I have been playing for a while, but for some reason, I still can't play this 5th chord cleanly without that center note. Even with muting it just doesn't sound clean.

Here's what I mean:


Any suggestions on how to play it?

  • 4
    That's not a fifth chord. That's a note and it's octave. Commented Jan 19, 2014 at 22:56
  • This doesn't look right. A on the 5th fret is D. Why? Commented Jan 20, 2014 at 4:23

4 Answers 4


This chord is actually not a chord at all, it is just an octave.You would want to use your pointer finger on the A string and your ring finger on the G string. From there you can make either your ring finger touch the D string to mute it or lightly touch the D string with your pointer finger by laying it slightly flat. You could also just lightly touch it with your middle finger. As long as one of your fingers is lightly touching the D string it should be muted.


Right hand matters here. There are at least three different ways to do this

  1. Use a pick for all strings. In this case you have to make sure that the D string is properly muted but the muted string will make a bit of a dull "bonk" sound that is audible. Make sure you really only hit the three strings you need
  2. Mixed: Use pick for the the A string and the middle finger for the G string. That gives a nice and clean sound and is doable even if you are normally a pick player.
  3. No Pick: just use the thumb for the A string and middle or index finger for the G string.

Trouble with tab is, it tells you where to play - gives you no options. The notes are a D on A string, and its octave on G string. This can be played using D open, and G string, 7th fret. Now they're next door to each other, they're easier to play. Given, the sound may be slightly different, with an open, but, especially as this is probably muted, it won't be bad.Your fret fingers will still be around the same place, so you don't have to move any more than you did.

Muting a string is very common on guitar, often, altered chords need this to happen, to stop an otherwise duff note.But this is hardly a chord, with only two notes played.


That is not a fifth chord. That is an octave. A 5th chord is 2 notes being played at the same time, over 2 or 3 strings, and it gets its name based on the lowest note. What you gave us is just one note being played on two different strings. You could still play it to create a unison: Simply mute the middle string with your fretting hand middle finger. You could use a pick on one string and our right hand middle finger on the other one, which is called hybridpicking.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.