Playing Chords - I got questions!

Discussion in 'Ask Steve Lawson & Michael Manring' started by Phil Smith, Aug 16, 2002.

  1. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    Steve and Michael,

    I was wondering how you guys go about playing chords, i.e. what finger configuration do you use for Maj7, Min7, Dom7, MajMin7, Min7b5? Currently what I do to finger a CMaj7 chord, is to place my middle finger on the C, index finger on the E and pinky on the B, to play a C7 I pick up the pinky and use the third finger for the Bb, to play a C-7, I place my index finger on the Eb, middle finger on the C and third finger on the Bb. Depending on the situation I'll strum with my thumb or I'll pick with thumb, index and middle finger of the right hand. I'm playing a five with a high C and usually do this higher up the neck where the stretch isn't as great.

    What do you guys do?
  2. Steve Lawson

    Steve Lawson Solo Bass Exploration! Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2000
    Birmingham, UK
    Hi Phil,

    the chord shapes that you're using are good ones - if you're playing a three note chord, the fifth is 'generally' the one to leave out (unless you particularly want it there) - partly because unless it's altered, the sound of the fifth is so familiar that your ear will fill it in anyway, and partly because, to assist us in doing that, it's the second harmonic of the fundemental anyway, so it is there in the chord, albeit in a subtle way.

    I'd suggest experimenting with putting fourths/seconds/sixths into chords, in different combinations with or without the other chord notes - R,4,5; R,2,5; R,5,9; R,5,6; R,2,Maj7 etc, and then stretch them out over four strings.

    I could write them out, but that would rob you of the fun of working them out! :)

    have fun.