G is for grrr


SusanMW
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Joined: 07/05/20
Posts: 222

I am having a really hard time with the G chord and wondered if there are any secrets to it if you just can't seem to stretch the third and fourth fingers out while keeping that second one on the fifth string. That string also gets muted my my third finger too. I am learning Fingerstyle, which I admit is advanced considering I'm still learning how to change chords smoothly and with some speed. But that's also why I can't use a "cheater G", I need my fingers exactly in the original G position. (I hope all that made sense.) I even have a finger exerciser glove that I use each day for a few minutes. I guess just keep at it and eventually it will come? I don't really want to get in the habit of only doing half of it as I need it, I'd rather do the full chord as my Fingerstyle book points out.

I am just a few months into playing guitar and I have skipped around a little bit, based on what interests me but I do really need to work on chords more than anything right now. I got so hooked on playing simple melodies that I just put that by the wayside for a bit.

Tonight I plan to find the lessons on chord changes and just start there with special attention to the G. Any other ideas or tips? Thanks!


“Often, what seems like an impossible climb is just a staircase without the steps drawn in.” Robert Brault, American Operatic Tenor

# 1
William MG
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Joined: 03/08/19
Posts: 1,394

Hi Susan

Made for another member with G chord issues but you may get something out of it

https://youtu.be/LL3tKRceOYI


# 2
SusanMW
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Joined: 07/05/20
Posts: 222

Thanks, I think that will really be helpful. I knew to pay attention to the guitar being straight up and down or close to it but I haven't focused on my elbow much after that.


“Often, what seems like an impossible climb is just a staircase without the steps drawn in.” Robert Brault, American Operatic Tenor

# 3
manXcat
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Joined: 02/17/18
Posts: 1,422

My view is that by trying to learn fingerstyle whilst not fluent with the most basic open chords yet is making a rod for your own back. Much as it might be your passion, I'd leave fingerstyle until changing chords and forming them quickly & accurately is instinctive.

Otherwise, you have two hands each of which really require your concurrent full [u]conscious[/u] focus, quite different from natural rhythmic strumming whilst forming chords, or even sequential single note picking (with a pick).

Justin has some tips here for those finding first open G Major frustrating. He did. It might offer an alternative perspective to what you've already watched & help you? I didn't find G difficult personally, so although I can have empathy for those who do, I can't relate to it as difficult. Like most, the combination of forefinger pressure, angle and stretch for open F Major was my thorn in those initial days.

"Any other ideas or tips". Self discipline. [u]Stick with the syllabus, [/u]especially through Fundamentals 1 & 2 rather than "skipping" all over the place, even if you do take a concurrent ad hoc excursion whilst doing so. Active learning is the key. By active learning I mean giving your full attention to and taking an interest in rather than just going through the motions and ticking the boxes of [u]whatever it is you are engaged in[/u] regardless it mightn't always be what excites you most.

By way of example of what can be achieved/experienced, two and a half years on, I don't even look at the fretboard any more with the exception of as an initial and occasional cross-reference for anchor points when playing barre chords higher up the neck. For open chords I could be playing in the dark or blindfolded and it wouldn't matter. This has developed subconsciously through assimilation over time. Similiarly for single note licks, and scales which are developing the same way. It'll happen for you too, quicker if you stick with the syllabus. Of course, the caveat YO&MMV. All the best.


# 4
SusanMW
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Joined: 07/05/20
Posts: 222

That is very helpful. Agreed, I do need to back track and master some material. I found the Chord Change Drills by Lisa and already started with some of those. But I will be sure to backtrack where I think would be a good spot in the Fundamentals to "land again". At least I have dipped my toes in enough water to know that I definitely want to stick with this and get better.


“Often, what seems like an impossible climb is just a staircase without the steps drawn in.” Robert Brault, American Operatic Tenor

# 5
manXcat
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Joined: 02/17/18
Posts: 1,422

I found [u]powerful sustaining motivation[/u] came most from playing songs as an adjunct to the syllabus as soon as I could

Apart from the coincident enjoyment in the challenge of learning to play this instrument, comprehending there are those who aren't motivated by or don't derive pleasure from that, ubiquitiously for the majority making music is why we want to learn to play guitar ...isn't it?

So find those songs you like, preferably love with some degree of passion, either within your current competency (to reinforce) or outside it to (challenge and develop). The latter process will depend upon individual temperament, particularly qualities of perseverance and determination. Amaze yourself.

There are literally thousands of songs you will be familiar with, e.g. "Stand By Me", and be able to play in keys of either G or C with just a simple I–vi–IV–V progression as soon as you can play those open chords. i.e. G-Em-C-D and C-Am-F-G.

[br]Here's my core mantra to measuring progress, maintaining & deriving satisfaction from progress with this instrument. "The only person you should try to be better than, is the person you were yesterday". - unknown

[br]All the best.


# 6
JeffS65
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Joined: 10/07/08
Posts: 1,599

Just to check: G Maj or G7?

Truth be known, in all my years of playing, I just cannot do a clean G7. Of the guitars I have, the Tele is the only one I can do a G7 at any reasonable level due to a more comfortable neck radius.

The point is; we all have 'those chords' and every single guitar player has a way to cheat.

With that said, since I have been trying to get that pesky G7 under control, I've been just fretting the chord and strumming it and seeing how long I can strum it clean. One chord and a bunch of strums. Keep in mind, I've been playing a good long time and most things don't completely get the best of me. However, my hand is what it is and that G7 chord is taking a bit more work. Like you, I need that chord to work. Some of the songs stuff I've been working on sounds better as a G7.

So, helpful? Who knows...... Good luck though!


# 7
SusanMW
Registered User
Joined: 07/05/20
Posts: 222

It is the G Major chord.

I really like the chord change drills I'm doing and am already seeing small progress.


“Often, what seems like an impossible climb is just a staircase without the steps drawn in.” Robert Brault, American Operatic Tenor

# 8