"THE Guitar Principles
How To Understand Timing & Rhythms On Guitar
One of the biggest problems beginning guitarists face is having to sing melodies while keeping a steady strum. The problem is that even "simple" songs have complex melodies, containing syncopations, ties, dots, and other nasty rhythm stuff that no one has really explained in a way beginning (and often advanced!) players understand.
The GuitarPrinciples Path Level One: Chords & Rhythm contains the most complete and concise course on the fundamentals of understanding the system of written rhythm notation used in music that you will find anywhere.
It is specially designed to give you the understanding and ability you need in this vital area of musical training, AND to relate it immediately to your goals as a guitarist. Your first goal should be to get to "First Base", the ability to strum a steady beat, change chords on time, and sing along.
Why Different Fingerings For G Chord?
I make the G chord with the 2nd, 3rd, and pinky fingers, not using my index finger at all. Does your finger choice of using 1, 2, and 3 have any definite advantages?
A: Hi Alex,
Yes, you are referring to the fingering used in "The Path Level One: Chords & Rhythm". I have the G chord with fingers 1, 2, and 3, and a number of people got confused because they have learned it by using fingers 2, 3, and 4. Well , here's the deal.
You must first understand that the important thing, as far as the chord itself is concerned, is not the fingers you use, but the notes those fingers are playing, which means the exact fret and string where the finger is placed. Either fingering mentioned above will give you the notes necessary for a G chord.
Now, while it makes no musical difference which fingers you use for the G chord, it makes a whole lot of difference which you use when it comes to the concerns of the guitar player. For a beginner, fingers 2,3, and 4 are much harder to use, because of the demands on the weak 4th finger. So, I give the other fingering first. Later, 2, 3, and 4 should be learned. This still doesn't mean one is better than another. You will use both fingerings all the time, it is a matter of knowing when it is best to use one or the other.
In "The Path" I have specially designed those lessons to give the beginner the best and most accessible way to learn the principal chords of the key of G, which are the G, Eminor, C and D chords. Using fingers 1,2,and 3 on the G chord allows for learning one of the most important principles of left hand functioning, and to learn it right from the beginning. That principle is the use of common fingers between two chords to be left in place, and used as a point of orientation for the hand as it performs the change, in this case, the 2nd finger is held down as the hand changes to E minor.
The other fingering using 2, 3, and 4, which is used all the time, is great, for instance, when changing to a C chord that has the high G on top (the 3rd fret, 1st string). But, this should be learned after the fingering which I included in that lesson.
Most beginners do not realize that there are ways of changing chords that make it easy to do, and there are ways that make it very difficult! Unfortunately, they are never taught the easy, and best ways. No, they are simply given a few chord charts, and told to "practice" switching from one to another!
Well, that is like teaching someone to swim by throwing them in the lake and seeing what happens! You may have a few survivors, but you are going to have a lot of drowning people needing to be rescued!
That is exactly what happens with most guitar teaching. Well over half of all students who try to learn guitar quit in frustration because they have such trouble getting to "first base"...learning how to switch chords well enough to strum and sing a song. They just assume they "don't have the talent. This is completely untrue. I have taught thousands of students with the methods in my 'Path' book, who were struggling to change chords at first and who now play a song all the way through without stopping and starting at each chord change.
I have many long term players study the Path as well, so they can finally learn how to change chords easily as well as get a firm grasp of the subject of rhythm so that they reach a whole new level in their playing.
Copyright ©1999 Jamie Andreas. All rights reserved.