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  #1  
Old 09-19-2017, 08:56 AM
jasperguitar jasperguitar is offline
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Default The bluegrass G, or Insanity ..

Ok,, I go to guitar workshops at music festivals. I see the G chord, and then the G chord and another G chord ..

The popular shape? The G with D .. or ... middle finger 6 string G, index finger 5 string B .. ring finger on the D, and pink on the G first string

I decide .. give it a go .. ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh !!!

This is hard

So, I've been working on this for a few days

I get it, but its weird and hard .. practice, practice, practice

Now I'm asking myself if / when / I use my old shape and am I approaching this correctly

Help ???
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  #2  
Old 09-19-2017, 09:01 AM
HHP HHP is offline
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I mostly use the ring finger to play the G on the low E and, at the same time, mute the A string. Pinky on the G on the high E. Leaves me two free fingers for fills, runs, and facilitates changes to next chord.
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  #3  
Old 09-19-2017, 09:10 AM
OjaiAndrew OjaiAndrew is offline
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Default My two cents

Ok here are my thoughts. The best way to play a plain old g chord is with the pinky on the high e and the middle finger on the 5th and ring finger on the 6th strings - reason is because it's much easier to shift back and forth between C and G that way. This has the. Set economy of motion.

But, then there is the G chord with the D note on the b string added which makes you change the fingers on the 5 and 6 strings. Both are important chords in different contexts. Practice them both. A good exercise to practice any hard chord is the play the chord with one strum remove your fretting fingers, lay fingers across strings muting them out, strum muted strings once them fret and strum the chord again. Repeat over and over. This forces you to make the chord from scratch over and over working it into muscle memory. Enjoy
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Old 09-19-2017, 10:11 AM
Tnfiddler Tnfiddler is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OjaiAndrew View Post
Ok here are my thoughts. The best way to play a plain old g chord is with the pinky on the high e and the middle finger on the 5th and ring finger on the 6th strings - reason is because it's much easier to shift back and forth between C and G that way. This has the. Set economy of motion.

But, then there is the G chord with the D note on the b string added which makes you change the fingers on the 5 and 6 strings. Both are important chords in different contexts. Practice them both. A good exercise to practice any hard chord is the play the chord with one strum remove your fretting fingers, lay fingers across strings muting them out, strum muted strings once them fret and strum the chord again. Repeat over and over. This forces you to make the chord from scratch over and over working it into muscle memory. Enjoy
+1 on playing the G chord this way during bluegrass or country music! When I play at church I use the standard, Pinky on the E, ring on the B, middle on the E and index on the A because there are so many g/b, C2, Cadd9, d/f# and so on chords that make the transition much easier with your index and middle fingers on the E and A strings. It just takes practice. I still catch myself using both of them at church and after you play them both enough times, it becomes natural to throw either one out there.
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  #5  
Old 09-19-2017, 12:04 PM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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My "go to" G shape is g,d,G,D,B,G, (1 to 6), with but I'll also use the the other finger - it depends on which chord I'm coming from or going to.

I recommend that you have both in your vocabulary - along with the Barre version and the D shape.
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  #6  
Old 09-19-2017, 12:07 PM
mr. beaumont mr. beaumont is offline
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I recommend having more than one way to play just about everything...

That said, I rarely include that 5th string B in my G chord...
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  #7  
Old 09-19-2017, 01:18 PM
PeteCady PeteCady is offline
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I used the "basic" G chord (3 fingers) for several decades, then switched to what I first heard referred to as the "Tony Rice G," with ring finger fretting the B up to D, quite a while back.

Once you get used to the latter form as the default, it has several advantages, at least for a somewhat lazy player who does mostly rhythm for country or folk vocals or old timey or New England fiddle music:

If you need the simpler G chord form for some reason, just lift your ring finger off the B string.

If you hit a time when you need to go from G major to G minor in a hurry, you can "fake it" by lifting the middle finger just a little, to damp the A string. Then you have all Gs or Ds - a "drone G" (what rock people call a "power chord"), which will serve in place of either the minor or major chord.

If you want one or two beats of G7, as a transition to C, you can pick up the finger from the B string and move it over to the D, thus getting the F to form the G7 chord in the bass.

If you need a quick C chord for a beat or two, just move the first and middle fingers down one, i. e. the first now on the D string, second fret (E), and the middle now on the A string, third fret (C). Now you have a C9 chord IF you play all six strings. But you can lift the ring finger to damp the D, or just not strum all the way across.
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  #8  
Old 09-19-2017, 05:37 PM
Guitar Slim II Guitar Slim II is offline
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Neither voicing is particularly great from a voice leading perspective -- not the full six string chord anyway. So neither one can really be considered the "preferred"voicing.

One thing about the voicing with both pinkie and ring is, it makes shifting to the D chord easier . I think that's why a lot of guitar players use it.

And, yeah, there's the C9 thing ( can't do acoustic rock without knowing that one ), and also Dsus4. Think The Beatles "Hide Your Love Away"

Last edited by Guitar Slim II; 09-20-2017 at 04:46 AM.
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  #9  
Old 09-20-2017, 08:53 AM
Bikewer Bikewer is offline
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I use the same technique as HHP. Pinkie on the high E. This drove me nuts when I started playing as my pinkie was very stiff, but eventually I got it and now use all 4 left-hand fingers freely.

