Adding Another String

Now let's try adding one more string to both of the chords, to make them a little bit fuller sounding.

We'll add the 2nd fret of the D-string. I'm fretting this note with my middle finger, but you should also try it with your index finger and see which one you prefer.

Now you'll see why it's important that your fingertip is coming in at a straight angle. This is the very common mistake, where the finger is hitting the fretboard at an angle and therefore laying down and muting the strings below it. So try to raise up that fingertip!

Sometimes it's helpful to move your thumb on the back of the neck a little closer to the floor, which moves the fingers away from the fretboard.

Instructor Anders Mouridsen
Simple Chords
Any Style
Adding Another String song notation

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Questions & Answers

4 days ago
Just a simple question, but how hard do you press the strings? Some people tell me to just gently push, and others have told me to press the string hard into the fret board. When I watch seasoned guitarists play, their fingers seem to just glide over the strings.
Mike Olekshy 4 days ago

Hello - thanks so much for your question! You need to push your finger onto the string and fret with the least amount of pressure while making the note clear and clean. Do not press as hard as you can, as this can lead to pain as well as tuning issues. Once you gain more and more technical ability on the guitar, your fingers become looser on the fretboard so that it looks more like you're gliding all over the strings like the pros!! Hope this helps!

3 months ago
No matter what I do or how I position my hand or the guitar my finger touches more than the d string, is it possible that my fingers are just to big?
Mike Olekshy 3 months ago

Thanks for your question! Do your best to curl your finger onto the 2nd fret of the D string so that it doesn't touch the adjacent strings. The finger should be coming into the fret at a 90 degree angle (or as close as you can get). Also, experiment with the position of your wrist and find the best position that can have that finger come in at 90 degrees. You can also experiment with your thumb position behind the neck to better facilitate this.

4 months ago
On the adding another string lesson for the g chord. I’m having a hard time using my middle finger for the d string and am finding it easier to fret with my index. I know you said try both index and middle to see how it feels and that most likely it’s the middle finger but for me I’m finding it easier to fret it with my index finger. Is this okay? Reason I ask is because I want to make sure that by using my index I’m not limiting myself or somehow not doing it the correct way.
Mike Olekshy 4 months ago

Hello - thanks for your question! Using your index finger on the D string is totally okay!

4 months ago
Why don't you show us which string is E A D G B E? I had to Google it to know so I could somewhat follow you. Also, why don't you give us a closeup of where you are putting your fingers on which string? How are we supposed to understand the major and minor chords that you talk about later without these key points
Mike Olekshy 4 months ago

Hello - thanks for your questions! The string names were covered in the previous chapter (see link below): For right now, it is not necessary to fully understand major and minor chords. We are trying to get our fingers on the fretboard so that we can develop some basic technique and play some music. The understanding of chords will come as you progress.

5 months ago
I am confused chase the 4 string g chord and e minor switched. One went down the other went up. Is it because it’s 4 strings now?
Mike Olekshy 5 months ago

Hello thanks for your question! For these easy chord voicings, sometimes there's a combination of open strings and fretted notes that go up and down counter-intuitively. This is normal as there are multiple variations of voicings for each chord.

5 months ago
How hard should I be trying to play the cords without looking down at the guitar? At the moment it is a little hard to do it but maybe if I continue to do it then it would be harder to stop?
Mike Olekshy 5 months ago

Hello - thanks for the question! Don't worry about not looking at the guitar. You need to do that at first to make sure you're executing everything accurately. The more you play and practice, the muscle memory takes over naturally, and you'll find you might not need to look at the guitar after awhile. This could be weeks or months, but do not worry about it right now!

5 months ago
When reading the TAB how do you know what fret to play for your ring finger (G) and middle finger (Em)?
Mike Olekshy 5 months ago

Hello - thanks for your question! In the first bar of the tab, you'll see the tab for the G chord. Look for the number 3 - that is telling you to fret the 3rd fret of the high E string, and strum it along with the open G and B strings. In the second bar of the tab, you'll see the Em chord. The number 2 is on the G string, so you need to fret the 2nd fret of the G string, and strum it with the open B and high E strings.

9 months ago
I know you mentioned it in the video but I'm struggling to not accidentally fret G alongside D when trying to only fret D, any other tips?!
Josh Workman 8 months ago

Hi, try moving the finger around a little until it stops pressing the second note down. You may end up with an open note ringing out. At this point then try angling the finger just enough to mute the string without pressing it down. It's a little hard to know what you're up against without seeing/hearing it. Depending on your subscription, you can always send a feedback video about the problem and one of us can give you some tips.

10 months ago
Earlier lesson said playing the top 3 strings was the E Minor Chord. Now this lesson uses the top 4 strings combined with 2nd Fret on the D string and it is still called the E Minor Chord? Confused?
Josh Workman 10 months ago

Hi Rick, good question! I recommend taking the chord theory class: On a basic level, chords are derived from scales by stacking every other note from any starting point until you have three notes or a "triad." The G major scale is G A B C D E F# G. If you stack G B and D in any order, you have some kind of G major chord. G is the root, B is the major 3rd, and D is what we call the "perfect" 5th. These are intervals or musical distance measures, like inches on a ruler. If you stack E G and B, you get an E minor chord. Notice that the three-note G major chord that Anders played doesn't have a D. It still functions as G chord because it has G and B, the root and major 3rd. The 3rd of the chord tells you if it's major or minor. He instead has two Gs and a B. When he adds D as the 4th voice, you now have D G B G, a full G major chord with an extra G. Now try skipping every other note of the G major scale, starting on E until you have E G B. This is E minor, no matter what order the notes are stacked. So, if he adds another E underneath, it's still E minor. In fact, now you can REALLY hear E minor, since the root (E) is now in the bass. I hope this helps just enough for you to want to take that chord theory class! Josh Workman, GT instructor