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Thread: Hands

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    11

    Default Hands

    So, after a bit more than a week, I wonder: are there a certain type of hands that simply cannot do it? Or at least the hands cannot do certain chords just because of how they are built?

    For example, if I would like to bar the first fret, the is not enough flesh right where there are strings. Even if I shift my finger a bit, I may hit two or three strings, but not all. And in the rare case that all strings are fretted, there is no way I can use other fingers on the next frets without muting one or te strings. I do not have a sample chord in mind, If I encounter one, I will post it here.

    Another question is: are there hands that have an advantage over other hands?

    Just curious,

    NG

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Default

    hmmm... I will say "sometimes." A lot depends on your hand size vs. the width of your uke's neck. Some chords require a stretch that is far or a contortion of your hand. I will say, I can play 90% of all chords with practice, but some still drive me crazy. Keep practicing and you'll get it.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Barre chords are fairly difficult to master, and require a certainn degree of strength in the fingers, which will come over time. Instead of trying to barre with the inside of the finger, try moving your elbow away from your body, this will increase the pressure on the fingerboard and will also increase the span of your other fingers.

    There is no such thing as a "perfect" hand. So long as you develop both strength and mobility in your fingers, and what musicians call "muscle memory", you'll be fine. Both only come with time and repetition.

  4. #4
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    Apr 2013
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    Default Thanks

    Thanks for the answers, I will keep trying. I hoped that playing on other instruments over the years would have made my fingers stronger and more flexible, but I guess there is always room for improvement.

    NG

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
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    Default

    I still remember learning my first ever bar chord. Took me about three months till I could do it reliably. So don't give up, it's really just practice. Having said that, there ARE some chords that not everybody can do because they need a HUGE stretch.... but you won't encounter them till much later and most of the time there's a way around.
    (I've got a script from a university course for jazz guitar and there are chords that cover 6 frets... ON A GUITAR!!!)

    Andreas
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  6. #6
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    May 2011
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    near Boston
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    Default

    A week isn't a long time, so try not to get discouraged!

    Since you mention muting other strings, I'm wondering if you are tucking your wrist up under the neck. Check out this video, around timestamp 2:10, where Ukulele Mike demonstrates dropping the wrist. If you feel like you can't hold the ukulele with your fretting hand in this position, you might want to think about a strap. I got a Uke Leash when I first started playing and it made a big difference for me.

    You can also try rotating your barre finger a little bit left or right--sometimes you can make better string contact with the side of your finger than flat on the bottom.

    Barre chords are definitely a challenge, so don't be too hard on yourself. When I first started, I couldn't barre anything. It took months before I began to feel like I was getting them.
    Live long, prosper, and play your ukulele.

  7. #7
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    Mar 2013
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    Gulf Coast Fl
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    Default

    Aldrine Guerro has a video where he shows how to barre chords according to knuckles, that helped me a lot. I have very little musical experience but I've been working at it for 3 months and my barre chords are still pretty rough! Don't give up. P.S. I would link the video but I don't know how. Go to video library here at UU and you will find it.

  8. #8
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    Nov 2012
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    Default

    These things come with practice. I'm fairly new and I can see progress in my finger mobility, stretch, and strength. I've picked up ukulele late in life and fairly recently. I have enough arthritis in my hands to feel it. Even so, my chording gets better with practice. Hang in there, because really, where else you gonna hang?
    Rule Three: Anger is easy. Love is hard.

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  9. #9
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    Yeah, forming chords come with practice but... I have been at this for almost three years. I watch those videos with the freakish (to my stubby fingered hand) long fingers that bend backwards at the knuckles and think, no wonder they can play those chords. My pointer finger does not bend. I have exercised to the point of injury on these stubby fingers. I say, yes it does make a difference. For me with my short, stubby, stiff fingers I have to work around it, play alternate chord formations, I have been skipping the G chord for the Bb flat for years and just recently figured out if I bar the first fret using the bottom part of my finger with the tip hanging over the edge I can reach the g string, but now to be able to do it fast enough to change chords. Have fun in the process. You will and we do get better and work around our limitations.
    RoxHum

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  10. #10
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    Default

    This is a great thread which I am finding quite helpful. Thanks, Ladyluke, for asking the question.
    Kathryn

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