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Questions about G, D, E7, and A7

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Marion 02 Feb 01 - 04:54 PM
Benjamin 02 Feb 01 - 05:12 PM
mousethief 02 Feb 01 - 05:24 PM
McGrath of Harlow 02 Feb 01 - 05:28 PM
ddw 02 Feb 01 - 05:30 PM
Allan C. 02 Feb 01 - 05:31 PM
ddw 02 Feb 01 - 05:34 PM
Rick Fielding 02 Feb 01 - 05:46 PM
Don Firth 02 Feb 01 - 07:34 PM
John Hardly 02 Feb 01 - 08:40 PM
Gray Rooster 03 Feb 01 - 01:28 PM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Feb 01 - 01:46 PM
DonMeixner 03 Feb 01 - 02:23 PM
Marion 05 Feb 01 - 10:55 PM
GUEST,EMG 05 Feb 01 - 11:22 PM
Don Firth 06 Feb 01 - 01:14 AM
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Subject: Questions about G, D, E7, and A7
From: Marion
Date: 02 Feb 01 - 04:54 PM

A few questions I'll group together here because they're all about elementary chords:

1. A long time ago Rick gave me these instructions for playing a proper G chord:
"Ring finger on 6th string, 3rd fret.
Middle finger on 5th string, 2nd fret
Pinky on 1st string, 3rd fret.

This fingering allows you to play constant fluid runs from the G to the C to the D, AND to play "inner leads" while playing each of those chords."

The questions this raises for me are:

- what about a four string D then - is it really supposed to be fretted with the ring, middle, and pinky finger as well?

- what I like about the "wrong" fingering for G (i.e., using the index finger) is that it allows me to add to it by fretting a D on the B string with my ring finger. I think of this chord as the "Indigo Girls G" as opposed to the "normal G", but I'm wondering what it is really called. Maybe they're both equally a normal G since both are composed of Gs, Bs, and Ds, though with a slightly different inversion. So I'm wondering if there's a different name for these two chords, and which is "better" (or better in which situations).

2. I've seen two ways of fretting an E7: one is like an E but lifting one finger so that the D string is open, and the other is playing an E and adding a D on the B string. Both plans include the same notes: E, G#, B, and D; so is there any reason to prefer one over the other?

3. Same question as 2 but for A7. Does it make any difference whether you add a G to the A chord by lifting a finger or by adding one?

Thanks, Marion


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Subject: RE: Questions about G, D, E7, and A7
From: Benjamin
Date: 02 Feb 01 - 05:12 PM

There isn't really any "Proper" or "right" way to play these chords. I use both fingerings for G. Depends on the song and what I'm doing or where I'm going with the chord. As for the 4th (D) string, I don't think you fret it unless your playing a G7 chord than you can fret the 3rd fret however it feels comfortable to you at the time your fretting it.

As for questons 2 and 3, it depends on what you to hear. If your fingerpicking and the D or G is in the melody, you might want fret it on the 2nd or 1st string. Otherwise, the 7th tends to be more clear (easier to hear) when it is on one of the higher strings. The open to string tends to blend in the the chord a bit more (to my ear at least) but they both have to same effect. Use which ever one seems to work better at the time.

Hope this helps!

BMW!


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Subject: RE: Questions about G, D, E7, and A7
From: mousethief
Date: 02 Feb 01 - 05:24 PM

As to the E7's, it depends on how you want it to sound, and what you're doing with it. The nice thing about the two-finger E7 is that it leaves lots of fingers free for playinig melody notes. The four-finger E7 has a brighter, more "ring-y" sound.

I always make the G chord with my index finger free. The other way I find cumbersome, and since I switched over, which was very early on in my guitar-playing career, have never looked back. I suppose the best thing is to be able to use either, depending on what you want to do with it, and where (i.e. between what other chords) it falls.

I know people who can only do the index-finger G, and they can't play songs that require a quick switch between G and C. I can't see (or haven't yet, anyway) any drawback to only using the pinky-finger (indexless) G chord. But I'm still learning!

Alex


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Subject: RE: Questions about G, D, E7, and A7
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Feb 01 - 05:28 PM

If you play the D chord with your index finger playing the A on the G string, that means you've got your little finger free to play around with, which means you can put in an F# on the D string, or an extra A on the top E string etc.

Any way you play a chord opens up some extra possibilities and closes down others. So it's best you learn to use them all. Also that way you can change shapes and give individual fingers a rest in a long session.


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Subject: RE: Questions about G, D, E7, and A7
From: ddw
Date: 02 Feb 01 - 05:30 PM

Marion — listen to Rick. I did the G with the index/5th for years, just because that's what I was shown when I first started playing. Rick made the same suggestion to me and it has worked wonders on what I can do with melody and countermelody. The only exception is one song I do — Keep Your Hands Off My Woman — that requires a fun up on the 3rd, 2nd, 1st strings out of the G position. I find it easier to walk it up with the ring and little fingers, which requires the index to play the 5th string.

Fretting the 4th string (D) at the 3rd fret while playing a normal D configuration gives you an inversion of a D7. If I remember the terminology from theory classes lo so many years ago, if you're still playing the 5th string (A) as well, that would be a second inversion, since your bass note would be the 5th of the chord. If you're playing the third of the chord as the bass note, it's a first inversion.

If my memory is faulty on that, I hope somebody with a better command of theory than I claim will sort it out for you.

