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Thread: Simple technique with a point

  1. #1
    Axe-honerated zontar's Avatar
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    Simple technique with a point

    I saw this on Acoustic Guitar Magazine's site-
    It is intended for beginners and is real simple to play, but what I love about it is he plays the G chord with his 2nd, 3rd & 4th fingers--not 1st, 2nd & 3rd--like I was taught.
    But early on, I decided that since a lot of songs have a change from G to C and/or C to G, I would play G with my 2nd, 3rd & 4th fingers and the chord changes got so much easier and sounded better.

    I took a lot of flack from my guitar teacher and from other guitar players--including ones who never took formal lessons.
    They thought it was weird, but when I showed them how easy it was--some of them grudgingly had to agree with me.

    When I later taught guitar I taught y students to play the standard G chord with their 2nd, 3rd & 4th fingers.
    It also makes it easier to change between a G & G 7.

    So how do you play your G chords?
    http://www.acousticguitar.com/How-To...MTU4ODgzNzIwS0
    I've been a pilgrim on this earth, since the day of my birth, I'm a long way from my home.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator die Bullen's Avatar
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    I rarely play open chords myself but I generally use the "normal" fingering with I have used my pinky for the G when I need to switch to the b7th quickly

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    Axetastic doublewah's Avatar
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    I teach my students both "grips", and I point out the reason for both.

    The way you like to do it is good for "Leader of The Band" type changes (also, Garth Brooks' "The Dance").

    The other way is good for going from G to D, such as in "Sweet Home Alabama". It is also the way you can change the open B to a 3rd fret D by using 4 fingers. This is also for "Sweet Home Alabama" if you are playing D, Cadd9, G (with a D on the 3rd string).

    Basically, I tell all my students to try everything with all possible (and darn-near impossible) fingerings. Learn your basic E chord, then practice it with fingers 2,3,4 - because you're going to need this for your basic barre chord. Same thing with the C and D chord. The CAGED way of teaching and playing guitar takes 5 chord forms (including ZT's G grip) and makes barre or partial-barre chords up the neck.

    Other things I tell my students -
    Play a whole solo with one finger. Play the next solo with a different finger. Play it all on one string. Don't play any consecutive notes on the same string...

    As for slide players - the ZT grip works for sliders who put the slide on the first finger (in the minority, I'm sure because of the lack of damping facility). The other grip works for sliders who put the slide on the fourth finger.
    Sliders who put the slide on the third finger (like me) are limited to partial chords, but hey - it's still music.
    I bought a relic'd guitar because I liked the way it sounded. Then I refinished it because I didn't like the way it looked.

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    Axeaholic Teleblooz's Avatar
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    I use whatever works. Sometimes it's the grips you mentioned, sometimes I hook the thumb around to fret the E string and damp the A, sometimes I barre a partial F chord - it all depends on what chord I'm coming from and what chord I'm going to next, and of course which notes in the voicing I want to hear.
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    Axe-honerated zontar's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing.

    I like hearing how other people do stuff on guitar, sometimes I come across something I've never tried and it's helpful.
    That was also one of the things I liked about teaching--students come up with all sorts of things-some good & some bad.
    I was careful to not discourage them from experimenting and developing their own styles, but also trying to get them not to be too rigid in their approach.


    I appreciate that people do play some things differently sometimes--I do myself.
    Part of that comes from starting on classical where sometimes to accommodate the melody or the harmony you have to use some unusual fingerings.

    I can relate to some of the other comments--I normally do play an open E chord with my 2nd, 3rd & 4th fingers to leave my first finger open for barre chords, and I also do the same for an open A chord.

    For slide--at this time I am not yet incorporating a lot of fretted notes-although I do try some things where there's a slide section and a non-slide section.
    So these things aren't much of a factor yet--but could be. I prefer to use the slide on my pinky as I find I get better control and when I switched from my ring finger I noticed a big improvement in my playing.

    As for switching from G to D I don't really notice much of a difference between 2, 3 & 4 or 1, 2 & 3.
    But that might just be me.
    I've been a pilgrim on this earth, since the day of my birth, I'm a long way from my home.

