Problem with third finger left hand

I’m a raw beginner, however allowing for that I’m having issues fretting with the third finger of my left hand. No Matter how I position it, whenever I press on a string the fingertip hits the string beside it lightly causing a buzz. I’m still only using the D and A chords, but am unsure whether this will go away when I develop callouses on my finger tips. I see that this finger tip is a bit more “bulgy” than the others. Any suggestions as to how to get around this short of attacking the finger with a kraft knife?

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I hear ya, got the same problem, call it my club finger, the 3rd one aka ring finger. I use my pinky instead sometimes because of it . However, overtime
you will adapt and with slight incremental adjustments with that bulgy fingertip
you will be able to play with the best of em.
I remember how frustrating it was just starting out but almost 2 yrs later
its hardly a issue anymore, hang in there, it gets better.
Also, some guitars have wider string spacing so if all else fails you could look into that.


Hi Gary! It’s a real challenge at first between the finger pain, working on the calluses, stretching, coordinating left hand and right hand actions. Sheesh! How is this thing even possible?!? :slight_smile:

Without seeing photographs of your hand it is only a guess, but I suspect you are probably not arching that third finger enough, so you are coming in flat and your fingers is laying down just enough to graze the adjacent string. Your finger has to be arched high enough so that it comes almost straight down on the strings - think about holding a billiard ball and how the fingers curl around it. Then think about holding a rectangular block of wood. Your fingers may be closer to the shape of holding a block of wood than they are to holding the billiard ball. Go for the billiard ball! Make sense?

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Thanks guys, I’ll just have too hope as I callous up the finger stops flatteng., Dave, have been trying to arch fingers, so will continue to do so. Happy to find I’m not the only one with a fat finger Woodroe!


It helps to not be the only one with similar issues right ?
My ring finger tip had stitches in the side of it once upon a time.
Wish the doc had pulled it tighter at the time.
Its round instead of oval like my other finger tips.
Considered cosmetic ? surgery on it but have learned to adapt and fortunately
have a guitar that has one of the widest string spacings.
Dealing with a finger that is fatter than others by close to an 1/8" or 3 mm for our metric friends is a challenge no doubt but like any handicap you will find ways to adapt.

Gary, I struggled with the same issue in the beginning. My ring finger is a ‘trigger’ finger so I have that issue to contend with also. The biggest single thing I have done that has helped is to not press so hard on the fret board. You will be amazed at how light a touch you can get away with, especially as you progress.
Also, be sure to utilize the chord perfect exercise a lot.

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Hi @garymck

Sorry - couldn’t resist this: Third Finger, Left Hand - YouTube


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I took your suggestion to try to press more lightly, and lo and behold it worked! Fat finger doesn’t spread out as much but the sound is still fine. Thanks so much…

Like the sense of humor :grinning: