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How do you play a G chord?

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by Steve 78, Mar 23, 2020.

  1. Steve 78

    Steve 78 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    When I started, I was taught this position, which I assume is the standard:

    3 - G
    0 - B
    0 - G
    0 - D
    2 - B
    3 - G

    The later I heard about an alternative way:

    3 - G
    3 - D
    0 - G
    0 - D
    2 - B
    3 - G

    Now I find myself tending to play it the second way. I'm not sure whether my hand feels more comfortable, or sub-conciously I prefer the sound or it's just a habit. Another point is you can also mute the A string and play it over a major or minor. Which method do you prefer, or is it something completely different?

    (FYI I'm pretty much self taught and know little theory).
     
  2. medownsouth

    medownsouth Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

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    Both, and e form bar chord @ 3rd depends on what I’m after
     
  3. ravindave_3600

    ravindave_3600 Friend of Leo's

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    Both, depending on whether the song calls for more D. It's a variation you can use to your advantage.
     
  4. Steve Holt

    Steve Holt Friend of Leo's

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    I usually go with option A. Unless the song dictates something different. If that higher D sounds better than the B I'll play it that way.

    I've been playing Don't think twice it's alright by Bob Dylan a lot lately. When I play chords there's one place in the song where I like option B without playing the G on the high e string at all.
     
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  5. drmmrr55

    drmmrr55 Tele-Holic

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    I am also self taught, and know not very much about theory. I did the same as you, and now play (the cowboy chord anyway) most of the time fretting the D on the 2nd string, 3rd fret, just because it has a fuller, more melodic sound to me. Sometimes, I'll play it by fretting the G, on the 1st, and 6th strings (3rd fret), and muting the 5th (A) string. It's all good!:)
     
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  6. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Doctor of Teleocity

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    I believe your first example is actually G. The second example, as explained to me is G modulated, sweeter.
    Both useful.
    Use your second example but move your first 2 fingers down a string, that is Cmod. Then down another string and that is Fmod.
    Now you're playing Paradise City
    This is how is was explained to me. The theory guys will be along in a minute to prove me wrong.
     
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  7. demon

    demon Tele-Meister

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    I usually go with 3X0033, or maybe 3X0003.

    Lots of different ways to play G but I find these clearer when I mute the 5th string. It can get a bit cluttered in the lower frequencies if there is too much going on down there.
     
  8. Archtop Bill

    Archtop Bill Tele-Holic

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    For blue grass 320033

    For Smoke on the Water 355433
     
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  9. Loudog99

    Loudog99 Tele-Holic

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    320033. For some reason it’s more comfortable for me.
     
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  10. Steve 78

    Steve 78 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    :eek: I'm glad you warned me! :lol::lol::lol:
     
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  11. TelenTubes

    TelenTubes Tele-Holic

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    320033 - sounds fuller to me.... also a good top end for an Em bottom (022033).
     
  12. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Doctor of Teleocity

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    ^^^ what @demon said. That B note either conflicts or confuses either way.
    X the 5th string.
     
  13. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    I play both of the "G" chords the OP describes, including a 5 string variant,
    X - (E)
    3 - D
    0 - G
    0 - D
    2 - B
    3 - G
    when playing finger style. This allows the open E to be added as a flourish.

    I play the normal third fret barre chord and a variant of that,
    3 - G
    3 - D
    4 - B
    0 - D
    5 - D
    3 - G
    The open fourth string D is possible playing the chord thumb over. I like the two D's next to each other to get the sound of an open chord combined with the slight phasing from an imperfect intonation match between the notes. The phasing adds movement to an otherwise dull sounding chord. Also, there's no need for three G's in a chord.

    I use a lot of cowboy chord variants playing country and a lot of inversions up the neck. This is a skill worth developing, especially if you want to play solos off the chords.
     
  14. black_doug

    black_doug Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Depends if I'm playing an acoustic or an electric guitar.

    If acoustic then it's 320003.

    If electric then I try and avoid it and play 355433 instead, or an inversion further up the neck.
     
  15. Engine Swap

    Engine Swap Tele-Afflicted

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    320033 - cuz that's how Bob M. Does it.
     
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  16. Rusty Shackelford

    Rusty Shackelford TDPRI Member

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    XX9787
     
  17. kbold

    kbold Friend of Leo's

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    The fingering is also important:
    I usually play the first version, with the 2nd, 3rd & 4th fingers, leaving the 1st finger to add a C note (11th).
    Alternatively, I'll use the 1st, 2nd & 4th fingers, leaving the 3rd finger to add the D.

    So, I usually play the 1st version, but with different fingerings, depending on how I want to colour the G chord.
     
  18. jbmando

    jbmando Poster Extraordinaire

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    I never heard of a G modulated chord. Both fingerings are G chords. In music modulation is moving into a different key. Maybe modified? Those Cmod and Fmod chords have actual names which indicate what notes are in them. X32033 is Cadd9 and xx3233 is F6add9
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2020
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  19. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Who said modulate?

    Yep, I usually use 2, 3, 4, leaving my first finger for messin' about. Sus4, 7, etc.
     
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  20. Fearnot

    Fearnot Poster Extraordinaire

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    I read early on that Paul Kossoff used the little barre across the first two strings... I tried it, and I liked it, so I've been playing it that way forever now. It sounds better to my ears.
     
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