The Stuck 3&4 Chords

Bummer, okay thank you.

I’m feeling a little blessed, I have very little problem remembering or fingering these chords but obviously changing to a from them and the usual chords already in use will take some work.

I know there has been plenty of mention of not worrying about extended chord names at the moment but I can’t help myself.

I can’t work out why the Dadd11/F# is not actually Dsus4/F#?? The fingering for the Dadd11/F# is the same as the Dsus4 but just with the F# bass? So why do we suddenly decide to call it Dadd11??

Simple answer please :rofl:

Short answer: if a chord contains some kind of 3rd, then you can’t call it a ‘sus’ chord when you add the 2nd or 4th interval as well.

  • If the D chord contains the 3rd (F#), then we call it a Dadd11.
    We ‘add’ the 11th (= 4th) to a major chord: D F# A G


  • If the D chord does NOT contain the 3rd (F#), then we call it a Dsus4.
    We ‘sus(pend)’ the chord, meaning we take away the 3rd and replace it with the 4th: D A G



Hi Jeff,

Thanks for the answer, makes perfect sense. Music rules can be hard to fathom sometimes :joy:

Appreciate your help.

1 Like

Stephen, I noticed your posts since I am reviewing Grade 2 for consolidation. I hope you didn’t get discouraged and have continued with the lessons. I also thought that Justin had packed a little too much chords into this one lesson, but I can see that he wanted to form a complete set of the 3,4 stuck chords in one lesson. You will notice that this lesson video is longer than most of the lesson videos in grade 2, most of which are between 5 and 12 minutes. Justin especially emphasizes short units of activity for practice to avoid the attention span problem and discusses it more in the Grade 3 lesson on Time Boxing.

I think the suggestions above (including my post) of dividing the chords up into probably 3 sets is a good idea - the G, C and D type stuck chords, then the E and A type stuck chords since those require more finger stretching and then a cursory look at the other chords that are used for special occasions.

Hi Steve,

I’m still at it. I just don’t visit this site any more. I get tired of people telling me that my question was really my problem.

A couple of months ago, I went to Justin’s website for some odd reason and looked at the same lesson that was on the app. Justin included the chord diagrams that I asked for in my original post.

(Though, I’ve seen a few people post them here.)

Thanks for taking the time to write/reply. It is appreciated. Happy Holidays!

Glad to hear that you are still continuing with guitar. Happy Holidays!

The “Big” G chord is really causing me struggle.
My problem is with the 2nd and 5th finger. When I try to place my pinky correctly, my 2nd finger is muting the 5th string. Then when I adjust my 2nd finger, my pinky leans towards me and the 1st string doesn’t ring correctly (the tip of my pinky is lifted because my (short) nail touches the fretboard). The only way how can I place my fingers correctly without muting any strings is when I bend my wrist (more than I would like).
Any recommendation? Thanks.
I also noticed that in the video, Justin’s 2nd finger is straight except the last part of finger where a nail is. In my case, my finger is curved.

Now that something I really need ! :rofl:

Welcome to the Community Richard. :wave:

1 Like

Ahh. I meant 4th finger :D.

1 Like

Hi Richard, and welcome to the community! If you haven’t yet, you might take a moment to introduce yourself over here.

I’m a fellow beginner, so I sympathize with your frustration. If you can, please post a photo of your Big G so we can better see what’s going on. You mentioned your short fingernail is hitting the fretboard. I’ve found that to drive me crazy…I got one of those glass nail files, and use it often to touch up my already short nails. Of course, this might not be your issue…

Related to this: I think it can help to be sure to use the tippy-tips of your fingers to depress the strings. Also, if you haven’t already you might review and include the finger stretch exercise introduced in Grade 1 Module 4. I’m consolidating Grade 2, and do this exercise along with the pinky workout (coming in Grade 2 Module 9) every day. That might be worth taking a peek ahead!

And as for that 5th finger…I knew exactly what you meant - I frequently desribe my 5th finger as well! :rofl:


:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: Same “problem” here.

I guess, all piano players do have a 5th finger :wink:

1 Like

Yep, but not just this lesson, entire Module 8 is a lot more demanding than the previous ones.
Afraid to see what is coming next. :slight_smile:

Hi Richard,

I’ve moved into Grade 2 recently and so was reading through some comments and wondered how you went with the 4 finger G?

I am no expert and only a beginner myself but have always played the 4 finger G so its using the other Gs that causes me problems. If it’s of any use I looked at how I play the 4 finger version. My second finger tends to bend slightly at the top knuckle but also what I did realise is that when I finger this chord the very tip of my second finger is slightly further up that the centre of the 6th string (if that makes sense.) Here’s some photos, like I say I’m only a beginner and I’m sure there are plenty of people that can tell me that my grip is wrong however it works and all the strings ring out consistently.

1 Like

Anyone else feels like a finger always ends up too far from the fret with these chords? That frequently leads to buzzing when I play. Not sure what grip adjustments of cues I should use or if simply developing strength is the answer.

Hi João @jpedro_AM, I originally saw your post on this same issue over on the Wish You Were Here Riff topic. It’s best to only post in one topic, and because this seems a better home for your question (I imagine more folks will see it), I’ve moved my response here. :smiling_face:

I’m so glad you brought this up! Yes, I have that issue as well. In fact, I have difficulty properly placing my ring finger these, and on several chords - C being one that especially frustrates me. Obviously, the standard advice to “keep practicing” fits here. :wink: But it’s not clear to me how to most effectively practice to overcome this. I have difficulty separating my ring and middle fingers, which I think is an issue here (and yes, I can do the Live Long and Prosper sign). I haven’t come across good exercises/stretches to work on that. Hopefully someone will have a suggestion!


Sounds like more flexibility is needed. I put this in the 2 Fret Stretch topic, it may help.

To add to this when you have pushed the fingers as wide as you can, you can focus on the gap between finger pairs. Its hard to explain but for example I would take the two touching middle fingers, move them towards the ring fingers and then forced back towards the Index fingers as far as I can go. Repeat for all finger pairs, it seems to just open the stretch a little more.

Also slowly forming the C chord and using it as a stretching exercise, don’t worry about strumming. Work on getting all 3 fingers in position, stretch relax stretch relax.


You’re right, I’ll keep my questions to a single topic!

For me is the E minor that is most troublesome. When I change to it in the middle of the song it’s almost impossible to prevent some movement in the ring finger. It doesn’t move OUT of the fret, but I need to adjust the strength if I want to avoid buzz.

1 Like

Thanks Toby, this is brilliant. I especially love that it doesn’t require the guitar. You explained the add-on part well, and I can attempt it. Wow. That is difficult, but it exactly addresses the problem I’m having!

I like the idea of using the C chord as a stretching exercise as well. I can form it, but that darned ring finger slides back when playing. This seems a great way to work past that.

Again, thank you!

1 Like

Yes, I feel your pain! The exercises Toby @TheMadman_tobyjenner outlined above look like they’ll address the issue for both of us. :grinning: :vulcan_salute: