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View Full Version : I can't bend my fingers the way the good players do!!



davoomac
01-26-2008, 04:30 AM
Anyone have this problem? Hmm.. hard to explain:

Like for example, If I chord Dm with my pinky on D(1st string, 5th fret) I find myself having a hard time doing this since my middle finger doesn't bend enough the other way to cover the 3rd and 4th string. My bud who plays the uke too, can bend his middle and ring fingers way back..

Is it possible to train my fingers to be more flexible with bending backwards against the joint? It's harder for me to reach certain chords because my hand doesn't seem to be flexible enough.

rayan
01-26-2008, 06:58 AM
I used to have the same problem. Playing the Bb chord on the guitar requires similar finger bending (1 finger needs to cover 3 strings). My finger like yours does not bend backwards.

I can't tell you how about the hours spent in class trying to bend that thing backwards.

Honestly, I don't think my attempted self mutilation worked any, but I can hold that chord now. It just takes practice to see how you can hold it.

NukeDOC
01-26-2008, 07:20 AM
are you playing your Dm as 2215?

if you must have that D on the ---5 try playing the Dm as 7555. it makes the chord higher, but it is still a Dm, and you are maintaining that specific note that you are trying to incorporate into the chord.

my fingers dont bend in that way either, so there is no way i would try to pull off a Dm played as 2215. if i must have that specific note, then playing it 7555 isnt enough of a change to notice. if that note is very prominent, you can practice strumming it, while giving slightly more accent to the 1st string too.

tripl3thr33
01-26-2008, 07:41 AM
I used to have the same problem. Playing the Bb chord on the guitar requires similar finger bending (1 finger needs to cover 3 strings). My finger like yours does not bend backwards.

I can't tell you how about the hours spent in class trying to bend that thing backwards.

Honestly, I don't think my attempted self mutilation worked any, but I can hold that chord now. It just takes practice to see how you can hold it.

man i hate playing chords like that on the guitar lol. so frustrating when all you hear is muted strings.

davoomac
01-26-2008, 07:58 AM
I used to have the same problem. Playing the Bb chord on the guitar requires similar finger bending (1 finger needs to cover 3 strings). My finger like yours does not bend backwards.

I can't tell you how about the hours spent in class trying to bend that thing backwards.

Honestly, I don't think my attempted self mutilation worked any, but I can hold that chord now. It just takes practice to see how you can hold it.


Haha, yeah... I play the guitar too and I just end up muting the 1st string when I do chords like that. I seem to be making progress as I keep working at it though.. I think if I give it enough time that finger can bend!

Yes I'm playing it 2215. This is the fingering that jake said to use in one of his tutorials, but I guess it really doesn't really make a difference. It just seems to be bothering me alot more lately. ^_^

NukeDOC
01-26-2008, 09:19 AM
Haha, yeah... I play the guitar too and I just end up muting the 1st string when I do chords like that. I seem to be making progress as I keep working at it though.. I think if I give it enough time that finger can bend!

Yes I'm playing it 2215. This is the fingering that jake said to use in one of his tutorials, but I guess it really doesn't really make a difference. It just seems to be bothering me alot more lately. ^_^

try this... play it x215. instead of concentrating on getting two strings down with your middle finger, let the tip of that finger mute the G string. this may take a little stress off from stretching out the the 5th fret with your pinky

davoomac
01-26-2008, 12:39 PM
try this... play it x215. instead of concentrating on getting two strings down with your middle finger, let the tip of that finger mute the G string. this may take a little stress off from stretching out the the 5th fret with your pinky

I'll give it a try. :P

Hey what uke is in your avatar? I think that's the same uke I just got!

NukeDOC
01-26-2008, 04:10 PM
I'll give it a try. :P

Hey what uke is in your avatar? I think that's the same uke I just got!

its a kala ka-k6ec. basically the same as yours but 6 string with a classical style slotted headstock. but i took off two of the tuning posts and converted it into a 4 string. so i guess now its a kala ka-k4ec

UkuLeLesReggAe
01-26-2008, 11:54 PM
I have problems with my fingers and the fret board all the time :)

but im getting better as i practise.. haven't played in about 2 weeks been so busy

E-Lo Roberts
01-29-2008, 09:53 AM
There's no easy way around it. Practice, practice, practice. I suggest at least 30 minutes of uninterupted practice each day, every day on any particular techquie until you master it, then add a new challenge to your regular playing (practice) schedule.

Bottomline is: given time, your fingers will adapt to playing these chords and eventually bend and behave accordingly. Thanks....e...

Dominator
01-29-2008, 10:16 AM
That dredded m7 shape =2433 kills me every time. I've been trying to get it for the last two years and sometimes I can if it doesn't come really quickly in the song. This one just hurts.

I'm not going to give up and I guess it is going to require more specific practice on that as opposed to playing songs.

davoomac
01-29-2008, 11:58 AM
That dredded m7 shape =2433 kills me every time. I've been trying to get it for the last two years and sometimes I can if it doesn't come really quickly in the song. This one just hurts.

I'm not going to give up and I guess it is going to require more specific practice on that as opposed to playing songs.

Thats the same one that gets me pretty bad too! I'm having a hard time training my middle and ring finger. I end up getting fatigued and having to take breaks because I try so hard to do them. I'm going to have to start doing stretches before I play uke haha.

NukeDOC
01-29-2008, 12:25 PM
Thats the same one that gets me pretty bad too! I'm having a hard time training my middle and ring finger. I end up getting fatigued and having to take breaks because I try so hard to do them. I'm going to have to start doing stretches before I play uke haha.

could you try doing a slanted bar? using your index to cover the third fret on the 1st and 2nd strings and the 2nd fret on the 4th string, then your ring finger for the 4th fret on 3rd string?

davoomac
01-29-2008, 12:52 PM
could you try doing a slanted bar? using your index to cover the third fret on the 1st and 2nd strings and the 2nd fret on the 4th string, then your ring finger for the 4th fret on 3rd string?

I'm having trouble understanding what you are trying to make my fingers do lol.
you mean like this shape which would be Bb?
1- index
1- index
2- middle
3- ring

Dominator
01-29-2008, 01:20 PM
I'm having trouble understanding what you are trying to make my fingers do lol.
you mean like this shape which would be Bb?
1- index
1- index
2- middle
3- ring


David, I think Nuke means this regarding the Am7 I referred to above = 2433
3- index = A string
3 index = E string
4- ring = C string
2- middle = G string

For me to do this requires shoving my elbow into my side and doesn't lend itself to smoothly shift fingering to the next chord. Thanks for pointing it out though NukeDOC because I don't think I would have thought of that combination on my own.

NukeDOC
01-29-2008, 01:50 PM
David, I think Nuke means this regarding the Am7 I referred to above = 2433
3- index = A string
3 index = E string
4- ring = C string
2- middle = G string

For me to do this requires shoving my elbow into my side and doesn't lend itself to smoothly shift fingering to the next chord. Thanks for pointing it out though NukeDOC because I don't think I would have thought of that combination on my own.

yeah i just tried it and it is awkward. BUT... isnt an Am7 the same thing as all the strings strummed open? im thinking about how it would be played on a guitar, and an Em7 would be just the 2nd fret on the A string (fifth course). thats one way to play that particular chord.

but i understand it is the chord shape that is the problem. another remedy is to play it:
3-middle on A string
3-index on E string
4-ring on C string
2-THUMB on G string

or

3-index (bar) on A
3-index (bar) on E
4-middle on C
mute- with ring on G

UKESTAR
01-29-2008, 01:51 PM
I have the same fear.....can someone get really good on the uke if their fingers do not bend backwards a bit? I have a really hard time, for example, when I need to press strings 4 and 3 down with one finger. I end up pressing 4,3 AND 2 on accident.

Is there a good way around this so I can be like Shimabukuro....hhaha..

davoomac
01-29-2008, 02:34 PM
David, I think Nuke means this regarding the Am7 I referred to above = 2433
3- index = A string
3 index = E string
4- ring = C string
2- middle = G string

For me to do this requires shoving my elbow into my side and doesn't lend itself to smoothly shift fingering to the next chord. Thanks for pointing it out though NukeDOC because I don't think I would have thought of that combination on my own.


Whoa, I dont think I can do it. I have to shove my elbow into my side too. Good point though.

The other problem I have is when I have to bar an E chord or any other chord like that.

Usually the chording would be this right?
2
4
4
4

I can't bend my ring finger enough to allow the first string to ring out. So I end up just hitting the bottom three strings and muting the first. Same with any bar of that kind on uke AND on the guitar. I guess it isn't too noticeable when I play though, but it really bothers me.

deadeye
01-29-2008, 03:36 PM
im lucky my fingers bend backwards, this chord isnt uncomfortable for me...

tho i guess like what nuke is saying, 334 then mute g string with perhaps your thumb? feels alright for me doing it that way...u can even press down the 2nd fret with your thumb!!

UkuLeLesReggAe
01-29-2008, 07:06 PM
i wasn't to good on the fingers at first.. im just slow at switching -.- practise makes perfect... after several months :D

davoomac
01-30-2008, 01:53 AM
Yeah I learned 'lets Dance' but it still is difficult just because the chord shape is working against my non-bendy finger. So it just doesn't sound as good as it should!