#1
When trying to learn some chords, I just can't get myself to use the fingering that my books (and other sources online) are telling me. I can easily think of an easier alternate fingering. Here are a couple of examples:

Asus4:
My books are telling me to finger this way...

e --------|--------|--------|--------|
B --------|--------|------4-|--------|
G --------|------3-|--------|--------|
D --------|------2-|--------|--------|
A --------|--------|--------|--------|
E --------|--------|--------|--------|


I, personally, think this is MUCH easier...

e --------|--------|--------|--------|
B --------|--------|------3-|--------|
G --------|------2-|--------|--------|
D --------|------1-|--------|--------|
A --------|--------|--------|--------|
E --------|--------|--------|--------|


C#dim:
My books are telling me to finger this way...

e --------|--------|--------|--------|
B --------|------2-|--------|--------|
G --------|--------|--------|--------|
D --------|------1-|--------|--------|
A --------|--------|--------|------4-|
E --------|--------|--------|--------|


An easier fingering for me would be...

e --------|--------|--------|--------|
B --------|------1-|--------|--------|
G --------|--------|--------|--------|
D --------|------2-|--------|--------|
A --------|--------|--------|------4-|
E --------|--------|--------|--------|


The reason I bring this up is because I find my personal fingering method on certain chords significantly easier (mainly because I have a very stubborn pinky) and I don't see any sources that say that my fingering method is an acceptable alternate method. So, I'm afraid I could be learning the wrong way if I just go ahead and make up my own personal fingering for certain chords.

So, is it ok to create my own alternate fingering of chords? Or is that a big no no?
Last edited by GuitarDude85 at May 8, 2015,
#2
if the chord rings true..thats what matters..in time you will discover many different ways to play the same chord...
play well

wolf
#3
On its own, it doesn't make any difference but depending on the context it is played, some fingering makes more sense than others (e.g. playing that Asus4, you can't add a hammer-on using the first fingering).

So whatever's comfortable and works is good.
#4
The book shows it in those other "less easy" ways because it generally makes standard chord changes easier because your index finger remains available. The most important thing to think about when playing any chord is to think what chord comes next, and how can I best place my fingers to make that next chord transition as smooth as possible.

It's difficult to say if your way is "bad". It isn't really immediately bad, but in the long term you'd be better off learning the other ways. 5 years down the line you'll definitely be glad you did. If you're a beginner though, I probably wouldn't say to worry about it too much.
It only becomes bad when it starts restricting your playing. If your fingering leads to issues with chord changes in the future that's when it becomes bad.

I actually think about this question a fair bit and wonder whether or not it's a bad thing, and I would honestly say that in almost all cases it isn't bad and it's something that can be corrected a lot easier than other "bad habits" in the future. I'm very intrigued to see what others have to say on this subject because I think about probably more than anything else.

As long as you are confident that it isn't restricting yourself when you're playing a chord progression then I think it's fine.
Last edited by vayne92 at May 8, 2015,
#5
I always use alternate fingerings. It's my guitar and my music after all. Chord books are merely a suggestion.

The Asus4 I would typically bar the B-D-G strings with 2nd finger and use the third finger for my B string sus4. What comes next always matters and I will often fish around for positions and voicings that work well as a team.

I never strum all 6 on a dim chord. Just voice the DGBE and mute the EA strings. Save you pinky for more important duties later. Inside chord voicings sound cool and are jazzbo hipster approved.
"Your sound is in your hands as much as anything. It's the way you pick, and the way you hold the guitar, more than it is the amp or the guitar you use." -- Stevie Ray Vaughan

"Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent." -- Miles Davis

Guthrie on tone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmohdG9lLqY
Last edited by Cajundaddy at May 9, 2015,
#6
Quote by vayne92
The book shows it in those other "less easy" ways because it generally makes standard chord changes easier because your index finger remains available. The most important thing to think about when playing any chord is to think what chord comes next, and how can I best place my fingers to make that next chord transition as smooth as possible.

It's difficult to say if your way is "bad". It isn't really immediately bad, but in the long term you'd be better off learning the other ways. 5 years down the line you'll definitely be glad you did. If you're a beginner though, I probably wouldn't say to worry about it too much.
It only becomes bad when it starts restricting your playing. If your fingering leads to issues with chord changes in the future that's when it becomes bad.

I actually think about this question a fair bit and wonder whether or not it's a bad thing, and I would honestly say that in almost all cases it isn't bad and it's something that can be corrected a lot easier than other "bad habits" in the future. I'm very intrigued to see what others have to say on this subject because I think about probably more than anything else.

As long as you are confident that it isn't restricting yourself when you're playing a chord progression then I think it's fine.


The thing with using the book method on the Asus4 and C#dim chords is that I absolutely cannot form those two chords using the book method. My pinky is pulling my middle finger away. So my fingers will not stay. I can't get the fingers to form and I can't even get the chord to ring once even after over 100 tries. I can understand a fingering method being difficult and all, but those methods are literally impossible for me. Like I said, I can't get the chord to ring even once. It's my damn pinky!! If I can't get the chord to form once, how I can I switch fast and smoothly when playing a song?? Will my pinky eventually become flexible with exercise??
#7
Sounds like a problem with finger independence rather than flexibility on your pinkie.

But play whatever works for you and your style.

