Guitar Chords – The Key of G

Songs written in G offer guitarists an abundance of melodic possibilities, making this key the foundation for such iconic tunes as God Save the Queen and Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.

Here is an easy variation of the standard G shape that only uses one finger (plus open strings). It will make transitioning from this chord to C much simpler as all that will need to change is moving your index and middle fingers.

Open Position

Open chords provide an ideal foundation to learning new chord progressions. Easy to learn, play, and memorize, open chords can also be utilized across numerous genres including contemporary pop and singer-songwriter music.

Open position chords feature open strings (those without fingers on them) which, when plucked out while playing open chords, add a beautiful resonance and can add dimension to their sound.

Open chords also have another benefit: their mobility. Due to the open strings in each one, you can move this pattern up and down the fretboard to create different chords. A barre chord, wherein an index finger stretches across more than one note at once is also used this way, can help create chords more efficiently than ever. By learning this fingering method you will quickly be creating all sorts of different kinds of chords without difficulty.

One-Finger Position

Though technically this version of a G chord doesn’t fall strictly within the definition of a G major chord (since it lacks the third finger), it provides a quick and straightforward alternative that acts as an intermediate step between G6 and full G major shapes. To play it, fret the 2nd fret of low E string with your index finger while leaving your ring and pinkie fingers off the strings.

Practice will help your fingers find their ideal positions so that the first string (E) does not accidentally become muted, but once mastered it’s an excellent transition chord between more commonly played first position chords like C and any open chords you can play using only minor finger movement.

Two-Finger Position

Beginner guitarists frequently struggle with chords that require four fingers such as G major. Without proper care they could accidentally mutes some strings alongside those they are pressing which diminishes the crisp sounding chord.

For this reason, it is crucial that fingers remain curved rather than being held straight across the fretboard. This will also prevent your wrist from kinking forward in front of the neck which could lead to sore fingers and hinder clean chord playing.

To form this chord, place your middle finger on the third fret of the low E string, index finger on second fret of A string and ring finger on third fret of B string – leaving D and G strings open. This shape is commonly known as a power chord and can be heard on many rock songs such as Highway to Hell by Angus Young. Furthermore, this chord serves as a good introduction into playing standard first position C chords which require only moving your first finger up or down one string.

Three-Finger Position

G chords require extensive finger stretching for beginners to play correctly; however, there is an easier alternative that could help. It involves three fingers that don’t touch the lower string – perfect for newcomers to the guitar!

This version of a G chord involves placing your index finger on the third fret of the low E string while your middle finger rests at the second fret of A string – leaving out pinky finger open as part of this arrangement. This version is known as G6 chord.

Watching this video of The Carter Family singing Bury Me Beneath the Willow is an excellent way to gain more practice using this hand shape in G key. Note how their guitarist uses it with a capo on the fourth fret for added effects that create chord sounds similar to C and help transition songs between keys easily.