TFW when you realize

…you’ve been learning from Justin’s courses for MONTHS and that you’ve been playing the E chord wrong The. Whole. Time.

Note - the notes of the chord were correct, I had just inverted fingers 2 and 3.

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You’re not playing it wrong you’re playing it eccentricly

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Yes, I can accept that.

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FWIW, I also play E and Am ‘wrong’, Kevin.

I’m a fortunate member of the Community, who has been priviliged to meet Justin in an video call and have a couple of lessons. And it was in the first of those when I was consolidating completion of the old Beginner Course that Justin pointed that out to me.

But as he was doing so, he recalled that James Taylor often does similar, so how ‘wrong’ can it be?

As one progresses and develops, fingering of a specific becomes a matter of choice, often influenced by the chord preceding and following it in the song you are playing.

For example, if it was appropriate in the song for you to follow an open Em with an E-shaped G barre chord, then it may make sense (depending on the preceding chord) to finger the Em with ring and pinky. This would be ‘wrong’ but very effective placement as you slide up the neck to complete the E shape with your middle finger. Hmmm, maybe not the best example as perhaps you’ve not yet encountered the E-shape barre which you’ll meet when learning the F chord. If so apologies.

So what would be ideal is to become comfortable with both fingerings and be able to use either equally well depending on the context of the song. I still struggle a bit when the ‘right’ fingering is the most appropriate choice in song context.


I agree with @DavidP

At the moment I’m working on Guitar Challenges (Songs) - Is There Anybody Out There? (Pink Floyd) and the 321 fingering for the Am chord is much simpler and more logical than the “official” 231 version. Also, when I play A, Am and Asus2 and Asus4, I use the 234 fingering for the A chord, leaving finger 1 in place for the Am. That way I only have to move my pinky from one fret to the other, or lift my index finger and pinky. It’s much easier than having to switch from the “official” Am to the “official” A fingering.

In the end, the context will decide what is the most convenient way to play a given chord.


I really wouldn’t worry about it. Many of my chords get played with whatever happens to be the closest fingers. ‘Em is sometimes 1,2 sometimes 2,3 sometimes 3,4. G varies a lot, as does A, although A mostly ends up being the “mini-barre”.

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Thank you all for the reassurances. @DavidP I’m glad you mentioned James Taylor because I remember now in one of Justin’s song lessons he mentioned how Taylor played the D chord with different fingering. I’m in between grades 1 & 2 and I was more concerned that this would have an impact in future lessons and slow down my progress. Now I’m just going to jump in.

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The thing to remember here is that Justin is trying to teach us guitar. He’s got to show us his recommended fingering for any given chord. He can’t just say “use any fingers you want”. No one would get anywhere.
As your playing improves and you gain more experience and understanding, then of course all the points made in the previous posts apply.


I’m only a few weeks in and have just started on lesson two of the beginner course, but already I’m finding that for me the 132 finger config for E is easier than the 123, especially when trying to change from A to E at speed.
I’m pleased to hear it probably won’t be a fatal flaw.


Definitely not a fatal flaw. It was a happy “accident” because as I’ve progressed into the C and G chords I’ve found that the way I was originally playing E makes those changes much easier and if I’m changing to D or A I use the way Justin teaches. I just make sure to review the chord changes in a song I’m learning to determine which fretting to use.

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