View Full Version : cheating on chords

06-30-2002, 01:05 PM
does anyone on this forum cheat a little when they are fretting chords or is it just me? i use mainly barre chords. but i find that when barring a root 6 chord with the E form barre i favour freting it as a dom7 instead of a major chord.i also fret a root 4 barre using the D form as a dom7 insted of a major. the dom7 sound so much like a major. what do you guys think about this? should i pull my socks up or is it a common thing to do?
bye now

06-30-2002, 02:38 PM
Do you do this because the forms are easier to play? Or Do you do this because it sounds good?

You are in control of your own style, so if it is a better sound to you then do it, but if you are doing it because the forms are hard to play, maybe think about leaving some notes out. In playing with others you will not always be well received subtituting Dom7 for every Major chord ( except in some blues situations)

The Bash
06-30-2002, 09:53 PM
Why is a good Question and I totally agree with what he just said.
Is it for sake of sound or for ease.
And are you really sure your hearing the 7th.
What I mean by that is:
1) You may be killing the 7th (try holding down the chord form and picking each note one at a time to be sure it's actually sounding). Brian May often (not always) plays bar chords like this to open them up a bit and forgo doubling the root (but he kills the 4th string in case of a 6th string bar chord or 3rd string in case of a 5th string bar chord). This leaves him with just a root, 5th and 3rd if he wants it.
2) (And less likely, but just to be sure.) You may not be strumming more than two strings deep
thus not actually hitting the third. At least not often enough for the sound of the 7th to grap you.

About 75% of my students are begginers and one think I'm pretty strict about is that they can play (correctly and cleanly) the whole Bar chord. Grant it certain situations and a majority of the time in rock you may never hit more than the lowest 2 or 3 strings of a bar chord. In fact the (at least to me) the Major 3rd and sometimes minor 3rd can be deadly (they sound real bad if not carefuly used). And that comes back to what sounds good for that song.
A good rule is don't hit it just because its there and don't avoid it because its difficult (you'll get it). It's like painting a picture just because you have 1000 colours dosen't mean you have to slap them on all at one time. Less is often (and in most cases) more. On the other hand sometimes you really need that one special color.
There is another reason for this (and maybe its just me) but unless the song is really fast (say Master of Puppets, and this just to cut back on excess noise of sliding the hand around) I always fret the whole chord, even when playing just power chords which I'm probably doing 75% of the time or more during a show. (A lot of players will play power chords with just two fingers, using finger one on the root and 3 on the 5th)
I do this (hold down the whole chord, even when hitting only 2 or 3 strings) simply beacuse it sounds better (Thicker) to me.
There's proably an explanation for this: Overtones from the held but unstruck notes, would be my guess but I really don't know the answer. I just know it sounds thicker to me (Plus there's the built in Head Banging saftey factor of getting a little to wound up and hitting and extra string or 2. May not be the exact sound you were going for, but sure sounds better than atonal mess created by hitting a bunch of open strings.

So I guess what all that wind amount to was: Yes learn to play the whole chord.

06-30-2002, 10:16 PM
the only reason i substitute chords is because the fingering is easier for me and not because it sounds better. and judging by your replys i really should not be substituting. but if i ever want to fret a, E form barre major chord, above the 12th fret i have to substitue it for a dom7 cause i physicaly cant fret it. but having said that, you can strum every song on the planet bettween the nut and the 12th fret so the above is no excuse to subsitute.

06-30-2002, 11:54 PM
Do you have really big hands?
or does you guitar have really high action above the 12th fret?
Because these are the two reasons I can think of that would cause you not to be able to play this up there.

If your hands are Big Use an 'A' Form, if your action is high maybe you need to do a little work on your guitar. (or pay someone to do it for you)

07-01-2002, 01:35 PM
i am 6foot 4 with a size 13 shoe and yes my hands are big.while im here i want to ask is it a good idea to practise chords on the fret board the same way we practise modes(eg; in a linear fashion acording to there intervals). i just started doing this. i strum the Cmajor scale then the modes. but i am thinking is it a good practise thing? i know we do it with individual notes cause it helps with improvising. what do you guys think?

07-13-2002, 01:13 AM
hah hah, yeah I guess thats big enough :p

I'm 6 '3", and I have pretty big hands also.... I usually have problems past the 17 fret for soloing. I guess I'll have to lose some weight to make my fingers smaller :D

07-15-2002, 07:45 PM
You speak of big hands. Anybody remember Kane Roberts that played for Alice Cooper back in the mid to late '80's? He was a big boy who could shred and had hands that could crush rocks.

I've always been of the thinking that in the studio you should try and play full chords if you know what I mean (if it sounds better anyway) and on stage cheat a little if you can't reproduce it exactly. Live is far different than studio work. You can't convince me that some of the chord shapes illustrated in some of these tabs that I've seen are exactly what the guy is playing live while jumping around, singing backup, and entertaining the audience. I won't buy it.