Makes chords ring true. Do I have a good trick or starting a bad habit?

Just staring my 3rd attempt a guitar. Loving the Justin course.

D, A and E and now Dm, Am and Em were coming along nicely, but not consistently.

Some notes just would not ring out: had that muted, thunk sound. I thought my fat fingers were the problem. No amount of ‘arching’ seemed to work. Very frustrating.

By accident I found that when I press LESS hard with my fingers, my finger pads would spread out less and so no longer interfered with adjacent strings. Less pressure = clearer sound!

Is this a good idea or the beginnings of a bad habit? Advice, ideas all welcome.


applying “just enough pressure” in order to have clear notes while they are NOT buzzing is a sign of efficient playing. As long as everything sounds good; you’re doing great! Applying less pressure will counter finger pain, will prevent notes being pressed too hard (and sounding a bit sharp/too high) and you will do easier transitions. You’ll have less risk of bad posture due to long, cramped habits as well.

Learning to play with the least amount of pressure necessary now will benefit your playing for the future. AS LONG as it all sounds good without buzzes of course!


Thank you. Very encouraging.

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Yep, fully agree with @LievenDV comments. Less is more. I still find myself squeezing too hard at times, and am fascinated, when I pay attention, to how lightly it’s required for many of my chords. It’s difficult to discern this when beginning

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Honestly, sounds like a good problem to have. I bet most of us suffered from “death grip” early on. I know I do.