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G chord, fingering.


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It looks like after all these years I've got it wrong, well according to the young bloods!

I play a chord of G in the first position with my third finger on the 6th string third fret, my second on the B of the fifth string.

I am told this is wrong it should be second finger 6th string first finger on the B of the fifth string.

 

So we play a bit over Christmas easy stuff, Beatles, Hollies Etc. With my method I can walk a bass F to G as in 'Let it Be' or just pick up little melody riffs using my first finger whilst still holding the G chord, all this you can't do with fingering Two. Oh! yes we played The Hollies 'Bus Stop' great song. The rhythm moves quickly four times from Am to G easy my way impossible the other.

 

I was wondering if this is am age thing. Perhaps all this fast chord change stuff is 60s so you have to be over sixty to play it, after all Graham Nash and Paul Mac will be seventy this year. What do members think?

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Both are correct...of course...

 

Plus the ubiquitous 'E' form barre chord...

 

IMO the 'recent' enthusiasm for the 2nd finger G, 1st finger B version

 

Came from the the popular G to Cadd9 chord change in many Britpop songs (320033...to...X32033...if you will...)

 

So probably learned early on by younger guitarists....

 

V

 

:-({|=

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It depends on the type of open G. The bluegreass G is where second finger is on the 6th string, first finger on the B of the fifth string.

 

The 'non bluegress' G uses the other fingering you mentioned.

 

Its just a tone difference, one rings out a bit more the other is a bit more lush.

 

No right or wrong.

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It depends on the type of open G. The bluegreass G is where second finger is on the 6th string, first finger on the B of the fifth string.

 

The 'non bluegress' G uses the other fingering you mentioned.

 

Its just a tone difference, one rings out a bit more the other is a bit more lush.

 

No right or wrong.

 

What does tone have to do with identical fretted strings? Using different fingers doesn't change anything regarding tone, right? 320003 sounds the same regardless how you finger it.

 

As for me, for over 30 years, I played 320003 with middle finger on 6, index on 5, ring finger on 1. I recall this as the way the chord books, such as Mel Bay, showed it. Then I 'discovered' ring finger on 6, middle on 5, pinkie on 1 makes for easy transition to C chord, etc. A few years later, I discovered what I suppose is actually a G5 chord... 320033... and I play it that way 90% of the time.

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What does tone have to do with identical fretted strings? Using different fingers doesn't change anything regarding tone, right? 320003 sounds the same regardless how you finger it.

 

 

I wasnt being clear enough. Youre right, has no influence on fingering the AE strings, but I meant it in the context of the full fingering of the bluegrass G as opposed the normal G. Where in Bluegrass G the high EB strings are also fretted while the normal G on the high E is fretted, thereby providing a different tone or voicing.

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Play it the way that works for you on the song you are working on.

 

I've see an "A" chord x02220 fingered in every conceivable way fingers can be laid on 3 strings. My method is not always the same every time either.

 

My teacher said to play an A chord:

x02220

--ima-

where:

p = pulgar, thumb

i = indice, index

m = medio, middle

a = annual, ring

c = chiqito, little

 

 

I usually play

--mia-

Because of my fat fingers won't line up any other way.

 

 

some times I play it

--aaa-

if I need to slide up to a B chord

iiaaai at II

 

I've seen old Bluegrassers play it

--iii-

 

 

Learn it the way your teacher demands it. Then when he's not looking play it the way it makes sense to you.

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My plusses to all who agree that both fingerings are correct according to the context(or indeed any other fingering which works for a given song - anybody tried keeping the second finger free to hammer on a 4th-string E or 3rd-string A, or any left-hand thumb users here?)

 

I think that fretplay was also angling for a discussion of generational differences in terms of how we learned the basics of the instrument, though. On that score, I have to say that I'm young enough to have been keen on Britpop for a while when it first appeared, and old enough to have been playing for nearly 30 years and to have picked up my rudiments (including open G) some time before Oasis and Blur became big. I also learned the second finger G, index finger B, third finger high G version first of all.

 

Like livemusic, though, I've found that my automatic open G is the 320033 fingering, which for me means that if I play without the fretted D, I gravitate towards anchoring my relatively weak pinkie on the high G, move my median and ring fingers to cover the bass, and leave my index free to do as it will please. My left hand is a bit lazy when it comes to open chords, though, and when I'm playing in the key of G, my go-to open C is 032033 - not exactly a C chord, but C9 works for the Thomann country sample, as EuroAussie will testify, and it is a well-known fact that all bluegrass music evolved from that sample.

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EuroAussie, I think you might be onto something with the 'bluegrass' G compared to your plain Jane G.

