I don't see how this Fm6 fingering, with the index finger on fret 5, can work out without holding my guitar upside-down. Is it a mistake or am I misunderstanding the contortion?

I've also tried it with fingers 4 and 2 instead of 1 and 3, and using finger 1 for the bar. That's too stretchy for me to play clearly, but I guess that could have been intended?

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Sorry to say this - that Fm6 is rubbish! The fingering is next to impossible, and the voicing is awful. Nothing going for it at all.

Far simpler and better sounding is barre across all fret 1, 5th and 4th strings fret 3, and 2nd string fret 3.

The m6 chord has the same notes as its ('relative minor') 7♭5 counterpart, so there will be times when this could possibly be used as a substitute. Not the right term, (what is??) but should make sense! Just watch the inversion and voicing, especially on guitar! So here Fm6 could be substituted by Dm7♭5.

Anna - the 6th part (of any 6th chord) generally sounds better as a higher note. And the fingering on that Fm6 is impractical.

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  • Thank you Tim! And thanks for the insight about the m6/7b5 relation, I hadn't thought about that. – Anna Dec 22 '19 at 9:43
  • Do maj7 and 9th colorings also generally sound better higher up? – Anna Dec 22 '19 at 9:44
  • @Anna - yes - also consider 'add 9' is preferrable to 'add 2', and 9ths do come after 7ths! (Talking add2, not sus2). – Tim Dec 22 '19 at 9:46
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    It is definitely no rubbish, perhaps difficult but not impossible, and very beautiful voicing. It appears in classical guitar pieces. Though your chord sub solution is a god one. – ggcg Dec 22 '19 at 14:03
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    @Tim, I don't know how you can say what most players would do. None of us can. It depends on context. In a progression where the notes move smoothly in and out of other chords there may be no reasonable substitute. And what us naff? – ggcg Dec 22 '19 at 15:07

Although I see Tim's point, I don't agree 100%. First, regarding voicing, this is a valid one and as ggcg commented similar ones do turn up in e.g. classical guitar music. It's different from the more typical jazzy voicing with the 6 on the high string, but I wouldn't say either is inherently better or worse.

Also, the fingering: while definitely questionable or at least adventurous, it may not be only an error. This can be done without flipping the guitar, but you do need to turn the hand, grabbing the neck from above instead of the standard position. Then use the pinky for the bar, and the index and ring finger as specified. A bit crazy, yes, but I'd say it's an interesting idea.

For what it's worth, I personally can play the described voicing with barree-1 and ring&pinky for the d&f, but I can't do it in the upside-down hand position because my pinky is not strong enough for the bar. However, I can do the upside-down position higher up on the neck (where the bar doesn't require as much force as it does on the 1st fret).

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  • Come on, it's a rubbish voicing for a general purpose chord chart. It looks like someone auto-transposed an Em6 with a broken tool and without thinking. – piiperi Reinstate Monica Dec 22 '19 at 19:58
  • So - you basically agree that it's not realistically a feasible shape for most players? – Tim Dec 22 '19 at 20:24
  • @Tim well, I don't see the point of it because it requires 1. basically the same hand-spread as the same voicing with index-barree, but also requires this barree done with the pinky which is usually much weaker, and 2. taking the hand to the other side of the neck. — Where I disagree with you is that the voicing itself is no good. – leftaroundabout Dec 22 '19 at 22:37
  • @piiperiReinstateMonica we have no indication that this is from a general-purpose chord chart. (IMHO a general-purpose chord chart is generally rubbish – the best way to finger a chord depends too much on the context.) – leftaroundabout Dec 22 '19 at 22:41
  • If you have to choose just one fingering for Fm6, that stretch monster is not it. :) But I do agree that if you can actually play the OP's chord with the low 6th, it can be a nice sound. Not a first-choice sound though, more like a special effect. – piiperi Reinstate Monica Dec 22 '19 at 23:05

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