On the E7, both are valid but I often play a combination of the two — it puts a LOT of 7th sound in the chord and all the motion that carries. It also lets me bend (whether the D string has been opened or not) the B string/3rd fret for an even stronger call for resolution to the tonic. Useful in blues.

cheers,

david


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Subject: RE: Questions about G, D, E7, and A7
From: Allan C.
Date: 02 Feb 01 - 05:31 PM

How you finger a chord can also depend upon where you want to go next. You may find that the ease of transistion from a G fingered as Rick has taught you will work just fine if C is the next chord, but you might discover that another fingering might make it simpler when going to a Dm7 - (well, not a great example, but you get the picture).

If all things are equal in that regard, then the sound you want is certainly to be considered. (I am not saying that one consideration is any more important than the other in most cases.) You may even decide to alternate within the same song just for the sake of variety.


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Subject: RE: Questions about G, D, E7, and A7
From: ddw
Date: 02 Feb 01 - 05:34 PM

Damn — as soon as I posted that I realized I was wrong about the D configuration with a 4S/3F added. That's just another F#, so it's just an inversion of the Dmaj. chord, not the D7.

david


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Subject: RE: Questions about G, D, E7, and A7
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 02 Feb 01 - 05:46 PM

Marion, I really believe that we should have duplicate fingerings for virtually EVERY chord. It simply allows you to go in more directions with the sound. I wouldn't play the D chord using the last three fingers, BUT if I'm in a dropped D tuning I usually finger D with a three finger index barre, and the middle finger on the second string, third fret. I can now use my ring finger to play the F# note on the sixth string if I'm using a "walking bass".

If I play the "G" with a D instead of a B on the second string then I switch to a "first three fingers" G. Never thought of it as an "Indigo Girls" chord, but ya learn something every day.

Rather than a "right or wrong" fingering, I'd rather think of "primary" fingerings, and I often describe chords as being "tight or loose". For example, an F without the root bass note seems very "loose" to me, which is why I try to show all my students how to use their thumb on the sixth string. Naturally a full barre works fine too, but a "thumb chord can be faster and works great in "ragtime or blues" music.

Rick


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Subject: RE: Questions about G, D, E7, and A7
From: Don Firth
Date: 02 Feb 01 - 07:34 PM

Classic guitarists (you know, those hide-bound, classically trained, bound-by-rigid-rules, stiff-lipped, non-smiling formalists) have an overriding rule about chord fingers which reads as follows:

Whatever works, man. . . .

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Questions about G, D, E7, and A7
From: John Hardly
Date: 02 Feb 01 - 08:40 PM

I'm a rather big guy and I therefore get away with some "cheating" others can't. For instance I regularly play E with two fingers (same with Am obviously). I regularly play C7 with a G base. my Em is one finger, etc.

Anyway, I still play Rick's proper G fingering and still play the indigo girls G by fretting both B&E strings with my pinky--t'ain't as hard as it sounz.


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Subject: RE: Questions about G, D, E7, and A7
From: Gray Rooster
Date: 03 Feb 01 - 01:28 PM

Thank you Don.


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Subject: RE: Questions about G, D, E7, and A7
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Feb 01 - 01:46 PM

Does "Indigo girls" have some significance I don't get? More often than not I find, mostly because I like the sound of the extra D there, but also because it's easier moving either to a D or to the C chord with the little finger still holding down the G on the first string.


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Subject: RE: Questions about G, D, E7, and A7
From: DonMeixner
Date: 03 Feb 01 - 02:23 PM

I have some rather unique peoblems with my fingers that require many optional ways to play the same chords. I capo alot to shorten the distance 'tween frets. This is toease playing for me. Because of this I plan my chords around the entire song. I almost alway play an "Indigo G". I just like the sound, its fuller. I have to use alternate chords very frequently. I rarely play a standard "C", "F", "Bm" anymore in new songs. I still use them in songs that I have developed picking patterns for but they are just too hard for me to play otherwise. I play a barred "A" for "C", "D". I also try and use one finger for two whereever the chord structure allows. "E and EM" for instance I have learned in the last ten years to get there however I can and experiment along the way. Things that I believed as hard fast rules 20 years ago I now think of as good basics for experimentation.

Don


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Subject: RE: Questions about G, D, E7, and A7
From: Marion
Date: 05 Feb 01 - 10:55 PM

Thanks for your help all.

I first learned that you could do a G with that extra D on the B string from tablature for "Closer to Fine". That's why I call it the Indigo Girls G. I'm not suggesting that everybody should call it that. But you can if you want.

Marion


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Subject: RE: Questions about G, D, E7, and A7
From: GUEST,EMG
Date: 05 Feb 01 - 11:22 PM

The "Indigo Girls" G is properly referred to in refined circles as a "Tony Rice" G.

One fun thing to do is get from it to a G7, to lead into a change to C or whatever, by lifting the ring finger off the B string and onto the D, also at third fret, to get the F in the bass. That's supposed to be a no-no in playing a seventh chord, but I like it.


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Subject: RE: Questions about G, D, E7, and A7
From: Don Firth
Date: 06 Feb 01 - 01:14 AM

Guest EMG,

It's just an inversion of the same chord. Absolutely no reason for not doing that, especially if it makes a good-sounding transition to the C. In formal, music theory terms it's perfecty correct.

Don Firth


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