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 For several years I've  been a piano guy but since I had to part ways with my keyboard over a year ago band can't get my hand on a new one I decided to take up guitar for something to practice music on since I have access to one. 

Now so far I'm following everything, making chords, strumming and all that makes sense but no matter how I place my fingers they seem to just lightly touch the strings they're not supposed to making it impossible to play chords. I can stretch my fingers way out but then I lose all flexibility in my hands making it even harder to play. I know I must be doing something wrong because my brother can play decently despite his hands being twice as big.   

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I started learning the guitar beginning of this year and typically a lot of these things go away with (proper) practice, practice, practice. I myself am following the beginners course on justinguitar.com. It's a free course with instruction videos for every lesson and great practice schedules and starts you all the way from the beginning. I heavily recommend that course as it'll teach you the proper techniques and the common pitfalls and how to solve them.

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Something I tell my students is to remember to keep your fingers arched, and to practice pressing the strings with different parts of the finger.

What a lot of new players tend to do is overcompensate and play with the very top of their finger right under their nail, because they don't want to hit the string above it. However, this ends up leaving the fleshy part of your finger laying all over the strings underneath.

Moving your elbow to rotate your hand can help with some chords as well.

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As someone who suffered multiple wrist injuries in my youth from having bad teachers to my own ignorance I implore you to not do anything that fatigues your hand quickly or feels awkward for long periods of time.  If you feel any pain in any joint in your hand,stop and reevaluate what you are doing.  

Regarding the mechanics of the wrist, your fingers are capable of the greatest range of motion and mechanical advantage if your wrist is in a neutral position. A lot of bad habits form with players hyper extending or hyper flexing their wrist in order to play certain chords and this KILLS the tendons in the hand.  If you flex your wrist while you play you tighten the tendons on the underside of the forearm and the finger movement brings them into repeated contact with bone and other tendons. It will take some time but eventually you'll have an overuse injury like this person will

bent_wrist_jpg_74049.jpg 

 Keep your wrist in a good neutral position and you'll find that 80% of those chords are much easier to play.  For some chords you'll probably end up bending the wrist slightly but under no circumstances should it look like the picture above.  Here is a picture of pretty good wrist positioning.  

The-First-Thing-Beginners-Should-Learn-o

 

One final note.  Try to not allow the joints in your fingers to "bust" or bend inward.  There should, for the most part, be a slight curve in the last 2 digits of your fretting fingers. If a joint bends inwards and has a concave look to it you are not stressing muscle anymore but ligaments.  Muscle recovers far faster than ligaments do and with less pain so keep an eye on that.  The most usual exceptions to this are barre chords and power chords that incorporate the octave.

Good luck playing!  

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On 28.9.2016 at 9:33 PM, Darangen said:

 

What a lot of new players tend to do is overcompensate and play with the very top of their finger right under their nail, because they don't want to hit the string above it. However, this ends up leaving the fleshy part of your finger laying all over the strings underneath.

 

LOL. That's the main reason why I quite guitar, Before I learn any new intstrument, I'll pay somebody to teach me.

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