Author Topic: BC-111 • The D Chord  (Read 146067 times)

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Offline justinguitar

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BC-111 • The D Chord
« on: June 03, 2009, 12:25:32 pm »
"You can get help from teachers, but you are going to have to learn a lot by yourself, sitting alone in a room." Dr. Seuss

Offline iherdcats

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Re: BC-111 • The D Chord
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2014, 07:05:54 pm »
I feel like I'm strangling the neck of the guitar because I'm pushing so hard on the strings. I'm following all the rules (thumb around the neck, palm not touching, treating the bottom of the neck like an electric wire) but I'm squeezing my thumb against the neck really hard to get the leverage on the strings to press them down. I'm assuming its because my fingers aren't very strong yet. Is this normal, or is it a bad habit that I should keep from developing?

Offline stitch101

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Re: BC-111 • The D Chord
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2014, 07:32:12 pm »
Squeezing the neck to hard is a very common thing for beginners. Thy this. Make a D chord and relax your
hand. Strum the guitar and add only enough pressure to make the strings ring out. That's all the pressure
you need. As your fingers and hand get stronger you will need even less or it will seem like less pressure.

Another thing is if your guitar has really bad action at the nut this will make it harder to play. Having
your guitar set up properly by a guitar tech can make a big difference.

Offline deadeye_ag

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Re: BC-111 • The D Chord
« Reply #3 on: November 11, 2014, 07:37:31 pm »
How long have you been playing? Struggling to press hard enough on the strings to get the notes to ring clearly is a common problem when first starting out. Still there are a couple of things you should check with your guitar.

Have a guitar tech look at your set up. Is the action too high? The action is how high the strings sit above the fretboard. If it's too high, you have to press harder to get things to ring out clearly. The tech can lower the action for you.

What kind of strings do you have? If they are heavy gauge strings then try switching to some extra light ones until your finger strength builds up. Also coated strings are gentler on the fingers,  A lot of folks like Elixirs Extra Lights with the nanoweb coating (for acoustics). There are other brands, just ask around.

You shouldn't have to "strangle the neck" but it probably feels like that at first. Without seeing pics or video it's hard to know if you are overly tensing up or doing anything technically wrong. If you have been playing for a few months and you don't seem to be getting stronger and your guitar is properly set up, then I would start looking at technique; otherwise, it's just part of starting out :)



Offline Drubbing

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Re: BC-111 • The D Chord
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2014, 11:49:28 pm »
You fingers are still soft. The harder you press, the more you'll just indent the string in your fingers and the notes will still not ring clear. You've just got to find a good medium til your fingertips harden up.

Offline Tazz3

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Re: BC-111 • The D Chord
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2014, 04:17:02 am »
The d chord is a pain. I can do it,but switching to other chrods from the d is tough.
Switching chords feels weird to me but iam only playing 30 days lol

Offline ClausP

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Re: BC-111 • The D Chord
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2014, 07:55:46 pm »
I have the same struggle with the D chord. To me it is clearly the most difficult of the 2 chords in Stage 1. Both in terms of making it ring nicely and when doing chord changes.

I guess it is just a matter of practise - I hope..... :(
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Offline tobyjenner

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Re: BC-111 • The D Chord
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2014, 08:40:53 pm »
Claus

See the comments above but yes its down to practice - proper practice ie being accurate. As a beginner one of the biggest problems will be soft finger tips. Bet they hurt like hell after a practice session? Over time you'll build up not only stronger fingers but calluses that hard pad of skin which will make fretting chords easier. These take time to develop but once you have them, you start to stop strangling the guitar!!

Keep at it and you'll soon have that D ringing clear 8) 
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Offline deadeye_ag

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Re: BC-111 • The D Chord
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2014, 10:06:53 pm »
Yes, it's practice. Most if not all of us have been there. You wonder how you will EVER get a chord to work. Small progress then one day you've got it. I went through this with A, D, C, B7, Bm, G7, and of course the effing F chord. Keep at it. Form the chord, pluck each string, making sure it rings clearly. Repeat. Practice your one minutes changes...
 

