Beginner Guitar: 3 Useful Ways to Play a G Chord

By: Josh Lucas

You’ve heard the saying, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat,” right?

Well, there’s more than one way to play a G chord.

In fact, there’s more than one way to play the same exact one.


Well, what’s the toughest part about changing chords? For most people it’s rearranging your fingers into an entirely new chord shape. 

With a G chord, and with many chords, it’s possible to slightly alter the way that you play the chord to make it easier to get to the next chord.

Here are two different fingerings for the same G chord:

Here I use my Middle, Index, and Ring fingers. This is easiest to use in the key of G, especially when going between “G” and “D” or “G” and “E minor”
Here I use my Ring, Middle, and Pinkie Fingers. This is easiest to use in the key of C, especially moving to and from a C chord–but it works much better for your hand with every chord in the key.

Now here’s another way to play a G chord.

Here I’m using all four fingers as shown. This is commonly used in the key of G when moving to and from other chords that have extensions–such as Cadd9, Dsus4, and Em7. This works because you can keep your pinkie and ring finger planted, and this is a common move for folk-style players and strummers of all kinds.

You’ll notice a lot of the logic behind this–and these are not my ideas, they’re commonplace–is moving as few fingers as possible, or just moving as little as possible in general.

The next time you’re having trouble getting from chord to chord, think of this example. Then think, “Is there a way I could fret these chords that would involve less movement?”

Make things as easy as possible on yourself!

Let me know if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for future blog posts!

Have fun, practice hard!