The big four finger G


kvsealegs
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Joined: 03/14/15
Posts: 74
kvsealegs
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Joined: 03/14/15
Posts: 74
07/13/2016 6:21 pm

There must be a name for it. A name that the music theory purists would approve. I have tried to find it on the internet, and the best I came up with was an alternate G. But it is more than an alternate. It's kinda pretty. I would likely use it when playing a C add 9 or a D sus 4 with a pull off to D. But it just isn't a true G. The ring finger plays the D on the third fret of the second string to convert the natural B in the G chord.

As a "seasoned" beginner with a whole year and a half of guitar and music theory under my belt, this frustrates me.... Everyone seems to pass this G off as just a regular G, while creating fancy sus and add names for every other embellishment.

Can you answer this conundrum?
# 1
maggior
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Joined: 01/27/13
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maggior
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Joined: 01/27/13
Posts: 1,723
07/13/2016 9:28 pm
Originally Posted by: kvsealegsThere must be a name for it. A name that the music theory purists would approve. I have tried to find it on the internet, and the best I came up with was an alternate G. But it is more than an alternate. It's kinda pretty. I would likely use it when playing a C add 9 or a D sus 4 with a pull off to D. But it just isn't a true G. The ring finger plays the D on the third fret of the second string to convert the natural B in the G chord.

As a "seasoned" beginner with a whole year and a half of guitar and music theory under my belt, this frustrates me.... Everyone seems to pass this G off as just a regular G, while creating fancy sus and add names for every other embellishment.

Can you answer this conundrum?


It is just a different voicing of a G chord. It kind of combines the voicing of the "regular" 3 fingered open G chord and the barre chord form you would play on the 3rd fret.

By adding the note on the B string on the 3rd fret, you are just adding another D note to the open G voicing. G major is made up of G, B, and D notes. Guitar chords often have redundant notes from different octaves in the chord.
# 2
ChristopherSchlegel
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Joined: 08/09/05
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ChristopherSchlegel
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Posts: 8,389
07/14/2016 1:40 am
Originally Posted by: kvsealegs
Can you answer this conundrum?

Rich already gave the right answer: it's just a different voicing of a G major chord.

Here's the in-depth music theory forum explanation! :D

Any place on any musical instrument you can find to play the notes G, B & D together you are playing a G major chord. With that in mind, this voicing is a G chord.
Christopher Schlegel
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Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory
# 3
ChristopherSchlegel
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ChristopherSchlegel
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08/30/2016 2:52 pm

Any place on any musical instrument you can find to play the notes G, B & D together you are playing a G major chord. With that in mind, this voicing is a G chord.

|--------------------------------------------|
|--------------------------------------------|
|--------------------------------------------|
|---0----------------------------------------|
|---2----------------------------------------|
|---3----------------------------------------|

Because you are playing those 3 notes.

||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
D ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
||---|-B-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
||---|---|-G-|---|---|---|---|---|---|

And if you add the other, higher pitched notes you are simply doubling some of those notes in a higher register.

|---3----------------------------------------|
|---0----------------------------------------|
|---0----------------------------------------|
|---0----------------------------------------|
|---2----------------------------------------|
|---3----------------------------------------|

Just more of the same musical letters, but up an octave or 2!

||---|---|-G-|---|---|---|---|---|---|
B ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
G ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
D ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
||---|-B-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
||---|---|-G-|---|---|---|---|---|---|

And if you play the D on the B string, it's still a G major chord, because of that low B on the A string.

|---3----------------------------------------|
|---3----------------------------------------|
|---0----------------------------------------|
|---0----------------------------------------|
|---2----------------------------------------|
|---3----------------------------------------|

Just more of the same musical letters, but up an octave or 2!

||---|---|-G-|---|---|---|---|---|---|
||---|---|-D-|---|---|---|---|---|---|
G ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
D ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
||---|-B-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
||---|---|-G-|---|---|---|---|---|---|

Some rock players leave that low B out intentionally because once you start adding some gain & a lot of volume it gets really muddy. So they just mute the A string. And the result is a G5 chord, because there's no major 3rd, the note B.

|---3----------------------------------------|
|---3----------------------------------------|
|---0----------------------------------------|
|---0----------------------------------------|
|---X----------------------------------------|
|---3----------------------------------------|

Mute the A string with the pad of your middle finger as it leans over to grab the low G!

||---|---|-G-|---|---|---|---|---|---|
||---|---|-D-|---|---|---|---|---|---|
G ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
D ||---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
||---|-X-|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|
||---|---|-G-|---|---|---|---|---|---|

To get even more interesting, if you play a barre chord G major you use some of the same notes, but you play them in different places on the fretboard & get a somewhat different voicing.

|---3----------------------------------------|
|---3----------------------------------------|
|---4----------------------------------------|
|---5----------------------------------------|
|---5----------------------------------------|
|---3----------------------------------------|

Just more of the same musical letters, but up an octave or 2!

||---|---|-G-|---|---|---|---|---|---|
||---|---|-D-|---|---|---|---|---|---|
||---|---|---|-B-|---|---|---|---|---|
||---|---|---|---|-G-|---|---|---|---|
||---|---|---|---|-D-|---|---|---|---|
||---|---|-G-|---|---|---|---|---|---|

Hope this helps!
Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory
# 4

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