Stuck at the g chord

Guitar Tricks Forum > Guitar Basics > Stuck at the g chord

Mid-Life Mike

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Joined: 05/30/20

Posts: 4

Is anyone else having a LOT of trouble with the G Chord? I am finding it almost impossible to play without muting the 5th string. I’ve tried every contortion possible. About the only way I can make it work is practically hanging my ring finger off the fretboard and holding down the string with the pad of my ring finger.

Any ideas on what I might be doing wrong or how to make it work? And yes, I’ve tried the chord with my middle finger in the 6th string as well.

#1

Is anyone else having a LOT of trouble with the G Chord? I am finding it almost impossible to play without muting the 5th string. I’ve tried every contortion possible. About the only way I can make it work is practically hanging my ring finger off the fretboard and holding down the string with the pad of my ring finger.

Any ideas on what I might be doing wrong or how to make it work? And yes, I’ve tried the chord with my middle finger in the 6th string as well.

DavesGuitarJourney

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Joined: 02/22/20

Posts: 307

Originally Posted by: Mid-Life

Is anyone else having a LOT of trouble with the G Chord? I am finding it almost impossible to play without muting the 5th string. I’ve tried every contortion possible. About the only way I can make it work is practically hanging my ring finger off the fretboard and holding down the string with the pad of my ring finger.

Any ideas on what I might be doing wrong or how to make it work? And yes, I’ve tried the chord with my middle finger in the 6th string as well.

Hi Mike,

I'm very much a newbie myself, so maybe not all that qualified to give advice, but what the heck, why let that stop me? I think a lot of us have trouble with muting that 5th string. It's a very awkward stretch that takes a lot of practice before it starts to feel natural. Keep working on it and a couple of things will happen for you.

First, it really will start to feel more natural to your hand and fingers. As your fret the chord more and more times, eventually your muscle memory will kick in. Do your best to get all 6 strings to ring clearly, but just accept that it will not be perfect at first.

Next, after your fingers can automatically hit those frets, you'll start to refine it. You'll gradually develop better "posture" with your fingers. You'll be able to arch the fingers so that you have a sharper "attack angle" instead of being too flat. It's that "flat" angle that is causing you to mute the 5th string. It will just take time and a lot of practice, but you'll get there. Your fingers will get stronger and more agile with practice. You won't really feel it happening as it happens, but ever so slowly it really will happen.

And with regards to muting that string on the G chord, well, here's something slightly subversive. There are those who say that's actually perfectly ok for the G chord. Some say the chord sounds better and that it sounds a little muddy with that note. At least one quite well known and generally respected instructor on the internet actually advocates intentionally muting that note! I'm by no means suggesting that you should not work on technique to be able to play all 6 notes clearly on the chord, but seriously, if that's the worst thing you are struggling with, you're doing just fine, mate! :-)

So keep on practicing and don't let it discourage you.

Dave...

It takes as long as it takes unless you quit - then it takes forever and you will never get there.

#2

Originally Posted by: Mid-Life

Is anyone else having a LOT of trouble with the G Chord? I am finding it almost impossible to play without muting the 5th string. I’ve tried every contortion possible. About the only way I can make it work is practically hanging my ring finger off the fretboard and holding down the string with the pad of my ring finger.

Any ideas on what I might be doing wrong or how to make it work? And yes, I’ve tried the chord with my middle finger in the 6th string as well.

Hi Mike,

I'm very much a newbie myself, so maybe not all that qualified to give advice, but what the heck, why let that stop me? I think a lot of us have trouble with muting that 5th string. It's a very awkward stretch that takes a lot of practice before it starts to feel natural. Keep working on it and a couple of things will happen for you.

First, it really will start to feel more natural to your hand and fingers. As your fret the chord more and more times, eventually your muscle memory will kick in. Do your best to get all 6 strings to ring clearly, but just accept that it will not be perfect at first.

Next, after your fingers can automatically hit those frets, you'll start to refine it. You'll gradually develop better "posture" with your fingers. You'll be able to arch the fingers so that you have a sharper "attack angle" instead of being too flat. It's that "flat" angle that is causing you to mute the 5th string. It will just take time and a lot of practice, but you'll get there. Your fingers will get stronger and more agile with practice. You won't really feel it happening as it happens, but ever so slowly it really will happen.

And with regards to muting that string on the G chord, well, here's something slightly subversive. There are those who say that's actually perfectly ok for the G chord. Some say the chord sounds better and that it sounds a little muddy with that note. At least one quite well known and generally respected instructor on the internet actually advocates intentionally muting that note! I'm by no means suggesting that you should not work on technique to be able to play all 6 notes clearly on the chord, but seriously, if that's the worst thing you are struggling with, you're doing just fine, mate! :-)

So keep on practicing and don't let it discourage you.

Dave...

It takes as long as it takes unless you quit - then it takes forever and you will never get there.

Mid-Life Mike

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Joined: 05/30/20

Posts: 4

Hi Dave,

You may be a newbie but that was fantastic advice. It really makes a lot of sense and is really encouraging. It will come eventually, so don’t get frustrated along the way, right? Excellent advice. Thanks so much. That was very helpful. Regards.

#3

Hi Dave,

You may be a newbie but that was fantastic advice. It really makes a lot of sense and is really encouraging. It will come eventually, so don’t get frustrated along the way, right? Excellent advice. Thanks so much. That was very helpful. Regards.