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Guitar Playing Tip – A Better Way To Play the “G” Major Chord

March 23rd, 2011 by Jeff Vivrette

– Guitar Playing Tip – A Better Way To Play the “G” Major Chord –

Most, if not all, chord books and beginner guitar method books I’ve seen teach beginners to play the “G major” open chord using fingers 1-2-3. There are some very good reasons why this may not be the best way to play this chord I would like to show you why this is so and how you may want to consider playing this chord.

I’ve seen many people teach people to play the “G Major” open chord using fingers 1-2-3. While being a perfectly legitimate and fine way to play this chord, it imposes certain restrictions on the player that I find uncomfortable and limiting. To begin with, by using finger #1 to play the root note “G” on the third fret of the sixth string, you limit your fretting hands ability to quickly play any other note. You essentially lock yourself into a corner.

Instead, I prefer to use fingers 2-3-4, fretting the root note “G” with my second finger. This leaves finger #1 open and available to play any note I may need it to play on all six strings, any place on frets 1 &2. I find myself using this a great deal.

One very practical example would be going from the G major chord to the C major chord. If I play the “G major” chord using fingers 1-2-3 as most people (and books) teach, I have no choice but to take my first finger off the root note G to go to the second string, first fret to play the C major chord. Aside from this, my third finger has to move quite a bit to get to the root note C on the fifth string to play the C major chord.

In my opinion, a much better way to make this transition is to play the “G major” chord using fingers 2-3-4, as I teach to my students, and leave finger 1 open to travel to the second string to prepare to play the C major chord. Fingers 2 & 3 are already very close to where they will need to be to play the remaining notes of the C major chord and this makes the transition from G major to C major very easy and smooth.

This example can also be used for transitioning from the G major chord to the D major or minor chords, as well as others. It just makes good sense!

I also prefer to play the G major chord using fingers 2-3-4 because it just feels more balanced. My hand is positioned on the neck and fretboard in a very natural way and doesn’t require my wrist to be twisted.

It’s the little things (and sometimes not so little) like this that make choosing the right teacher so important. Likewise, it’s equally important to have the right teacher to guide you through your journey of learning tom play guitar instead of trying to do it on your own. Saves a lot of time, frustration, money and grief!

If you live in Michigan and would like to learn more about lessons and Vivrette Guitar Academy just click here to contact me!