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Thread: G chord

  1. #1

    Default G chord

    I know, beat to death, its hard...I am just starting with this intimidating contortion, but as I was working on it a few minutes ago something happened. I realized that if I slid my hand up the neck a bit it makes the pinky stretch a little more manageable.
    I will admit I haven't read everything available about this, but seems like a lot. I don't remember seeing this mentioned. If I have just missed this due to my being overwhelmed with all of this, sorry.

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: G chord

    Yep, the big G chop shape is definitely easier going up to A, Bb, B, C, D. Reading your testimonial just makes me remember what is was like at the beginning. Good luck.

  4. #3

    Default Re: G chord

    After a month of daily practice, you will forget that it was ever a challenge!
    Beardog

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    Default Re: G chord

    i practiced transitioning between big 3 but up the neck at 5th fret: http://www.mandolincafe.com/bluegrass.html

    also at 1:00 Sierra Hull says she doesn't useit that much: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lA82NOHXIP0
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    Default Re: G chord

    Yep, I give that advice often. Start up the neck and gradually work back down to G. Your fingers will get there!
    Chuck

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    Default Re: G chord

    All new to mandolin get the G chord four finger blues and then it clicks and poof they are off and picking. Guitar players have this experience with the F chord. R/
    I love hanging out with mandolin nerds . . . . . Thanks peeps ...

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    Default Re: G chord

    The F chord on a guitar is a $&@!?! breeze compared to the G chord on a mandolin. The Bill Monroe chop chord, that is. Roland White has a YouTube video in which he says that 80% of the time he uses a 4-5-5-x chord instead. Works for me.

  10. #8
    Registered User misterstormalong's Avatar
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    Default Re: G chord

    The prospect of the 7523 G chop chord daunted me completely for ages. My breakthrough was when I realised I could actually reach it, and since then it's gradually got less fuzzy.

    I used a finger strengthener for a while but the best solution is just practising the mandolin.

    I use the shape in G and C, but prefer 452X (G3) when playing in D as I find it fits in better.

  11. #9
    Gilchrist (pick) Owner! jasona's Avatar
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    Default Re: G chord

    If you think that is bad try the Gmin then go back to G and all will be well!
    Jason Anderson

    "...while a great mandolin is a wonderful treat, I would venture to say that there is always more each of us can do with the tools we have available at hand. The biggest limiting factors belong to us not the instruments." Paul Glasse

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  12. #10
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: G chord

    I posted in another thread that although i can easily play the 'standard' G chord,i much prefer the 'sound' of this simplified G chord. The lower note on the G strings swings it for me,
    Ivan
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  14. #11

    Default Re: G chord

    I really appreciate all of the great responses. This website is a tremendous resource.

  15. #12

    Default Re: G chord

    455X works, as does 755X. I can do the big G chop, but find that the other 2 I just mentioned work just as well in a jam. I kind of vary between all 3 just to keep things interesting.

  16. #13
    Professional Cat Herder Phil Vinyard's Avatar
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    Default Re: G chord

    The big 4-string chop chords (especially the Monroe one) have an appeal in that they are universal--learn one grip and you've got them all. The problem is you can be playing one chord in the lower register of the mando, then the next chord is way high on the mando, and it all sounds wonky. Plus it's a big finger stretch that not all can do, and sometimes causes folks to develop bad habits of playing flat fingered because that's the only way they can reach all the notes. What I've learned and what I teach my students:

    1. You don't need all four strings/notes to make a chord. Radim Zenkl first showed me that at Kaufman Kamp, and it was followed up by Don Steirnberg at Kamp and then my private teacher, Bruce Graybill. Don and Bruce are masters at making a full sounding chord with just two notes. For the most part, my chords are three string and almost always on G D and A.

    2. You do need to develop closed chords--no open strings. Open strings don't chop well. And closed chords can be moved. Fiddlers playing in B-flat to show off? Show them--use A shape cords one fret up and mock the guitar players as they scramble for a capo.

    3. Keep your chords in the same tessitura--the same basic range of notes. I learned this from our FEARLESS LEADER SCOTT TICHENOR at a seminar of his I attended. It just sounds better and makes for faster chord changes. I've had people stare at my left hand when I'm playing and question how I do it in that I am playing a lot of different chords and not moving much. It's really just working out your grips in a given key signature. And you don't have to always use the same tessitura for each set of chords. My grips I use for A major turn into a higher version of C major when shifted up a few frets.

    Attached/below is a handout I use for my students that has my basic grips by key signature. See if they're helpful to you. Most all can be morphed into a 7th or a minor by moving one finger.

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  17. #14
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    Default Re: G chord

    I think anyone learning BG mandolin should learn to do the 4finger chord, if possible, by that I mean if you only have three fingers you are excused. It is too easy to say " I can't do that" and find a crutch. I've said before when I was learning guitar after fooling with mandolin I said I couldn't get the long A. Dad said if I was going to play guitar I needed it, and as I kept trying in became so easy I would try it Barr and ring finger, then Barr and next finger. This when I said I can't do Barr and pinkie. My point is I can't ain't never done nothin. Now having said that I don't think the 4 finger chop chord is the only one you can use to play BG. ( not too loud the BG police are listening) as Jethro said just chopping one chord bores me to death but it is a part of bluegrass and should be in our " toolbox" and in my opinion there are very, very few that physically can not do it.

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