Collapsing fingers

Hi! One of my main worries is collapsing fingers joints when playing with lots of bar chords and this occurs especially on my ring finger and pinky. It’s very annoying because I feel my fingers really tight and chords changes are slow and definetly not clean. I don’t know this issue is due to a lack of strength or flexibility. Did you ever experienced that? Any suggestions on how to solve it?


Hi Laura,
when your fingers feel tight, you might be pressing too hard! This causes an unclean tone and slows down your play.

Playing Kiko’s simple warmups in the “Days 1” as easy as you can would fix this!

If it is nescessary to press hard in order to get a clean tone, it mighty be:

1.: Your finger position is too far from the fret.
2.: Your guitar is hard to play.

For 1.: Try to play closer to the fret you are pressing the string on. Avoid grabbing too far from the fret. Try and feel the difference.

For 2.: Did you try on different guitars and is it the same on each one? If so, still this could mean, that your guitars may be hard to play on! Try different gutiars, different gauges.

If all this doesn’t help, we might find time for a video call? I wouldn’t want anything for it, but I only use a certain platform (free as well).

Have a great Sunday! :slight_smile:


Hi Nils, thanks a lot for all your advices, I’ll try to apply them and see if my joints collapse a little less and my hand is more relaxed. For the guitar, I’m playing an Ibanez RG550, which has a really thin neck actually, but I’ve already planned to buy another one very soon :heart_eyes: :wink:!
I’ll let you know how it’s going!

Thanks again, have a nice day you too :slight_smile:


I used to have this problem and its does take a little time to build up finger strength and calluses. I would recomend lowering your action on your guitar and use lighter gauge strings. Practice daily and things should improve.

Patients is not a matter of time but understanding. I hope you the best there. :blush:


I’ll try also these ones, thank you very much Frisco! :blush:

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For the collapsing of fingers, I think it’s really a matter of practicing a specific change of chord super slowly back and forth from one chord to the other to be sure your fingers do the right movement. I usually start by the finger that plays on the lower string and then the others…
But I agree with Nils that playing the Day one warm up exercises as easy as you can, can fix this.

For making the chord changes sound cleaner…
I had this problem with exercise 5 from Alternate picking Day Two. Especially when doing the last 3 chords. So I divided my practice of this exercise into 2 phases :
-a 1st phase (the most difficult) where I deliberately raise the tempo 10 bpm higher than for the first exercises, and I play the first 5 chords like 4ths notes and then the last 3 chords like the 8th notes that they’re supposed to be played at.
-a second phase where I lower the tempo 12 bpm under the tempo used for the first exercises and play the whole thing like 8th notes.


Thanks a lot Bruno, really interesting points and advices. I’ll definitely try those very slow chords changes and see how It goes :blush:


And obviously… Another helpful thing to avoid collapsing fingers is to try and keep the classical hand position Kiko mentioned in the video :wink:.
I say “obviously” because it’s obvious to me but I know some players aren’t used to that hand position.

And even I have seen my thumb tend to move up over the neck. Like when I play solos or even chords I’m not familiar with (except bar chords), so I know this can happen even with guitarists who are used to play with the classical hand position.


Thanks to point that, I think that my hand position is decent. I’ll try to apply all your good advices :slight_smile:
Have a great day!


I know for me, lighter string gauge and lower action helped a lot. I prefer lighter strings and I play 8’s. After two years of experimenting with super heavy to super extra light, the 8’s win.

Being able to play with a very light touch allows for a ton more speed, accuracy and endurance. With 8’s, even barre chords are easy once you figure out the shapes - a light touch is enough to get the chord to ring out. Bending and vibrato now sound right because I can get the string movement required without any physical hardship.

Instead of fighting my strings, I can focus on proper technique and it has been a huge benefit.


Hi Michael, actually I’ve always used 9’s, I’ll try 8’s on the next strings change. I really like the words you’ve chosen “instead of fighting my strings”: this really make me focus on what I’m going through in my practice.
Thanks a lot! :slightly_smiling_face:


Hi Laura, I was going to ask what guitar you play and then I saw your reply, an Ibanez RG550. That’s a pretty comfortable guitar to play but sometimes the thin nature of the neck can prove awkward for some hands. Have you tried playing with a less “shreddy” guitar like a Fender Strat or a Gibson LP?


Hello Laura.

I don’t know if you remember but a few months I did a post about the injury I caused to my fingers tendons and capsules. I’m still on recovery but improving little by little.

That has made me speak to doctors and doing some research.

So, here is the things you need to checkout to avoid injuring yourself, from what I gathered:

-Warm up before playing and do not go straight into very demanding stuff, let the fingers get used to motion.

-Sit your guitar in a very comfortable position. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t look “cool” when hanging. (mine hangs with strap at the same position it is when I’m sitting, but find the most comfortable one TO YOU).

-Use light strings.

-Make sure you play relaxed (Kiko points this quite frequently, it is vital not only for playing great, but to avoid injury).

-Make sure you are doing proper technique positions and use. If you have doubts you can record yourself and you can share it here. But again, it has to feel comfortable.

For the record I own a RG550 and I absolutely love that guitar, I find it extremely comfortable.

I hope everything goes great for you.


Hi Giorgio, I really like the feelings my guitar gives me and that issue only occurs when I’m playing a lot of bar chords. I’ve tried a Fender strato only one time and only for a few minutes, not enough time to have a precise idea.
Anyway I’m going to buy another guitar veeery soon! :heart_eyes: :wink: :innocent:

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Thanks Aram, these are very useful suggestions, I’ll try o apply oll of them. I have to admit sometimes I avoid warm up because I’m a little bit lazy and I have a limited time to practice, but I know this is never a good idea. Anyway this past week I’ve really focused on relaxing my hand and using the right pression on strings and I’ve already noticed a little improvement and less disconfort in playing those bar chords.

p.s. I also love my RG550! :star_struck:


I have never given much thought to neck profiles untill I piled up a bunch of different guitars. I always thought that the thinner the better. But for me, its exactly true… The absolute perfection for me right now is my WR7: a rwlatively thin, Soloist like profile (I’d call it a D-profile) but wider due to the 7th string. My hands are on the larger side (I guess) but with average finger length. The wide neck feels perfect to grab, while the thin profile makes it easy for my fingers. On a 6 string though the Soloist feels a bit too thin and I prefer the slightly rounder neck of my King V. Oh, how I wish neck profiles were the only things keeping me from being great! :rofl: :upside_down_face: