Early Troubles with placement of my fingers

Hi all

Really struggling with finger placement when chord changing between E-D or A-D. When I place fingers for D still can’t place them all at once. The third finger in particular on the the third fret. When I go from D-A or D -E it’s fine I can do it in one movement. But whenever I go to the D chord if just starting there I can’t place all three fingers at once. I know I’m only 3 weeks in but so frustrated with myself.
Don’t get me started on the 4th finger for the Peter Gunn theme it’s all over the place.

Any advice or is this just normal. As watched a few videos on peoples first weeks and they are leaps ahead of where I am.

Thanks guys and lady’s.

Best wishes Steve :guitar:

So normal. Took me a long time and some very focused work to nail that D cord in one motion. I would say a few months. Don’t get me started on the Dmin, or F, or…:roll_eyes:

Practice very focused finger placement and take time doing it with different “leading” fingers. If you teach each finger to go first, eventually they all go first together.


like that - ‘they all go first together’.

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Honestly take it from someone who has learnt with Justin and now been playing 8 years, 3 weeks is no time…you need to think about learning guitar measured in months and years. That’s not to think it’ll take you years to play guitar but just that it’ll take you months to get a point where you can start to see yourself making real progress.

Justin really does make the process as easy as possible so you should see some good progress in a few more weeks.

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Try this. Play a D chord, without moving your hand lift your fingers off the fret board.
Place them back down strum the chord do this for a few minutes each practice.
Once this is easy, do the same thing but take your hand off the fret board and repeat
the D chord. Like doing a one minute change but with only one chord.

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Thanks guys I suddenly don’t feel so stupid. I’m 50 in March next year so my first goal would to be able to play something for myself with decent changes. I’m a huge country fan so maybe in that time also a little country tune / riff.
Keep the tips coming I read and take note of them all.

Thanks so much :guitar:

You will get there mulchy!

The fingers will hurt, but that will stop, the cords feel like molasses, but that will stop, the rhythm will lag and I keep telling myself it will stop. But we get better and have fun doing so!

Always good to have more bald guys here, I think we have a collection….

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Keep at it Stephen, 3 weeks is no time :slightly_smiling_face:

When I started I literally had to take hold and place my fingers with the other hand, I had all the usual “my hands are too small….too fat….” stuff going on in my head but it really just comes with practice.

And it’s your journey, don’t bother comparing, plus I would guess that 3 weeks to get to point xyz would be “this time around” or “since starting this course”……

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Absolutely normal, this is hard to do

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There’s another video (not Justin, I don’t recall his name) about learning chords where the teacher has you:

While looking at your fretting hand:
Form the chord on the strings
Remove your hand and touch it to your leg
Bring your hand back to the strings and start making the chord shape in the air before landing on the strings

Do this a bunch then switch to doing it while looking away from your fretting hand.

I find it helpful as a technique


It’s very normal. I can suggest you few things you can do improve. Judging that you have completed Module 2. Focus on your One Minute Changes. They are important and remember to go slow. Think like 60 BPM or even slower if needed. Remember always focus on good technique. Your speed will increase as you get better. Always record how many changes you do everyday. Keeping tabs and records help you visualize if you are improving or not. Suppose if you did 30 changes, record it. Then tomorrow your brain will know that you did 30 changes the last time. Now aim for doing 31 or 32 changes or anywhere nearby. Don’t just to 60 directly, you good technique idea will get hampered then. Go slow, practice everyday and you will achieve your goal. Some things take a lot of time for few people and some take very less. It depends on person to person. Remember to go at your own pace. All these numbers I mentioned is just an example. Try to start at a tempo where you can comfortably change to D. For your exercise do a One-Minute E-D/D-A and a One-Minute A-D/D-A and record the changes in the notes area.

When doing One-Minute Changes do try to lift you fretting hand completely from the neck and put to again on the other chord. This exercise helped me a lot to get better at chord changes because even I struggled with it.

The other thing I would like to mention is that Try to Practice Daily. If you develop the habit of practicing daily then eventually it becomes a part of you daily routine subconsciously. At these early stages it’s very important to make you fingers get used to the instrument. Practicing daily helps your fingers get used to doing the same thing everyday which eventually makes it easier for the fingers to do what you want it to do.

Frustration is common. When something feels too intimidating just pause, take a break. You need to have fun during the journey. This is one reason of many why beginners stop playing the guitar. Frustration. The feeling that you can’t do it. Let me tell you one thing. I have said this earlier and saying this again. All those great guitarists that you are a fan of started the same way or even worse. This is a part of the journey, you need to stick to the plan, the goal which you have set. It’s music, have fun, enjoy, smile, laugh at you mistakes, learn from it. Once you can get with this simple idea you can get over with frustration most of the times. During period where you can’t get over it pause and listen to any songs that you like, watch videos of guitar maestros, etc. anything that motivates you to play the guitar. I do this whenever I feel frustrated and this always helps me. The idea is to make your practice fun not boring. Thank you.

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This exercise helped me as well.

I modified the exercise to just slap the strings between changes with my fretting hand…found that less disruptive than slapping my knee.

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