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Hyunkell
post Dec 24 2008, 07:03 PM
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Yet another beginner question smile.gif

I only recently started to play on an electric guitar.
Playing power chords seemed rather easy to me, so I never had a deeper look into how to playing them properly.
However, as soon as I tried to do some repetitive powerchord slides, I noticed that something was wrong with my left hand position, as my ring finger was about to start bleeding.
I first thought the small pain would just be my fingers getting used to the steel strings, but this can't be right huh.gif

Here's how I "grabbed" powerchords until now: (sorry about the bad picture quality, cheap laptop webcams coupled with a dark room doesn't work too well)

---
---
---
-5-
-5-
-3-



As you can see, I use my index, ringfinger and pinky to grab the chord, however what you can't see well is that the side of my ringfinger is touching the string, rather then the flat part because it is rotated at a certain degree. In this part of the finger, the skin is much softer, so the string starts cutting into it after some time.
Trying not to rotate the ringfinger, and pressing it flat against the string does work, but it feels unnatural, and I have trouble sliding up and down the neck if I don't rotate it a bit.

I found another way to grab a powerchord is to only use the indexfinger and pinky.
This works rather well, but sliding is a bit unstable, as there seems to be a lack of strength in my pinky.


So, should I force myself to play without rotating the ringfinger, or should I try to play powerchords with only the indexfinger and pinky?
Not using the ringfinger at all feels more natural to me then forcing myself not to rotate it.

Thanks,
Hyu

This post has been edited by Hyunkell: Dec 24 2008, 07:05 PM
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Ramiro Delforte
post Dec 24 2008, 07:15 PM
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When you play with your pinky finger it's only a 5th chord, the powerchord is named that way because the reinforcement of the root of the chord and that would be root - perfect fifth - root (the ex. could be in C- C,G,C). You should be able to play those chords and be sure to play them with the tip of your fingers.
You have very long fingers so in order to do what I've said the best way is to create a curve in your ring and pinky finger (in the picture it seems that your pinky is near straight).

Let me know if this helped you and be free to keep asking. biggrin.gif


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kaznie_NL
post Dec 24 2008, 07:16 PM
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ATM, you're using one finger to cover two strings. This is ok, but I think using pinky and ringfinger is better. When you look at the second photo, check out your ringfinger. It has a very different angle then at the first one, this one is way better! I know that in the second picture you don't use the ringfinger, but it does stand in a great position. your finger should be on the string, touching it with the tip, but in the first picture, you use more then just the tip!


In the above picture you can see how to put your fingers! You'll have to use the tip!

So about which fingers to use.... You can just play how you like it best!


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Hyunkell
post Dec 24 2008, 07:59 PM
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Thanks for the help.
My pinky is indeed completely straight, I suppose one reason for this is that I have a small pinky, but very long ringfinger.
I noticed that if I don't rest my middle finger on my index finger, but keep it at an angle, I don't rotate my ringfinger, and touch the string with the tip of the finger, like I'm supposed to.


So this would work, although I loose the extra stability I gained by resting my middle finger on my index finger.


Between doing this, and only using indexfinger and pinky, is it a matter of personal preference, or is one way "better" then the other?
This also means that I should mute the other strings with my index finger rather then with my pinky, correct?

This post has been edited by Hyunkell: Dec 24 2008, 08:00 PM
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Velvet Roger
post Dec 24 2008, 09:56 PM
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QUOTE (Hyunkell @ Dec 24 2008, 07:59 PM) *
Between doing this, and only using indexfinger and pinky, is it a matter of personal preference, or is one way "better" then the other?
This also means that I should mute the other strings with my index finger rather then with my pinky, correct?


I am using different fingerings, based on the actual chord progressions/variations I am going to do.

If I am doing regular powerchords (on 3 strings), I am always using the index finger together with ringfinger and pinky. That way I can easily switch between e.g. a C powerchord and a Cmaj7 (without the 3rd) (for the Cmaj7 chord you only have to lift the pinky from the G-string and use the middle finger instead on the 4th fret of the G-string):


------------------
------------------
--5--5-----4---5--
--5--5-----5---5--
--3--3-----3---3--
------------------

If I am doing full major chords (on 4 strings), I am often using the index finger together with the ringfinger (to cover the D, G and B string). That way I can easily switch between e.g. a C major chord and a C sus4 chord (which is replacing the major third in the C chord with a fourth), for the C sus4 chord you can just add the pinky on the B string, 6th position.:


------------------
--5--5-----6---5--
--5--5-----5---5--
--5--5-----5---5--
--3--3-----3---3--
------------------


Both examples are shown in a short video which I made to explain it better (see attached).

Regarding muting, it's mainly the index finger, but also the pinky can mute the B-string a little.

Hopefully this is helpful.

This post has been edited by Velvet Roger: Dec 24 2008, 10:16 PM
Attached File(s)
Attached File  Powerchords.avi ( 2.19MB ) Number of downloads: 77
 


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Hyunkell
post Dec 25 2008, 10:57 AM
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Thanks!
This helped quite alot smile.gif
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Ivan Milenkovic
post Dec 25 2008, 07:09 PM
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QUOTE (Hyunkell @ Dec 24 2008, 07:59 PM) *
Thanks for the help.
My pinky is indeed completely straight, I suppose one reason for this is that I have a small pinky, but very long ringfinger.
I noticed that if I don't rest my middle finger on my index finger, but keep it at an angle, I don't rotate my ringfinger, and touch the string with the tip of the finger, like I'm supposed to.


So this would work, although I loose the extra stability I gained by resting my middle finger on my index finger.


Between doing this, and only using indexfinger and pinky, is it a matter of personal preference, or is one way "better" then the other?
This also means that I should mute the other strings with my index finger rather then with my pinky, correct?


I think it's all a matter of personal preference mate. In general when you do fret the powerchord, it is maybe better to involve the ring finger, because you leave the pinky for some fretting on other strings if you know what I mean.
When you barre the fifth and octave with your pinky finger as you do in another way that you showed, I think it is better to use the ring finger to barre these two strings. Since you ring finger is long, you can achieve it through practice. I say what is IMO the most natural way, but I've seen a lot of good players that fret the powerchords on both ways you do it, and it can sound good no problem, so I can't see why this could be wrong.
If the sound your fingers produce is good and you feel comfortable playing like that, I say keep the fretting as it is.
Regarding the muting, it is good to mute with index by just gently laying out the index finger on top of the strings, so you leave other strings free for other fretting.


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Hyunkell
post Dec 25 2008, 08:54 PM
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Thanks Ivan smile.gif
Good to know that I can do it both ways, after doing some practicing I think I'll go with the approach that involves the ringfinger.
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