7. Intro to Open Chords – G Major (BC-102)

G:1[G Major]
EADGBE

Chord Spelling: G – B – D
Scale Intervals: 1 – 3 – 5
Name Variations: G – G Major – Gmaj

The G chord is made up of the notes G, B and D. The chord diagram shows the G Major chord in the open position (near the guitar nut) and uses all six strings on the guitar.

To fret the chord, place your middle finger on the third fret of the low E string to fret the G note (shown in orange, below), this is the root note of the chord. We can work out this is a G note if we count up three frets from the low E string: F, F#, G. The grey notes in the diagram below are to illustrate how to count up through the notes and are not included in the chord.

fretboard option width=825 option height=240 show fret=1 string=6 text=F fill-color=#cccccc show fret=2 string=6 text=F# fill-color=#cccccc show fret=3 string=6 text=G color=white fill-color=#dd9933

Next, place your index finger on the second fret of the A string to play the B note. Again, if we count up two frets from the A string (A#, B), we can work out this note is B. The next three strings are open strings and don’t require you to fret any notes. These are the open strings, D, G, B.

fretboard option width=825 option height=240 show fret=3 string=6 text=G color=white fill-color=#dd9933 show fret=1 string=5 text=A# fill-color=#cccccc show fret=2 string=5 text=B color=white fill-color=#dd9933

Lastly, use your ring finger to fret the G note on the third fret of the high E string. The notes on the high E string are in exactly the same positions on the low E string, so we know the third fret is a G.

fretboard option width=825 option height=240 show fret=3 string=6 text=G color=white fill-color=#dd9933 show fret=2 string=5 text=B color=white fill-color=#dd9933 show fret=1 string=1 text=F color=white fill-color=#cccccc show fret=2 string=1 text=F# color=white fill-color=#cccccc show fret=3 string=1 text=G color=white fill-color=#dd9933

We’ll be playing all six strings, so the final chord contain the following notes:

fretboard option width=825 option height=240 show fret=3 string=6 text=G color=white fill-color=#dd9933 show fret=2 string=5 text=B color=white fill-color=#dd9933 show fret=0 string=4 text=D color=white fill-color=#dd9933 show fret=0 string=3 text=G color=white fill-color=#dd9933 show fret=0 string=2 text=B color=white fill-color=#dd9933 show fret=3 string=1 text=G color=white fill-color=#dd9933

When you have all the notes fretted, the chord should look like the image below. Note that the thumb is pressing lightly on the back of the fretboard. Try strumming all six strings to see how the chord sounds. If it doesn’t sound quite right, check that you have fretted the correct notes, and that you are not touching any of the open strings with your fingers.

 

Tip 1: When placing your fingers on the strings, try to ensure your finger is placed in the middle of the fret (or as close to the middle as you can comfortable play) to ensure even pressure on the string.
Tip 2: Make sure to place enough pressure on the string so that it is in contact with the fretboard. The string will buzz or sound muffled if you are not pressing hard enough. You will need a firm pressure, but don’t press too hard – just enough so that the note plays cleanly.
Tip 3: If there are open strings in the chord, try to make sure you are not touching these with any of the fingers you are using on the fretboard. If you touch the open strings, they will either not sound out at all, or will sound muffled.
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