is very large and can be so uncomfortable to play that the player can get stress injuries to their shoulders or back. It is totally possible to learn to hold a large guitar without having any problems. But I found, as an older adult, I simply wasn’t willing to work with it and I sold it. I stick with smaller bodied guitars now.

      I hope this helps.

      MG 😀

      • Cadgirl

        Member
        February 21, 2022 at 11:10 am

        @Ping , Listen to @MikeGaurnier , I did just what he is talking about. As soon as I figured that I could do this and do it better if I had a better guitar. BULLCRAP! I fought with that dreadnought for close to a year before I traded it in for something smaller. Make a pest out of your self at the guitar stores and try them all to get a good fit. You might be lucky enough to get a salesperson that will help you out a little.

      • N-lightMike

        Member
        February 21, 2022 at 12:38 pm

        👍😊

  • Skyman

    Member
    February 21, 2022 at 11:40 am

    I agree with these comments. Dreadnought’s are not all created equal. Go play a bunch and see what feels best. I started out with a Recording King RD06. Great guitar and I couldn’t play it worth a crap. I probably played 15 different guitars, went back and played the ones I liked a few times, and by deduction came up with my current lineup. Currently have a Taylor AD17 Grand Pacific. It is a big dreadnought, however plays so much easier than the recording king, feels more comfortable, and I can play it without any discomfort. I also have a Taylor Big Baby that is a 5/16 sized guitar. Slightly smaller than the typical dread, and has a slightly thinner body as well. Scale length is still 25 1/2. Neck width is 1 11/16, compared to the 1 3/4 neck on the AD17. The Big Baby is such an easy guitar to play, still has great sound, and you can pick one up for less than $500. Just some additional thoughts to make this even more confusing for you. 🤣

    • N-lightMike

      Member
      February 21, 2022 at 12:40 pm

      🙏 Thank you @Cadgirl and @Skyman for adding your experience. It really is helpful to get a number of different points of view, especially when they overlap. This is a great community. I love TAC. You are in the right place @Ping and Dawn ( @[email protected] )

      MG 😀

      • Ping

        Member
        February 22, 2022 at 3:24 pm

        @MikeGaurnier @Cadgirl @Skyman Thank you all for your inputs. I’ll definitely go try different guitars some day. Have a great day!

      • N-lightMike

        Member
        February 23, 2022 at 11:24 am

        👍😃

Log in to reply.