Been playing for just under a year now, and having trouble managing to get my thumb over the neck of my guitar in order to play chords in this fashion. Trying to learn under the bridge, but really struggling as I'm finding my hands/fingers aren't big enough to either cover the 6th string roots, or to cover the 5th and 4th strings with one finger, so I can free up the pinky. I have a Epiphone Dot 355, and I was wondering if the guitar is maybe too big for my hands, or is it something I will have to live with.
The verse, where he's not just playing the straight up barre chords. 58 secs onwards, if that helps lol.
Ok i gotcha. for the E chord (barre chord, root 5th string) play it with with your 1st finger on the 5th (A) string, and your 3rd finger barring across the 4th, 3rd, 2nd (D,G,B) strings.

Then for the B chord, only play the 5,4,3,2,1 strings (don't play the low E). 3rd finger on the A string, pinky on the D until you have to move it, middle finger on the G string, and pointer finger barred across the B and E strings.

For the C# minor thing, slide your 3rd and pinky on the A and D strings respectively, and your pointer finger barred across the G and B strings,

For the G#m , play a normal minor barre chord (1st finger barring all strings, ring finger on A string, pinky on D string)

For the A major, I play the same shape as the G#m except you add your middle finger to make it major. I also don't play the low E string. So it would be the same shape as the B chord earlier. Then, when it's time to move your pinky, just lift it up, the D string will stop sounding but the other strings will still be sounding so it doesn't matter.

Hope I helped,
Awesome, so basically what your saying is that it doesn't matter that my thumb won't reach, I can always find away my physical inadequacy? And it's got nothing to do with my guitar being too big for me?
To be honest I'm not sure about John but I know that Jimi had MONSTER hands and not a lot of people will be able to do what he did. So no, I mean unless the guitar is like LITERALLY bigger than you the guitar isn't to big for you. The only way to get around is to get like those ibanez thin "shredder" necks and it's definetly not worth it. Having your thumb not reach isn't a big deal and when I cover Hendrix or Frusciante songs, they always sound good even though my thumb won't reach over the top.

EDIT: Here's me covering under the bridge a few years ago. Don't worry I don't sound like that anymore My server isn't working so the video won't load on my computer but it's the first one on that list.
Last edited by salgala2000 at Jul 14, 2010,
Its hard to say over the web if there is something physical about your hands or something about your guitar that is making it impossible for you to play that technique. However what I CAN say is that technique will FEEL impossible at first.

I'm still not very good at it, but the first few times I tried it I'm positive I said "theres just no ****ing way this is going to work". My advice would be to keep trying, just try and position your fingers so all the notes ring out at first, without doing any embellishment. Your hands are going to hurt but the next time you pick it up you'll be a little closer. FWIW, I found that shifting my ring and middle fingers towards the (low) E string helped tremendously. I basically put the tip of my ring finger between the D and A strings (muting the A). Likewise for my middle finger between the D and G. This helped keep them out of the way of the other strings. Depending on your hands you may find some other way though...
Last edited by Oppenheimer at Jul 14, 2010,
Thanks very much, both of you. From now on I think I'll try Oppenheimer's advice and persist with it, I had the same trouble (like all beginners) with first finger barre chords - stuck at it and now I've got them down, so hopefully the same will apply here.
Forget the A string on the major hendrix chord, they rarely played them. Just mute it with your ring or thumb.

You can do it - break down practicing it into two different phases:

First you want to practice just the e, B, G, D strings (the high strings) with your open F shape WITHOUT the thumb. Practice this, sliding it, hammer on stuff that's around (the high string pinky). In fact, you can totally cover hendrix without the thumb, just using this shape. Most of the meat of the tune is within the pentatonic box surrounding the chords, with just a strum or two on the actual chord

THEN once you have this mastered after weeks and months, it's just a matter of placing the thumb on the top. Mine is more of a "light grip" than anything else. I first get my f shape fingered comfortably, then I throw my thumb on the top and grip it lightly.
Fender Stratocaster USA Deluxe 2005
MIJ Fender Contemporary Stratocaster '85-'86 HSS System I DiMarzio SD Bridge
Epiphone 2010 Les Paul Tribute
Ibanez AW30ECE Acoustic
Line 6 IV 75w (lol)
Last edited by guitar nubsauce at Jul 14, 2010,
Another one to practice is Snow. Most people play the chorus or main chord part to snow wrong. I watched frusciante play it on youtube a bunch and found out it goes from B to F# to the weird thumb one with C#madd2.

here's a handy website for building chords but try playing this chord, its kind of tricky.


Bmajor-->F# Major---> C#m add2

Mesa/Boogie Mark V Head
Mills Acoustics Mach 212B
Peavey Vypyr 15w
ESP LTD EC-1000 guitar (BKP Nailbombs)
Fender American Standard Strat
PRS Custom 24
Dunlop KH Signature Wah
Menatone Red Snapper
Boss DD-7 Delay
Zvex Fuzz Factory
The thing is, I can barely get the thumb to press down the 6th string hard enough when I do that. I'm willing to persist though.

Yeah I've looked at Snow, and Dani California aswell. So gutted he's left the Chili's though...
Last edited by sollozzo99 at Jul 14, 2010,
yeah, the chili's and muse are my two favorite bands. Read Scar Tissue a few weeks ago and it was a great read, very opening. Shame John left the band but Josh K. actually plays very well and has worked with John for a long time on his solo records and whatnot. They've always had crazy band member changes since they started, should be good.

Man I played a green USA strat the other day at my local music store. Gotta love single coils for there clarity with cleans and light overdrive. Played so much RHCP i bet the owners were sick of me, hah.

Mesa/Boogie Mark V Head
Mills Acoustics Mach 212B
Peavey Vypyr 15w
ESP LTD EC-1000 guitar (BKP Nailbombs)
Fender American Standard Strat
PRS Custom 24
Dunlop KH Signature Wah
Menatone Red Snapper
Boss DD-7 Delay
Zvex Fuzz Factory
Ha! Just lowered the action a touch with a screwdriver and boom! Little Wing here I come.

Scar Tissue is so good, I read it the other week and all. People don't seem to give the Chili's a fair viewing, some of the earlier stuff is real fun, e.g. Funky Monks, Party On Your Pussy.

I think Klinghoffer is to Frusciante what Frusciante was to Hillel Slovak.