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    Axetastic doublewah's Avatar
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    ZT, I like how you put this:
    Quote Originally Posted by zontar View Post
    ...I was careful to not discourage them from experimenting and developing their own styles, but also trying to get them not to be too rigid in their approach…
    I get a lot out of teaching. One thing I point out to my more adventurous (and sometimes stubborn) students is the fact that when I was their age, my fingers could bend all sorts of ways and reach frets that are not comfortable now. I used to enjoy playing flashy stuff. But the past few years I have been retraining my hands, looking for the most efficient fingerings that work for MY hands. I share these fingerings with my students, but I encourage them to explore what their hands can do, AND to still have fun and play anything any way that strikes their fancy at the moment.

    Quote Originally Posted by zontar View Post
    …For slide--at this time I am not yet incorporating a lot of fretted notes-although I do try some things where there's a slide section and a non-slide section…
    That is what I meant. My band work is usually trio, and I need to play the regular parts until the slide section comes up - unless it is a song that is all slide, and I don't any of those in my repertoire. Even Elmore James songs have a bar of slide, a bar of boogie…

    Quote Originally Posted by zontar View Post
    …I prefer to use the slide on my pinky as I find I get better control and when I switched from my ring finger I noticed a big improvement in my playing...
    I use my third finger but would prefer to use my slide. I have yet to find a slide that fits my pinky and stays put. My left pinky is pretty short.

    Quote Originally Posted by zontar View Post
    ...As for switching from G to D I don't really notice much of a difference between 2, 3 & 4 or 1, 2 & 3.
    But that might just be me.
    I agree here. It's more if I am using a four-finger G chord (with that D on the B string) that this works, and I suppose I use the four-finger G here partly because it flows, and partly because I like the sound of this inversion.
    But a three-finger G that is fingered 2, 3 & 4 flows when I am playing G D/F# (not using the thumb this time) Em.

    Different fingerings/grips for different musical passages.
    I have three different grips for a regular D chord that I often use. (Okay - two al the time, one less frequently.)

    Basically I try to get my students to see red or yellow dots on their guitars where the chord notes are, and know as many possible fingerings as they can.
    I bought a relic'd guitar because I liked the way it sounded. Then I refinished it because I didn't like the way it looked.

  7. #7
    Axetastic doublewah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teleblooz View Post
    I use whatever works. Sometimes it's the grips you mentioned, sometimes I hook the thumb around to fret the E string and damp the A, sometimes I barre a partial F chord - it all depends on what chord I'm coming from and what chord I'm going to next, and of course which notes in the voicing I want to hear.
    Like button.
    I bought a relic'd guitar because I liked the way it sounded. Then I refinished it because I didn't like the way it looked.

  8. #8
    Axe-honerated zontar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doublewah View Post
    I agree here. It's more if I am using a four-finger G chord (with that D on the B string) that this works, and I suppose I use the four-finger G here partly because it flows, and partly because I like the sound of this inversion.
    I often use that as well. At one time the most common way I played G (if I wasn't switching between G&C a lot) was that way while muting the 5th string with the first or second finger (Depending which chord came before and which chord was next)--essentially a G5 chord as I had remove the 3rd (B) both times it shows up in the standard guitar voicing.
    I've been a pilgrim on this earth, since the day of my birth, I'm a long way from my home.

  9. #9
    Axetastic doublewah's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zontar View Post
    I often use that as well. At one time the most common way I played G (if I wasn't switching between G&C a lot) was that way while muting the 5th string with the first or second finger (Depending which chord came before and which chord was next)--essentially a G5 chord as I had remove the 3rd (B) both times it shows up in the standard guitar voicing.
    Yes! Mute that 5th string!

    Occasionally a piece of music wants a gnarly low third, but usually we don't want to hear that low B in the G chord. I show this to my students as well - how to rock that second finger over a little bit to mute the 5th string, and then you don't even need the first finger on that 5th string, so you can use it to boogie on the 4th string (change the open D to an E, 5 to 6), if the music calls for it.

    If there is a piano nearby, I go over and play the same voicing on the piano and let them hear how ugly that low B can be in that chord (and sometimes we want ugly). I show them that a piano player will often play just a G on the bottom (often doubled as octaves in the left hand) and avoid the low third. I don't tell them that the low B is bad, but only to include it when they want to hear it - to be aware of all the notes you are playing, and what different chord inversions sound like.
    I bought a relic'd guitar because I liked the way it sounded. Then I refinished it because I didn't like the way it looked.

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