 

But I think you have your fingerings off ? Maybe not, I've been wrong MANY MANY times before :)

 

I play my G with the pinky on the 1st string, ring finger on the 2nd string, middle finger on the 6th string and finally index finger on the 5th string.

 

That's what I consider the blue grass G ? I think that fingering gives you an extra different note than yer standard G chord ?

 

Harmonics101

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Hey L5Larry, that is an interesting observation that I will keep in mind.

 

That observation actually might help me expand my playing though I don't play Jazz much.

 

Unfortunately, most of the time i don't know where i came from or where i am going :)

 

Yes, its a sad state of affairs,

 

Harmonics101

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I agree that it varies based on which chord you're coming from/heading to, but a few things are generally true for me:

- If I'm playing in C or Am, I usually use ring finger on 6th string 320003, because it's closer to the shape of a C or Am (and a non-barre F) and the ring finger 6th means I don't have to move my fingers as far; and

- If I have a D/F# walk-up or down to/from the G, I find myself using middle finger on 6th 320033 or 320003, because my ring finger's already on or close to position for a D, and my thumb is closer to being in position for the 6th string F#.

 

All things being equal, I usually prefer the more jangly sound of 320003 to the tighter-sounding 320033. I hadn't heard the 320033 referred to as the bluegrass G, but I guess it makes sense, as it's a bit more crisp-tight sounding, perhaps more of a "clean slate" against which other instruments can play.

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The way you describe the Bluegrass G is how I play it also Harmonics, and if I described it wrong than thats my bad. I generally play the plain Jane G as its easier to switch to other chords, in particular C, but it all depends on the track.

 

In this Sheryl Crow track that I recorded with my wife a few weeks back for example the verse and chorus are same chords (G Dm Bb C), however I start the beginning of the track / verse on a Bluegrass G which allows me to do the hammer ons and have a tighter tone, but for the chorus I use the plain Jane G to give me a more open, projected tone that I can really strum through.

 

 

EuroAussie, I think you might be onto something with the 'bluegrass' G compared to your plain Jane G.

 

But I think you have your fingerings off ? Maybe not, I've been wrong MANY MANY times before :)

 

I play my G with the pinky on the 1st string, ring finger on the 2nd string, middle finger on the 6th string and finally index finger on the 5th string.

 

That's what I consider the blue grass G ? I think that fingering gives you an extra different note than yer standard G chord ?

 

Harmonics101

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Most people learn to play open G in a standard way. But fingering changes for various songs

 

Pete Townsend likes 320033 for open G and the D to G change in substitute would not sound correct if played in any other way. So you have to use the ring and pinky on the B and E strings

 

Stairway to Heaven (what no stairway !). You have to play the G (3rd fret top E) with your pinky as you need the 3 fingers behind to form the Dsus4 and D chord that follows on from the G

 

Hurt (Johnny Cash), again - you have to play the G (3rd fret top E) with your pinky as it stays there and the 3 fingers behind then play A minor, F (with added 9th), C . G and the top G acts as a pedal tone (drone) across all chords.

 

So there might be a standard way to start, but many songs can demand different fingerings as exampled above.

 

Madman Greg

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Hurt (Johnny Cash), again - you have to play the G (3rd fret top E) with your pinky as it stays there and the 3 fingers behind then play A minor, F (with added 9th), C . G and the top G acts as a pedal tone (drone) across all chords.

 

So there might be a standard way to start, but many songs can demand different fingerings as exampled above.

 

Madman Greg

 

 

Lets not forget about the good ol' barred G also on the third fret. If you take the Hurt example we play it so the final C and G are both barred before we go back to the open chords in the verse. Its good to experiment with voicings, which should work in conjunctin with comfort and easier chord switching. Its a bit of a balancing act.

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When adding the B string/3rd fret you're adding a second "D" note, or 5th, to the chord. Leaving the B string open adds a second "B" note, or 3rd, to the chord. So, one way reinforces the 5th content of the chord and the other the 3rd content. Slightly different voice between the two, with the open B string giving the overall sound a more wide open tone. As others have said, which you use is a matter of choice and/or which chord came before and which comes after. I do think the three-fingered G chord suits some songs better than the 4-fingered one, such as in Prine's Hello In There.

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Rev Gary Davis loved to throw a spanner in the works for his students - here is his third fret G (F fingering with thumb on G in the bass):

 

 

 

 

 

 

BluesKing777.

 

I knew somebody would pop up to thumb his nose at us!

 

I've never used my left-hand thumb (remnants of classical training), but am very interested in the possibility. Does anybody use it for an open G (not the Rev's F shape) for any reason?

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