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Fingers hurt from playing guitar? Try this! (Beginner Guitar Course Level 1 lesson 5)

December 11, 2019


Hi guys. In this lesson, we are covering something that a lot of my private students find really illuminating we are going to cover exactly how hard you can press down or actually how light you can press down with good positioning when we are playing our chords or single notes to make sure that we are not pressing down too hard and really taxing our hands. And this is just a nice, quick exercise. Really simple. To make sure you don’t suffer from what some of my students call ‘Gorilla Grip’. So, let’s get you in for a close-up now and cover this exercise that I like to call, ‘My fingers hurt!’. So, to do this exercise, I’m gonna get you to place your first finger on wherever the first dot is on your guitar. You’ll see I’ve got dots here on my fret, and also on the top of the guitar as well. There’s these top ones that are most useful for this exercise. And I’m gonna place my first finger right in the centre of that first dot, which is on my third fret. And what I’m then gonna do is slide it to what I call the good side of the fret, which is the side closest to me. So that’s here; I’m placing it just that side of this dot and putting my thumb directly behind it, ok? And then we’re just gonna play that note as you normally would so that it rings out. There it is, it’s ringing out. Sounds great, that’s exactly all we can expect it to sound like. But in the early stages, if that note’s ringing out, you’re probably pressing on too hard. It’s more common than not that you are pressing down too hard. So, what we wanna do is give that a number. We’re gonna give it a number out of 10. 10 being like a fist, one being not pressing down at all and frankly 1 wouldn’t get a note ringing out. So, I want you to press down, as you normally would, and give that note a number. Let’s imagine that you’ve given a number that’s around 6 or 7, maybe. So what I want you to do now is gradually, while picking consistently like I am now, release that finger really gently…. so that over the course of a few seconds, it starts to buzz and it no longer rings out at all. So that’s me getting down to 1, basically. Now if you press down around a 3 or a 4, we should just possibly get a little bit of buzz but if we can just press down a little bit harder…. to get rid of that buzz, but no more than we’re at the optimum amount that we need to press down when we’re at this good side of the fret. If we move to the other side of the fretboard and press down that same amount, you know a 3 or a 4 for example or whatever your number was,… you’ll find that ‘oh! It no longer rings out’. And I have to press on, kinda back to a 7 or an 8 or even a 9 to get that note ringing out. So, there’s two real points there. When we’re at the good side of the fret, press down a 3 or a 4 and no more at all. Otherwise, you’re just gonna get far bigger lines in your fingers than needs be at the moment and there’s no need. There’s no real benefit of that. However, when we’re at the kinda bad side of the fret, we know we have to press down harder and that’s something that we really want to avoid. So with your E chord and your A chord, we wanna make sure that both of them are really at this far side of the fret. And not over here. And just really check that that’s happening, especially on the A chord because it can be a bit of a squeeze…. but I can get all 3 of those, you know, first finger’s right on where the dot would be in the middle of that fret, and that is ideal positioning… and if they’re over this side of the fret, and there’s a gap here, be aware that you are gonna have to press down much harder…. you’re gonna get big lines in your fingers, and you’re not gonna be a very happy bunny in the first few weeks and days of playing guitar. So hopefully that helps if you’re a sufferer of ‘Gorilla Grip’ and I hope to see you in a later lesson in this course…… where we’ll be checking out the recommended chord sequences and, of course, the songs… and we’ll even give you a practice routine for this level one of my Beginner’s Course. Subtitles by the Amara.org community

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