4 finger G-Chord

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by Milspec, Oct 23, 2019.

  1. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

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    Sounds like a good band name actually, but what cave have I been living in all these years that I never knew about this alternative G-Chord form?

    For the other cavemen out there or who are just starting out, I am referring to playing the simple G-chord with your 3rd finger on the B-string same fret and your 4th finger on the high E same fret instead of just your 3rd finger on the high E.

    I am self taught via a textbook mostly and never seen that alternative shape before. The only reason I came across it was after watching a 7 year old kid do it at GC. It blew me away, just such a nice sounding chord when played that way. Brighter, louder, more even...just a wonderful sound.

    The problem now is trying to rip out all those years of muscle memory to play it that way. Sure would have been nice to have found out about it when I was starting out.

    Which brings up a question. What else am I missing? What other alternative shapes are out there that are a must know item? I do play my A-Chord a little non-traditional, but other than that I am by the book with my playing. Is there a resource out there that covers such a thing?
     
  2. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    I've seen 320033 called the Clapton version, too.

    For strumming, I prefer 3x0003 -- that low B can sound muddy on an acoustic.
     
  3. reckless toboggan

    reckless toboggan Tele-Meister

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    4 finger G is what I learned a G was.

    But I rarely play chords how they're supposed to be played (ie. I remove or add fingers and frets just to add interesting variation).

    I can play them the regular way if it serves some purpose in the song (like building conformity or tension that will be juxtaposed or broken later in the song), but generally I find it more fun and interesting to play the variations or implied chords.
     
  4. SixStringSlinger

    SixStringSlinger Friend of Leo's

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    I think part of the reason that grip sounds so good is because the third is only present once.

    I don't know how your theory knowledge is, but basically your typical major and minor chords are made up of the root (which gives the chord its name) the major or minor third (which provides the chord its major or minor quality) and the perfect fifth (which is another note that fleshes things out nicely without complicating the harmony). So every basic major or minor chord on a guitar (even when using all six strings) is one of these notes (usually in different octaves, if any are repeated).

    So you can think of the root note as the most "powerful" in the chord; that's why the chord is named after it. But the third is a close second (sorry) in influence, and having too many instances of the third in a chord can muddy things up a bit. You risk "crowding out" the root note.

    In the G grip you've just discovered, the third occurs only once (on the fifth string) as opposed to twice (also on the second string).

    Of course, different situations call for different grips. It can also be fun to switch between the two via hammer ons and pull offs. This helps you provide a sense of movement without changing the harmony.

    Another chord you can do this with is your basic C cowboy chord. Fret that one, but then put your pinky on the third fret of the high E string.

    BONUS: Play your new G chord, then transition to the C I just talked about.Dig the continuity provided by the constant high G note.
     
  5. VWAmTele

    VWAmTele Friend of Leo's

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    AKA Beatles-G
     
  6. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm self taught too ( 1975 started)
    and now playing some bluegrass in my old age, that form of G chord is a rhythm staple. ( also in some early Dylan songs)

    You just don't want to use it all the time- but there's a small universe of ( hammers and pulls) you can do with that great open G chord position-
    Edit- just realized ( forgot) that the A string is really muted in this chord shape, when playing Bluegrass.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2019
  7. dannyh

    dannyh Tele-Afflicted

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    This is why I prefer this version. Less is more with thirds to my ears.

    An easy variation on the C chord coming from this G fingering is to just move the second and first fingers over to the D and A strings (respectively), same frets, leaving the third and fourth fingers where they were in the G chord. This gives you a C2, adding the D you’re playing with the third finger, second string, third fret. Adds a little something sometimes (when appropriate).
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2019
  8. 57fenderstrat

    57fenderstrat Tele-Meister

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    Huh that’s what I use 90 percent of the time, I like that tightened effect that comes from getting the 5th and the root at the top of the chord. The only time I find myself using the open B is when I’m trying to accent it as a part of the melody line.

    As far as chord shapes there is no limit. Endless options with inversions, extensions, voicings, open strings, suspensions etc.

    As far as resource I’m not sure where to point you or what your already using now.

    If you can build just by knowing all the notes that are needed to form them it helps because then you can get creative and look for solutions based on note choice instead of feeling like you have to memorize a bunch of seperate shapes.

    Finding new chords is half the fun and a lot of the time I find the best ones by accident. Good luck !!

    Oh and don’t forget to steal a bunch from anyone you can !
     
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  9. 57fenderstrat

    57fenderstrat Tele-Meister

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    Something unrelated and neat is I saw someone finger their basic Aminor with two fingers. One finger on the c while the other finger holds down the e and the a...it’s not like a barre but the finger is pretty much placed between the two strings so it frets them both at the same time. You can one finger eminor chords doing the same thing.

    It was kind of a moment for me like you described, I was amazed at how efficient it was and amazed that I probably wouldn’t have ever thought to do that
     
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  10. Teleguy61

    Teleguy61 Friend of Leo's

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    Very common rhythm thing to play chords as simply root and fifth, and multiples of that. It's a pretty full sound, and it lets the vocalist or soloist have the third all to themselves--minor, major, bend, slide, whatever--the rhythm part is not in the way.
     
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  11. 57fenderstrat

    57fenderstrat Tele-Meister

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    Yeah I agree , that’s a big part of it
     
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  12. ben smith

    ben smith Tele-Holic

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    it's the only G chord I use, for some reason my fingers just want to go there
     
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  13. AlbertaGriff

    AlbertaGriff Tele-Afflicted

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    That's how I learned G, but now I play 3x00xx most of the time...
     
  14. Mexitele Blues

    Mexitele Blues Tele-Holic

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    3X0033 is known as the bluegrass power chord.

    I agree with @BigDaddyLH to leave the low B out of it. If you need the third play 3X0003.
     
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  15. Mexitele Blues

    Mexitele Blues Tele-Holic

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    This move made a lot of '90s alternative bands a lot of money.
     
  16. Dixon in Korea

    Dixon in Korea Tele-Meister

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    Another nice variation of G is XX0787. The root is actually the 2nd-highest note, so the chord has an entirely different feel to it than versions with a bass root.
     
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  17. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    For a G - D - G - D ... vamp I like

    3x043x
    10.x.0.11.10.x
    ...

    with the open D ringing out. You can add the open E if you're feelin it.

    The C chord (8x0980) can make an appearance, too, and F (1x0210) has been known to drop by.
     
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  18. Obsessed

    Obsessed Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I learned it as the George Harrison "G". I rarely use it, but it can come in handy and sounds great for a happy song.
     
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  19. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'd heard of it as the 'country' or 'bluegrass' G.
    But I really like "Bluegrass Power Chord" :D!
    I guess now it's the Americana G.

    I can't remember when I learned it but it was not early on for me. I was playing the standard 3 finger (Gene Leis) version for most of my beginner days.

    GeneLeisChordBook.jpg
     
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  20. Larmo63

    Larmo63 Friend of Leo's

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    I remember discovering that chord too, thirty years ago.
     
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