Page 61 - chords-level-1

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Chords Level 1
Bandwagon Music Studios
Here are some hints and a drill to help you clear
up the sound of each string for your chords.
Remember the main reason your strings aren’t
ringing clearly is to do with technique. The shape
of your hand and / or fingers is not right. This
could lead to
- a finger not sitting properly
- a finger falling over and touching
another string.
– resting your finger on the fret metal,
and not behind it.
The other thing to check
Check these points of technique to help make it
easier to get each string ringing clear. The
better your technique then less squeeze you will
have to use.
(a) The knuckles of your chord hand must be
around the front of the guitar. This way your
fingers will be around the front and you will have
the full length of them to play the chords.
(b) When using the fingers of your chord hand
you would mostly make them stand up so that the
first joint of each finger is fairly straight, and
pointing into the fretboard.
Sometimes we lay them flat across two or more
strings – like the full version of F.
There is room for variation on how straight the
joint is. Sometimes it will be perfectly straight,
sometimes it will lean back towards the floor,
other times it will lean forward towards the
In fact most times having finger 2 leaning
forward towards the ceiling is better. This will
give the other fingers more room to do their
(c) When using the fingers of the chord hand
make sure to spread them out in the fret.
They should be just touching the fret metal
of the next fret. The further out a finger is
in a fret you actually can use less pressure to
make a clear sound.
(d) Keep a small gap between your chord hand
and the neck of the guitar. You don’t
want to grab the neck like a bat or racquet
and have your hand rapping around the neck.
Sometimes it is OK to slightly touch the neck
with your chord hand.
(e) Which part of a chord hand fingertip you
use on the string can a make a difference as
well. The finger can go on the string close to
nail of the fingertip, close to the back of the
fingertip or somewhere in between these two
parts of the fingertip.
Mostly use the middle of your fingertip when
playing your chords.
By using the back of the fingertip you would
have the “overhang” of your finger bumping
the next lowest sounding string. Mostly this
would be a bad thing because the lower string
wouldn’t sound. We can use it to our
advantage at times though e.g. when playing a
G chord finger 3 could be put on string 6
close to the back of the fingertip with the
overhang off the guitar. The advantage would
be that finger 3 won’t bump string 5 which it
tends to do because finger 3 is stretching so
far to reach string 6.
Other times we need to deaden out strings
which can be done by a finger placed closer
to the nail or back and have the overhang
touch the neighbouring string.