The G Chord... hacked!

This is the ultimate G Chord hack. I struggled with it for years, but you don't have to! :)


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Could I go my whole life not needing to know the three-fingered version of G? I know I should learn it, but does not knowing the three fingered version hinder me at all?

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I’m really working on three finger but with the pinky. I think you could possibly still do 2 finger, but learn how to with pinky as well.

I think it will take me at least a year to do Tom Petty’s Learning to Fly. Seems and looks so simple but it’s a beast for a beginner.

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@VD1005 @sah22 if someone who doesn’t have a Scooby Doo about guitar listens to you playing G chord in 2 fingers config probably won’t have a clue that you play simplified version. If it is someone who knows how to play big chances they will pick it up.

For some it will be okay, for some not and it all depends if you can hear the difference and if you dig it.

In grand scheme of guitar things I believe playing a G chord is something you guys should try a bit more and don’t get discouraged too much. Set the one minute changes to slower bpm and just work your speed up. Dont even feel getting as low as 5 bpm is embarrassing - start as slow as you need and help your muscles to learn the switch over. Good luck!

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“If it sounds good, it is good.”

Personally, I like the slightly fuller sound of the 3 finger G a little better if I just play the two versions in isolation, like in chord perfect exercise. Other than that, I don’t think I can hear the difference between them in “real world “ scenarios. I don’t have a very refined ability to discern subtle differences, some people do.

What I wish I could do is play what I have seen taught as an alternative by another site is 2nd finger on fret 2 of the 5th string, ring finger on fret 3 of 6th string, and pinkie finger on fret 3 of 1st string. That configuration makes changing between C and G so much easier it is almost a game changer. I am sure that I will eventually be able to use that fingering but my pinkie is not strong enough to do it consistently and my 2nd and 3rd fingers don’t want to cooperate with the stretch either.

I think the “standard” fingering for the open chords is standard for a reason - it has been proven to work for hundreds of thousands of players for many, many years. BUT, “that’s the way it has always been done” doesn’t mean it is best for everyone and every situation. Justin’s fingering for “A” bucks tradition and seems super effective in most situations, for example.

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The two finger G chord is Justin’s preference and I don’t think that should be encouraged at this stage especially for beginners. I haven’t seen any singers using it or anyone else promoting it. The three finger chord is universally accepted and that should be the way it should be taught.

IMO it won’t hinder you because, if there comes a time when you need it, you can learn it then.

A great deal of guitar playing is getting control of the fingers on your fretting hand. Learning those first few chords fingerings is tricky but, when you have reached a certain level, then getting your fingers into new chord shapes is a lot easier.

There are some finger style songs I have learned which require the full 3-fingered G chord, for instance. But in those cases, learning how to fret the G chord in this form would be the least of your worries!

Cheers,

Keith

Rather than getting too hung up on which fingers are used, I think it’s much more useful to think about which intervals are being included/left out of the G major chords… depending on how you finger it.

It all basically boils down to whether or not (or how much) you want to hear the major 3rd. The “two finger” chord sounds clearer/better in rock because it’s much more like a power chord.
You can also fret a D note (the 5th of the chord) on the b string, 3rd fret, to make it even more power chord sounding.

Personally I use a 4 finger grip; 3rd fret on low E, 2nd fret on A (but not actually heard, muted like Justin talks about in the two-finger grip), 3rd fret B and 3rd fret high E.

The reason I finger that unheard B note is simply because I often do those G to C movements that Dave is talking about (think AC/DC - You Shook Me All Night Long)…

I think it all boils down to the style of music you play.
If your a singer/song writer, folk or country player the 3 finger G
(both fingers 123 or 234) are necessary for alternating base
and bass runs or walk up/downs and embellishments.

If you are a rock/blues/metal player the 2 finger G (both fingers
1 3 or 3 4) usually sounds better, less muddy.

If you play fingerstyle you will use all the different method
depending what chords come before and after the G chord.

So if you’re an all round player you’ll play the G chord which
ever way works best for the situation. There is no right or wrong
method.

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Hi Dave,
I’ve been using the G version you wish you could for most of my playing for a couple of years now. It does really make changing to C easier, and since it was the first chord I learned that used the pinky, it helped me get that guy working.

Don’t worry, with practice you’ll get it. If I can do it, anyone can.

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Hi @VD1005
Justin teaches several grips for the G chord. He does so for different reasons, mostly to do with the context the chord is being played in.
For simple strumming songs, you can happily not ever use the 3-finger version. In other contexts it may be needed. You may sometimes want a full-on 4-finger (stuck 3&4) grip.
Your progress and your use will determine if you learn all at once or as and when.
Cheers :blush:
| Richard_close2u | JustinGuitar Official Guide & Moderator

G is one of my fave chord and I never struggled even with the normal version. Dm is much much worse… and we haven’t touched F yet!

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In the Classic course, Justin discussed the 2 finger G using fingers 3 and 4. I had spent some time trying to get my little finger to work for the 2 finger G back then. Is there a reason for going to 2 and 3 in the new course? If not, I’ll continue with 3 and 4. If the need arises that 4 has another job to do, I can alter the fingering. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

A great song for the G C back and forth is Springsteen’s Land of Hope and Dreams. Really helps you get into that groove of getting relaxed and jamming to the chord change.

the three finger version feels much easier to me, prob cause ive been going off on my own for a bit and learning extra stuff lol

Do you strum all six strings when playing the two finger g chord?

Yes, Mrbluez, all 6 strings are strummed. The 5th string is muted by the 2nd finger (or the 3rd finger, if you play with fingers 3 and 4, like I do).

Hello @Mrbluez welcome to the Community.

As @jjw1 has said … G major is a six-string span of notes. Even when you mute the 5th string it would be common to call it a 6-string chord.

Hope that helps.
Cheers :smiley:
| Richard_close2u | Community Moderator, Official Guide, JustinGuitar Approved Teacher

Thanks guys I didn’t think it sounded right the way I was first playing it. The fun I’m having now is changing between the chords but it’s getting better.

I really like the 2-finger version, has made my ( G ) life much easier. Guess I’m just different, though, the way I play it is with fingers 2 & 4. This works for me at this stage; the biggest advantage is in switching to C. My ring finger (3) can hover nearby, then come down on the A string, chasing finger 2 out to the D string.

I’ve tried playing G with fingers 3 & 4 like Justin often does, I can see the advantages, but my 3rd finger isn’t as fast (and accurate) as finger 2 is (yet). This 2-finger G has made the difference in keeping up with chord changes at the jams I go to.

So, thanks Justin. God, I’m loving this. :grinning:

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