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I have noticed that when playing the standard F barre chord, guitarists use their pinky finger on the D-string and the ring finger on the A-string - the ring finger is vertically above the pinky.

 %1/T.3/3.3/4.2/2.1/1.1/1[F]

The same holds when, for example, playing the standard C chord with a G in the bass (332010). I, however, always play these chords with my pinky vertically on top of my ring finger - i.e. pinky on the A-string and ring finger on the D-string when playing the F barre chord.

  %1/T.3/4.3/3.2/2.1/1.1/1[F]

At the moment, it doesn't seem to be causing me any problems, but I am wondering whether or not my fingering is potentially problematic in some way?

Thank you in advance!

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1  
Can you check the diagrams I added, and confirm they're what you mean? –  slim Jun 27 '13 at 16:25
    
I usually use my thumb to play the bottom F, but other than that, they're perfect! Thank you, slim. Replaced the '1's on the bottom E-string with 'T's - not sure if this is correct notation. –  David Valduriez Jun 27 '13 at 16:44

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Since you didn't mark this as answered yet, I'll add my two cents. I used the same fingering you're describing when I began playing guitar, and I switched when I realized it was more difficult (at least for me) to add embellishments and motion within chord lines.

For example, if you're playing a 6-string barre shape Bmaj (799877) and you want to make a quick move to a Bsus4 (79x977), I found it was very difficult to do with my ring finger on the D string as you've described. By switching to the more standard fingering, I found it much easier to use my pinky to hit the E on the G string 9th fret and my ring finger to mute the D string.

This was problematic for me and for years now after switching I've found the standard version to be easier on my wrist. If it's comfortable for you and doesn't appear to impede your play in any way, I'd say there's no reason to consider changing at the moment.

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Everyone's fingers/thumbs have different proportions. Most people will find that actually barring an 'E'-shaped chord is easier and more effective using a barre with their index finger ( the clue's in the name), but there's no rule that states this HAS to be the case. If you find that thumbing the bottom string works , then continue. It may be that your digits lend themselves well to this sort of fingering. You may find, however, that changing to the barre A-shape becomes problematic, in that you have to change the whole attitude of your forearm to go from one to the other.This will slow down the changes: it's difficult to use the thumb to cover 6th and 5th strings together ! It would appear that your pinky is relatively longer than most pinkies ! This can be pretty useful to a guitarist ! Generally one's ring finger covers the A string because its reach is better than one's pinky's. Also for putting a 6th or b7th note in on 2nd string, the pinky is favourite. You may need to reconsider later, or even now........

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Thank you for your response, Tim, but my question has nothing to do with whether or not to use my thumb when playing barre chords. My question is about the placement of my ring and pinky finger when playing barre chords - with or without thumb(unless pinky/ring placement should change depending on whether or not you're using your thumb?). –  David Valduriez Jun 29 '13 at 11:06
    
My apologies, I didn't fully read your response! Would you say that as long as I am comfortable with my pinky on top, it isn't problematic? I do play barre chords without my thumb also, so disregarding the drawbacks of using your thumb. –  David Valduriez Jun 29 '13 at 11:17
    
Quite agree with Tim. Though your fingers's size will have a word on it, your configuration for F on the E-Shape will mean extra "energy" spent when changing for A-shaped chords or for a C7, which by the way is the V7 for a song in the tone of F. –  user16484 Jun 29 '13 at 13:10
1  
For C7 (or any similar shape further up the fingerboard) use of ring finger on 5th string is a good pivot to and from E-shape barre chord on the same fret.(e.g. A, 5th fret barre, to E7; ring finger can stay on 5th string, 7th fret to move to an E7 chord, C7 shape.) –  Tim Jun 29 '13 at 13:30

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