Offline hilts17

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Re: BC-111 • The D Chord
« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2014, 03:52:32 pm »
I completely agree with the 2 comments above mine. When I started the beginner course this past July I just could not get the D chord to ring clear. I thought, "Great, the first chord and I can't even play it!" But I read loads of encouraging comments here and persevered. Before long I nailed it and as you may have heard, you wonder what the big deal was. And for sure once you get some nice calluses on your fingertips (and you will) that makes playing easier too. So just keep practising, practising, practising and you will be amazed with what you can do. I'm 55 years old, I just started stage 4 of the BC, and I can play several songs. If I can do it, anybody can.
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Offline Zebzebra

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Re: BC-111 • The D Chord
« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2014, 12:10:05 am »
I have been placing my thumb directly behind my index finger on the back of the neck 3/4 of the way down, and this position forces me to severely bend my wrist, so that my hand is nearly at a right angle with my inner forearm. Although I have only been playing about for a week I am already starting to develop wrist pains from this hand posture, and it doesn't feel like a strong position from which to fret chords. How should I be placing my thumb and wrist to avoid this position? Thanks :)

Offline shadowscott007

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Re: BC-111 • The D Chord
« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2014, 03:14:51 pm »
Take a close look at Justin's hand position on the page and in the video lesson.

http://justinguitar.com/en/BC-111-D-chord.php

Specifically his thumb is up towards the top of the neck which let's him keep his wrist straighter.  The curl is in the fingers not the wrist.  Sounds like your thumb is to far around the neck. Flatten your wrist and let the thumb be where it ends up when your wrist is flatter.  Will probably require adjustments to your finger arch.

Watch the video and focus on his hand wrist thumb position.  Might help to mute the video and focus on watching his left hand.

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Offline Zebzebra

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Re: BC-111 • The D Chord
« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2014, 07:50:59 pm »
Thanks shadowscott,

I had lowered my thumb because Justin said that as a beginner I should not put my thumb at the top of the neck. Is it alright to ignore that advice in order to keep my wrist straight?

Offline shadowscott007

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Re: BC-111 • The D Chord
« Reply #13 on: December 28, 2014, 08:34:55 pm »
It is a matter of degree.  If you watch the video closely, when he is demonstrating the beginners position you can still see his thumb tip peeking over the top of the neck, that is fine.  His thumb never disappears completely behind the neck.

If you look when he mentions what NOT to do as a beginner his thumb is way over and reaching around the front of the neck almost touching the low strings.  The joint of the thumb is over the top of the neck.  That is what he wants you to avoid.

You most certainly do NOT want your wrist bent anywhere close to 90 degrees.  You want to move your thumb up some so it isn't forcing your hand in that position.   I would say to rest the pad of your thumb about even with the 5th string on the back of the neck or thereabouts.

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Offline ClausP

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Re: BC-111 • The D Chord
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2014, 08:49:04 pm »
Well, I finally got this one nailed. Found out that I needed to have my palm more parallel to the fretboard (without touching though). This made me able to get my ring finger (3. finger) more vertical down on the 2. string really using only the tip, which solved my problem.

I couldn't do this for the first few weeks, but I'm already getting some more flexibility into my wrist, so now it works for me.

So, this was my last problem with Stage 1. Stage 2 here I come....  :)
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Offline Luvntravln

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Re: BC-111 • The D Chord
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2015, 04:37:09 pm »
Hi, I really don't know where to post this question so here I am in the garbage general area. As a result of a lung disease - no I am not a smoker - I have slowed down; hence - the guitar. I travel full time, literally, so I am learning on a Martin Backpacker - small body.

Problem: D Chord!

I can transition to the A and E without a problem; with the D my 3rd finger doesn't want to go past the 2nd finger until it has touched the string.

Suggestions for training your fingers!

Thanks,
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Offline Rossco01

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Re: BC-111 • The D Chord
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2015, 04:49:04 pm »
Thumbs up for starting to learn. Even though I'm very much a beginner it's difficult after 12 months to remember exactly how difficult some things were. D was definitely the first "hard" chord to do. In general I have to say that the rule of thumb is just to practice, practice, practice. The reality is that it can take ages for things just to be muscle memory BUT when it does you never have to think about it again.

