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Open E Fingering

Technique
btimm  
21 Oct 2011 09:07 | Quote
Joined: 14 Dec 2009
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I have a question for you all, I want your opinion and thoughts. Normally when I play an open E chord, I use my 1, 2, and 3 fingers, which seems normal. I find though that if I am playing a song that has barre chords, I tend to use my 2, 3, and 4 fingers, same as what I would if making a barre chord. It makes it much easier to transition to and from the open E.

My question is this: Do you think this is a bad habit to get into? On one hand, it seems it never has an impact when I play songs. However, if I were to ever want to add any color to that E chord, I wouldn't be able to do so, since my pinky is no longer free. So is this okay or should I refrain from doing this anymore? Thanks.
Guitarslinger124  
21 Oct 2011 09:41 | Quote
Joined: 25 Jul 2007
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I don't see anything wrong with it. I do the same thing on occasion if the progression demands it. If you can play both fingerings with equal accuracy,then I just can't see it as a bad or good thing, just an alternate fingering.

Rock on!
macandkanga  
21 Oct 2011 10:58 | Quote
Joined: 03 Oct 2008
United States
Karma: 21
I agree with guitarslinger. I do the same thing on occasion. If your able to do both comfortably it's a win win. In fact, I think when I play Symphony of Destruction by Megadeth. When transitioning from an F barre chord to an open E I use my 2nd and 3rd finger. It would be almost awkward any other way.
RA  
21 Oct 2011 12:32 | Quote
Joined: 24 Sep 2008
United States
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my vote is bad habit. while it may not come into issue with the majorly simple chords of rock and jazz tends to shy away from the open position. If you where to ever want to play more open position styles or players like folk, bulegrass, country, yada yada you would have to relearn how to play. while, you may not think it would be that hard, so much is in muscle memory and it is not easy relearned when bad habits develop. So I'd say nip the habit it in the bud for you gain nothing and loses a whole lot
macandkanga  
21 Oct 2011 16:18 | Quote
Joined: 03 Oct 2008
United States
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I disagree RA. I play an open E in more than two ways for that matter. Different songs call for different shapes and fingerings. If the shapes are the same when transitioning it is easier to maintain the same fingering up and down the fretboard. Genre should not be an issue but a wider knowledge and ability to play whatever you want whenever you want without being limited by a rule if you will.
RA  
21 Oct 2011 17:04 | Quote
Joined: 24 Sep 2008
United States
Karma: 16
macandkanga says:
Genre should not be an issue but a wider knowledge and ability to play whatever you want whenever you want without being limited by a rule if you will.


I entirely agree. My point is not about genre but playing in open position, their just examples of playing heavily in open position but anything could be. Playing an E-gripe like that in open position limits you and I don't see any argument/benefit at all. But you are however rendering your index useless which is bad bad bad(fact). I'm all for the unorthodox but there needs to be valid reasons. Because is it easier just isn't working for me and I don't want to sound mean, rude, or arrogant but it is just lazy in my humble opinion.

I guess you could say, I'll do it that way with straight barr chord types songs and do it the other way in open position songs, but that brings up my muscle memory point (really what I was trying to say the last time just badly. When I type a lot stays in my head; also when I speak but that is a other matter)
Mezzie  
21 Oct 2011 18:09 | Quote
Joined: 01 Aug 2010
Canada
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Haha pretty technical with you guys huh? lol jks. If it feels right do it! I've seen many musicians that do it, not a big deal. I don't find myself doing although... hm
btimm  
21 Oct 2011 20:04 | Quote
Joined: 14 Dec 2009
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This is some good discussion guys, hopefully we can get more important, because I think many good opinions can be brought to light.

mac brings up a good point in that some songs present a certain fingering as the only option. One that comes to my mind is "Got Me Wrong" by Alice in Chains. If you don't know the song, search youtube, since my explanation probably sucks. But it basically goes (bolded counts played) from a G# (1-e-and-a-2-e-and-a) to an E (3-e-and-a) to an F# (4-e-and-a). More power to you if you can make a standard open fingering and then transition to that F# immediately on the downbeat of 4. So I know some songs have it almost required to use an alternate fingering.

However, not all songs are this way and I don't want bad habits to creep into my playing at such a crucial stage in my development as a player. So therefore I need to know if it is even a bad habit at all. SO I definitely appreciate all the comments coming in on this topic, as I think these are good discussion points. Most things I can learn from researching on the net. But some things from experience and tips from playing often can't be gathered from researching the net and I think this could be one of those topics.

Thanks for all of the replies!!
nullnaught  
21 Oct 2011 20:50 | Quote
Joined: 05 Jun 2010
Karma: 22
Which way to finger a chord depends on 2 things. Where you just came from and where you are going to.

macandkanga  
22 Oct 2011 11:27 | Quote
Joined: 03 Oct 2008
United States
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@btim, it won't become a bad habit if you don't play it that way all the time. In other words use special or alternate fingering when appropriate and it will become a good habit when you need it too.
Mezzie  
22 Oct 2011 11:43 | Quote
Joined: 01 Aug 2010
Canada
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When you first learn something it's usually hard to get out of it. When i was first learning guitar i played Em with my first two fingers when others said it makes more sense to play it with the 2nd and 3rd finger, eventually i did get out of this but i don't really see anything wrong with how i played it. And like you guys said it depends on the song and what you want to add to the chord. QUESTION: When you play the A shape barre chord do u play it with your 2nd 3rd and 4th fingers or just use your 3rd finger to cover the three strings?
case211  
22 Oct 2011 14:00 | Quote
Joined: 26 Feb 2009
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If it matters, I usually just play an open E with my index finger since it just happens to be the easier way to fret those 2 strings(power chord), or I use my 2nd and 3rd finger on the A and D with my index fretting, muting, or off the G string if I want to have the Maj/Min tonality, or just to have the extra e and B. So dos ways I guess, since I've never found it comfortable to use my 2nd finger to fret the open E.
RA  
22 Oct 2011 14:56 | Quote
Joined: 24 Sep 2008
United States
Karma: 16
Mezzie says:
When you play the A shape barre chord do u play it with your 2nd 3rd and 4th fingers or just use your 3rd finger to cover the three strings?


depends on what position(s) you have to play in. If your solely in A grip then each string gets a finger, however if you have to play in G-grip then the bar with the ring may have to be used. The issue stems from there being a "blurry" area between the A and G grips.

I use CAGED just in case anyone didn't know.


nullnaught says:
Which way to finger a chord depends on 2 things. Where you just came from and where you are going to.


That holds some weight I'd say
btimm  
22 Oct 2011 18:08 | Quote
Joined: 14 Dec 2009
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Mezzie says:
QUESTION: When you play the A shape barre chord do u play it with your 2nd 3rd and 4th fingers or just use your 3rd finger to cover the three strings?


I usually use my ring finger to barre the entire fret. I have trouble even playing an open A chord with three fingers, because I have very large hands and it mutes strings. As I move to higher notes along the fretboard there is just no way in Hell I am able to play an A-shape barre chord without just fretting the A-shape with my ring finger.
RA  
22 Oct 2011 19:38 | Quote
Joined: 24 Sep 2008
United States
Karma: 16
@bitmm you may find it better to pay it in G rather than A so your pinky plays the root not the index there the exact same thing. that and all these add tones are right there. The issue would be that fast progression in I IV V would become a tad harder to execute.

and just in case your into Jimi hendrix that's how he played them


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