Having trouble on guitar with G chord. Can't keep fingers 3 and 4 (pinkie & ring) in position on B and E (2 & 1) while reaching for E (6) with middle finger (2).

  • 2
    So why bother with the B string? It's already a note within the chord as an open string. A 3 fingered chord works with that shape - in fact, it can then be barred on any fret to produce a (imo ) much nicer sounding chord.
    – Tim
    Commented Jun 8, 2020 at 16:22
  • The link that follows will show 5 different voicings for a G Chord in first position. Perhaps one or two of the other voicings will be easier for you to play until you develop greater finger dexterity. (music.stackexchange.com/a/31061/16897) Commented Jun 8, 2020 at 18:26

2 Answers 2


@Tim is right, as an option you can play the G chord with the B string open, which is actually just as if not more common. You can eventually work up to it though. Everyone is built a little differently And some people can’t stretch as much between the middle and ring fingers. Here are a couple of things you can try:

Make sure the neck of the guitar is angled a little upwards, not horizontal.

Don’t tuck your left elbow into your body, try and keep your arm a little more perpendicular to the neck.

Extend fingers 1 and 2, curve fingers 3 and 4.

Do the Vulcan hand salute. I’m half kidding but it actually will help by stretching between the two fingers that are problematic for you :)

Good luck.

  • That voicing with 3rd fret B string always sounds 'hard' to me. If they want that sound, the 3rd fret barre E shape would be the answer.
    – Tim
    Commented Jun 8, 2020 at 18:31
  • @Tim I agree and prefer the open B as well but sometimes the 4th on top can be desirable, say for voice leading or if you want a heavier sound. Either way the OP wanted tips on playing that specific chord and I think guitar players should be able to play a G chord that way too. Commented Jun 8, 2020 at 18:46
  • The 4th on top?
    – Tim
    Commented Jun 8, 2020 at 18:49
  • @Tim sorry I meant the 4th interval, D to G Commented Jun 8, 2020 at 18:50
  • Doing me best...
    – Tim
    Commented Jun 8, 2020 at 18:51

I pic would help as there are many ways to play the chord. Based on your description it would seem you are trying to play the following notes (G, B, D, G, D, G) with the following fingers (2, 1, 0, 0, 3, 4) on frets (3, 2, 0, 0, 3, 3). This is a pretty common fingering for this. If you are a beginner it may just need time, practice and patience and you'll get it. However, it also depends on your hand size, guitar set up and string gauge. If your guitar is difficult to play that will make the task more difficult. Also, if your thumb is in the wrong place this may be impossible to fret. Thumb should not be hanging over the edge of the finger board and you should not be squeezing the neck. It would help if you posted a pic of yourself playing the chord.

Also there are alternate voicing, ways to play this. Below are some alternatives with notes, fingers, and frets in that order.

(G, B, D, G, B, G) = (2, 1, 0, 0, 0, 3) = (3, 2, 0, 0, 0, 3)

(G, x, D, G, B, G) = (2, x, 0, 0, 0, 3) = (3, x, 0, 0, 0, 3)

x means don't play that string. If you play finger style then simply don't pluck it. If you play with a pick you will need to dampen that string by letting your second finger touch it slightly.

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