I am trying to play this on the guitar

I am having difficulty understanding the 4th measure in the picture below. It looks like I have to play a G chord without the 5th (D is missing) and then, silence the middle G string while playing an F note on the D string.

But how do I check if my sound is right? I tried to enter this score into a score writing application (Finale) but did not succeed.

Check measure 5

  • As folks below have mentioned, let it ring! Use your musical taste in these situations - it will sound better than Finale every time (at least with questions of aesthetics)! By the way, you say you tried to enter the music into Finale but didn't succeed - what happened? Aug 31, 2014 at 13:15
  • Hi Ben, I just couldn't figure out how to enter this. When I try to put a quarter note, either my chord is converted to quarter, or (when I click a little on the right) I hear e beep stopping my action.. I tried to use two quarter chords and tie the upper and lower notes, but the result is not what I expected (the chord is played twice, as if the tie did not exist)
    – Polymedes
    Aug 31, 2014 at 13:50
  • Ahh, OK! You want to use the 'layers' functionality - it allows multiple voices w/ independent rhythms finalemusic.com/UserManuals/Finale2012Mac/Content/Finale/… Aug 31, 2014 at 17:49

2 Answers 2


If you play the low G with finger 3 (L.H.) you can then play the F on the D string with finger 4. If you play the F with what I call "lazy technique", by putting the fourth finger on slightly flat, it will touch the open G and stop it ringing. While you do this you keep the third finger pressed down on the low G.

To be honest though, it doesn't matter if the open G rings on over the F, as it is still part of the overall harmony, a G7 chord, so it won't sound dissonant. If you do stop the open G it will give the inner part more definition, though, and make it sound like a line, rather than just part of the harmony.

  • I think you're spot on with 'let it ring'. Often with guitar music, it sounds better to do this, if all the notes constitute a chord. I've found it in exam pieces (written out without looking too complex)- a pupil, who was taught by someone else, played exactly 'as writ' and it sounded quite disjointed. Letting certain notes ring for longer than written made it smooth out well.
    – Tim
    Aug 31, 2014 at 12:56

From how I understand it, you play the G(low)-G(middle)-B chord (G major without the 5th) and keep it for half the measure, and then change the middle G to F, pretty much like you said.

You don't 'silence' it, but you keep it for a shorter duration; while you keep the low G and B for 2 beats, you keep the middle G for only 1 beat, then change it to F, which is also kept for 1 beat.

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