This position allows very easy transitions to C and D7 in that key and allows all sorts of room for throwing in fills and runs.
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  #10  
Old 09-20-2017, 09:52 AM
BFD BFD is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guitar Slim II View Post
Neither voicing is particularly great from a voice leading perspective -- not the full six string chord anyway. So neither one can really be considered the "preferred"voicing.

One thing about the voicing with both pinkie and ring is, it makes shifting to the D chord easier . I think that's why a lot of guitar players use it.

And, yeah, there's the C9 thing ( can't do acoustic rock without knowing that one ), and also Dsus4. Think The Beatles "Hide Your Love Away"
Actually in a bluegrass setting voice leading generally is "not preferred" and the 'Tony Rice' G (most often w/no 3rd) is by far the standard voicing, for several reasons:
- In blue-er bluegrass, the rhythm 'canvas' is more open for vocals & soloists to use major, minor or in-between 3rds and various other blue scale degrees
- It has a harder edge, which particularly suits harder driving tunes & songs of which the genre has many
- It easily accommodates the kinds of G ornaments which are common in bluegrass
- I'm pretty sure the voicing most commonly used by almost every accomplished guitarist in the genre is the default definition of 'preferred'
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  #11  
Old 09-20-2017, 10:00 AM
JonPR JonPR is offline
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My favourite G shape is the lazy 2-finger one:

-3- pinky
-0-
-0-
-0-
-x- mute with ring
-3- ring

Leaves index and middle free to mess around on those open strings, adding a passing C chord or various hammer-ons, etc. Or even add the B on 5th if I want it (I sometimes do).

There are a few songs where I'd use the 320033 shape (maybe still muting 5th string) because it sounds better - in those songs - or makes the changes easier. I call it "rock G", btw, never considered it as a bluegrass chord. (But then I'm no bluegrass expert.)
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  #12  
Old 09-20-2017, 10:14 AM
brancher brancher is offline
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Boy this sounds like a pretty serious discussion.... My thoughts are - if you play a G with your little finger on the 'e' and your ring finger on 'E', then the chord becomes a bit more flexible for transitions. I'd practice this form first -- and get good (and fast) with it. Try going from this form to a traditional 'C' chord (with the 'G' base), and practice fast changing between the two. It will be hard at first, but easier later.

But you can also just make an 'E' chord with the middle, ring, and pinky, and barre with index on the third fret. No, Barre chords are not evil, but they do require some practice. And once you get that one, it will provide a very easy slide to Barred Am, A, F, etc, etc, up and down the neck. And the barred chords add texture, fullness, and speed (yes, speed) when you need it.

The beauty of the five different 'shapes' with 'E' as root and barres, is that your repertoire of tones (and skills) goes up geometrically. So practice that as well.

Hey, nobody ever said this would be easy!

P.S. when you're done with that, come back and talk about the elusive and tortuous 'A-shape' barres.....
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Last edited by brancher; 09-20-2017 at 10:20 AM.
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  #13  
Old 09-20-2017, 12:59 PM
jseth jseth is offline
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Always good to know (and be comfortable with) several shapes for the same chord... and with the music you described, the open G chord with both the D note and G notes played on the adjacent strings (the B string and high E) is a very common one, and quite useful; lets you "drone" on just those top strings if you want, has a full sound, etc.

Like many players, for years I 'ignored" that low B on the A string, second fret... so much so that I have gone back to purposefully voicing that note has an intrinsic part of a G chord, and it's been very satisfying, almost like welcoming back an old friend who's been AWOL!!!

Overall, I look at different ways to play the same chord in the same way I look at the language I use when speaking... I have many words that are interchangeable for the same meaning. Just think of it like you're learning more about this thing you love, playing guitar...

Increasing your "chord" vocabulary is always a good thing when used judiciously!
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  #14  
Old 09-20-2017, 07:04 PM
Guitar Slim II Guitar Slim II is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BFD View Post
Actually in a bluegrass setting voice leading generally is "not preferred" and the 'Tony Rice' G (most often w/no 3rd) is by far the standard voicing, for several reasons:
- In blue-er bluegrass, the rhythm 'canvas' is more open for vocals & soloists to use major, minor or in-between 3rds and various other blue scale degrees
- It has a harder edge, which particularly suits harder driving tunes & songs of which the genre has many
- It easily accommodates the kinds of G ornaments which are common in bluegrass
- I'm pretty sure the voicing most commonly used by almost every accomplished guitarist in the genre is the default definition of 'preferred'
Great information,very good to know. And it's always a good question to ask about cord voicings, where is the third, and do you need to hear it? As a professor of mine used to say, thirds are overrated...

Last edited by Guitar Slim II; 09-21-2017 at 12:14 AM.
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  #15  
Old 09-21-2017, 06:03 AM
Mr. Jelly Mr. Jelly is offline
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I play all the G shapes depending on where I'm coming from and where I'm going to. Anymore I pick more than strum so some times I just pick a G note instead of playing a chord. At times I'll just play the D, G, B strings open and not finger anything. Or play the D and G strings open and finger the B and E string at the third fret and let someone else play the bass part.
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Last edited by Mr. Jelly; 09-21-2017 at 06:08 AM.
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