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G Chord Voicing

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Trusted Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 54
Topic starter  

Usually I see G written out as 320003. Occasionally I see 3X0003. Other times I see 320033. The first alternate mutes the 3rd that shows up on the A string, the second replaces the 3rd on the B string with the 5th. Is it desirable not to have the 3rd show up twice in one chord, or are these alternates just used for different effect?

Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 10264

It doesn't really matter; as long as you have D G and B notes there, in whatever order, it'll sound like a G chord. Although having said that, the 320033 fingering always sounds a little more full to my ears. Hey if you fancy a change, you could always go for a G5 playing a mini-barre across the E and B strings with your 1st finger, using your ring and pinky for the A and D strings and your thumb for the bottom E string. You're just using the first and fifth there - GDGGDG.

:D :D :D


"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)

Eminent Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 25

They say if there are many cures for a disease, you can be sure there is no cure. But when it comes to voicings for an open G chord, different ones solve different challenges.

In general, I prefer the 3x0003 voicing. That low 3rd sounds a little muddy to me (though it's a minor gripe). In general, crowding bass notes too close together tends to muddy things up.

Also, that voicing, when played by the 3rd and 4th fingers, frees you up to play these embellishments: 3x2013 and 3x0013, which can spice up your G if you're sitting on it for a while.

320033 is a good bet if you're playing a song like "Wish You Were Here" (Pink Floyd), "Cannonball" (Damien Rice), "Closer to Fine" (Indigo Girls), or Wonderwall (Oasis), where you have your 3rd and 4th fingers parked on the 3rd fret of the 1st and 2nd strings, and the other fingers cruise around changing the bass notes. I call these G-whiz songs, as in, "G-whiz! This is easier than it sounds!" Corny, I know. I teach a lot of kids.


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Trusted Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 54
Topic starter  

I tend to mute the A string whether I want to or not, so it's good to know I'm not muddying my low 3rd! Thanks Vic and Rob - very enlightening.