In terms of your particular problem I've just picked up the guitar and moved from A to D. Using Justins fingering I notice my second finger just naturally moves across quite nicely to the high E, my third finger stays reasonably high and away from the strings and then comes straight down onto the G string. It doesn't come across the second string at all but comes down. I would just take it very very slowly and get the finger movements right. You'll hit more bad ones than good ones to start with but if you do the 1 min changes really really slowly to start with i.e. sub 20 min, you should start to notice an improvement.
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Offline rocky77

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Re: BC-111 • The D Chord
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2015, 05:03:31 pm »
Have you tried watching Justin's video on the A D E changes.

http://justinguitar.com/en/BC-114-AnchorFingers.php

Offline afeuti5

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Re: BC-111 • The D Chord
« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2015, 07:56:40 pm »
I am having a hard time with the D chord, it seems that my third finger keeps hitting the first string and giving it a horrible buzzing noise any suggestions??

Offline tobyjenner

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Re: BC-111 • The D Chord
« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2015, 08:16:27 pm »
Make sure your fingers are curled, specially the 3rd, and if its still catching the high E occasionally, try rolling your hand towards the ceiling, so the 3rd finger is more arched and therefore further away from the top string 8)
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Offline deadeye_ag

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Re: BC-111 • The D Chord
« Reply #20 on: January 06, 2015, 08:20:17 pm »
Buzzing comes from finger placement and a lack of pressure/finger strength usually.

1) Make sure your that third finger is as close to that third fret as possible.
2) Make sure your fingers are arched and not flat
3) Press down using the tips of your fingers and not the fleshy part.

Other things not related to your experience level that can make things easier.

1) Make sure your guitar is properly setup so that the action is as low as possible. With low action you won't have to press down so hard

2) Use extra light coated or treated strings. Extra light strings are thinner and easier to press down. Coated/Treated strings are easier on the fingers until you can build up strength and callouses.
 
If I've misunderstood your problem, post a video.

Mostly it's practice!

Offline Skydome

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Re: BC-111 • The D Chord
« Reply #21 on: January 20, 2015, 05:50:59 am »
I am struggling too.

I believe I have my fingers in the correct position for the D chord, what I find I am struggling with is two things.

1- I can never really get the strings to ring out clearly, once I do get one to ring out clearly the other two are stuffed and once I get the other one or two right I've stuffed another one, I can't seem to figure out finger placement so this isn't an issue.

second; I too am finding I have to really press down on the strings, and it hurts, I'm guessing I just have to build up finger strength.


Offline hilts17

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Re: BC-111 • The D Chord
« Reply #22 on: January 20, 2015, 04:17:51 pm »
I am struggling too.

I believe I have my fingers in the correct position for the D chord, what I find I am struggling with is two things.

1- I can never really get the strings to ring out clearly, once I do get one to ring out clearly the other two are stuffed and once I get the other one or two right I've stuffed another one, I can't seem to figure out finger placement so this isn't an issue.

second; I too am finding I have to really press down on the strings, and it hurts, I'm guessing I just have to build up finger strength.

See tips from deadeye in the post above yours. There are 5 tips all together. Read all 5. Plus once you build up calluses on your finger tips it will be much easier to press down on the strings.

I know what you're going thru. When I started the BC I struggled right away with the D chord and it's the very first lesson in the BC. I thought, "Great, first chord and I'm struggling already!" BUT, stick with it, keep working at it and just like me you will get it. I'm on stage 5 now but I would say after 2-3 weeks in Stage 1, I was able to make the D chord ring clear every time. You'll get it too!
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Offline Skydome

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Re: BC-111 • The D Chord
« Reply #23 on: January 21, 2015, 11:04:08 am »
I'll do what deadeye said.

So the way I understand his post, is that in terms of positioning, I need to have my hands arched and push down on the strings?

I tried doing that a bit earlier on today and it felt very strange, I guess I just have to develop the muscles to hold my hands arched so that it doesn't hurt/feel weird ?

Offline Drubbing

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Re: BC-111 • The D Chord
« Reply #24 on: January 21, 2015, 11:14:03 am »
second; I too am finding I have to really press down on the strings, and it hurts, I'm guessing I just have to build up finger strength.


No, you have to develop finger technique, arched fingers, not hands. it takes hardly any strength at all to fret chords. People press too hard because their finger tips are too soft and often lying too flat, and squash them across other strings. So they press harder and…so it circles.

Apply the lightest touch possible to the top of the string, keep plucking it. Press it down gently til it only just contacts the fretboard, and it rings clear. That's probably 90% less pressure than you're using.

 

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