Can you play the Asus4 using the following? They will maybe give a different slant on the problem (These are deliberately awkward to play. Try swapping between them) ... then revert to the original shape.

e --------|--------|--------|--------|
B --------|--------|-----4-|--------|
G --------|-----2-|--------|--------|
D --------|-----3-|--------|--------|
A --------|--------|--------|--------|
E --------|--------|--------|--------|

or

e --------|--------|--------|--------|
B --------|--------|-----4-|--------|
G --------|-----1-|--------|--------|
D --------|-----2-|--------|--------|
A --------|--------|--------|--------|
E --------|--------|--------|--------|

cheers, Jerry
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at May 9, 2015,
#8
not wrong and can come in handy. you should learn the way the book suggests as well. i try to learn to make chords with any number of fingerings just as an exercise. this can come in handy when going from leads to a chord and back into a lead. by being able to finger a chord in a non traditional manner it may allow you to make the chord while leaving fingers open to set up the next part. transitions are important and often the reason chords are done a certain way.
#9
Quote by monwobobbo
not wrong and can come in handy. you should learn the way the book suggests as well. i try to learn to make chords with any number of fingerings just as an exercise. this can come in handy when going from leads to a chord and back into a lead. by being able to finger a chord in a non traditional manner it may allow you to make the chord while leaving fingers open to set up the next part. transitions are important and often the reason chords are done a certain way.


This.

About your pinky, you just need more finger independence and finger strength. Work on that pinky and trust me, you'll be glad you did. When I was starting out, I got frustrated because I couldn't use my pinky and I gave up working on it. Then I realized how useful the pinky is in guitar playing and started working to get better on it. Now I have very good finger independence and it made playing guitar much easier.
#10
Quote by GuitarDude85
When trying to learn some chords, I just can't get myself to use the fingering that my books (and other sources online) are telling me. I can easily think of an easier alternate fingering. Here are a couple of examples:

Asus4:
My books are telling me to finger this way...

e --------|--------|--------|--------|
B --------|--------|------4-|--------|
G --------|------3-|--------|--------|
D --------|------2-|--------|--------|
A --------|--------|--------|--------|
E --------|--------|--------|--------|


I, personally, think this is MUCH easier...

e --------|--------|--------|--------|
B --------|--------|------3-|--------|
G --------|------2-|--------|--------|
D --------|------1-|--------|--------|
A --------|--------|--------|--------|
E --------|--------|--------|--------|


C#dim:
My books are telling me to finger this way...

e --------|--------|--------|--------|
B --------|------2-|--------|--------|
G --------|--------|--------|--------|
D --------|------1-|--------|--------|
A --------|--------|--------|------4-|
E --------|--------|--------|--------|


An easier fingering for me would be...

e --------|--------|--------|--------|
B --------|------1-|--------|--------|
G --------|--------|--------|--------|
D --------|------2-|--------|--------|
A --------|--------|--------|------4-|
E --------|--------|--------|--------|


The reason I bring this up is because I find my personal fingering method on certain chords significantly easier (mainly because I have a very stubborn pinky) and I don't see any sources that say that my fingering method is an acceptable alternate method. So, I'm afraid I could be learning the wrong way if I just go ahead and make up my own personal fingering for certain chords.

So, is it ok to create my own alternate fingering of chords? Or is that a big no no?


Often times what fingering is best depends on what you just did, or are just about to do.

In general resources are really supposed to show you the most versatile ways to finger the chords. The fingerings that let you add extensions the easiest, add little accent notes, switch most easily into other likely shapes, etc... After a while, you will start just picking a few chord tones here or there, partially fretting the chords, and you will find multiple ways to play the same thing.

Asus4:
My books are telling me to finger this way...

e --------|--------|--------|--------|
B --------|--------|------4-|--------|
G --------|------3-|--------|--------|
D --------|------2-|--------|--------|
A --------|--------|--------|--------|
E --------|--------|--------|--------|


There is a reason they give you this fingering. It is because you are on open A, and they are setting you up, to slide that up some frets, so that you can play any sus4 rooted on the A string.

What I do, is I barre Where the nut is, usually, since I don't often play open chords, but if it was A I had to play in that neighbourhood, I would play it that way, obviously. So, I barre the root fret, where the nut would otherwise be, and then I barre where the 2-3 is with my 3 finger. And then I play the 4 with my pinky. Another version is to throw the dom7 in there, and that is lifting the 3 in your diagram. So, the fingering could not be barred across there for that, in which case, I would use my 2 and pinky fingers.


You can play it how you feel more comfortable, but a lot of the time it is worth learning to play it in the way that's more difficult, because it opens up more doors. So, it kind of depends on you, and how good you want to become, and how much work you want to put in.

There are a LOT better ways to play C#dim than THAT. I would never ever use that grip. The book fingering is better. When I started all my fingers were stubborn, and my pinky was just as stubborn as yours, I'm sure. Guitar is that way. It's physically difficult, overcoming that, is part of the deal of being a guitarist. Even a beginner had to overcome difficulties at the start. And again, you determine how good you become, by how much effort you put in.
Last edited by fingrpikingood at May 9, 2015,
#11
Quote by DanyFS
This.

About your pinky, you just need more finger independence and finger strength. Work on that pinky and trust me, you'll be glad you did. When I was starting out, I got frustrated because I couldn't use my pinky and I gave up working on it. Then I realized how useful the pinky is in guitar playing and started working to get better on it. Now I have very good finger independence and it made playing guitar much easier.


Ok, as long as my pinky problem can be fixed with time and practice, then I will gladly try to work on using the book method. I just thought I was born with some sort of weird pinky problem that can't be fixed.