Guitar/G without pinky

Gitarre/ Navi

Side note on fingering


This article is only intended for guitar players who have already learned a little guitar and have perhaps learned a chord (especially G major) with a different fingering.

Unfortunately, people who are changing their way of playing the guitar often have problems playing G major with their little finger ("I've always played it like this, why should I play it differently...").

New learners, on the other hand, have much less trouble learning G major with the little finger. For them, every chord is difficult anyway. They don't even notice that G major should be more difficult than any other chord. It does represent a small hurdle, and you may have to make do with a slightly imprecise chord for a few days, but it rarely takes more than two weeks (or two lessons) to master G major. And after three weeks you'll wonder what the problem actually was. But once you've mastered G major with the little finger, I can guarantee that you'll pass the campfire and folk diplomas. Future lessons (including melody picking, solo playing, other chords with the little finger) will also be easier because the little finger has been trained right from the start.

Unnecessary mass migration with the imr-G


If you can already play the guitar a little, you may have looked in other books and noticed that the G major chord can be played in a different way. It will often happen that a book or a guitar player plays a chord differently than the one taught in this course.

The G major chord can also be played without the little finger. We can only hope that no one is now thinking "Why didn't they tell you that right away, it's so much easier!" This chord may be easier to play at first, but this supposed convenience comes at a high price.

If you have learned the G major chord in the slightly less elegant way (i.e. without the little finger), you should try the following:

Switch from the G major chord to the chords C, D and later F major as well as E and A minor.
With some chord changes, you will not notice any significant advantage or disadvantage. But with many other fingering changes, the disadvantage will be very noticeable. The change between G major and C major will be shown below, sometimes with one fingering and sometimes with the other.

With the first, more advantageous grip change, the fingers only have to move a little. With the second, supposedly "easier" grip, however, a kind of mass migration occurs.

Advantages of the G with pinky

Preview of upcoming lessons

The grips with the supposedly more comfortable fingerings may "work" for the first time, but sooner or later you will simply not be able to progress any further and will remain at a modest level because you will no longer be able to increase your own speed when changing. But even if you can change quickly enough, it will be much more difficult to follow the lessons in this course. Because a lot of things simply build on one another.

Advantages of a more consistent fingering changes


Switching to other grips is in most cases more ergonomic and therefore easier, faster and smoother with the pinky-variant.

There is a finger position for the middle finger and ring finger that can be found in 4 chords (and some variants):


These are suitable for:



In contrast, there is a second typical position of the middle and ring fingers:


für die Akkorde


When changing chords, a typical movement occurs:


These similarities make learning the basic chords easier.

Afterwards, it is also much easier to learn terms like "major third" and "fourth" because you already have them in your fingers somehow.

Without any significant effort, you can learn all the notes of the C major scale with a few tricks. If you can play the 6 open strings, then you only need to know where the root note is for one of the chords mentioned above in order to have another 6 notes. Because the root note is almost always under the ring finger of the chord of the same name. (Exception: A major, but there is also the alternative fingering that is used for Switching between E A and B7 is presented in the following folk diploma.


As you can see, there is nothing wrong with variations of chords in general. But not every variation that is available is ultimately cheap.



You can see from this animation that many chord changes are relatively similar if you use a similar fingering for all chords. These similarities make the fingering changes much smoother for the first chords you learn.


Advantages of learning the C major scale


The standard fingering helps you find all the notes on the fingerboard. For the easy "Ring finger rule" you need G major with your little finger.

Notes of the C major scale on the first 3 frets


For simple bass lines in C major, it is enough to learn one bass line and then simply transfer it to the other chords.


The ring finger always stays on the 3rd fret and the middle finger stays on the 2nd fret.

And so you can quickly learn part of the C major scale.


In my experience, calling out individual bass notes is easier if you can quickly derive them from the chord using the "open string rule" and "ring finger rule".

Advantages of the first technical exercises


If you have learned a bass run in C major, you can transfer it to the chords G major and F major without much practice. The same applies to the pull-off or hammer-on

It is much easier when you first learn hammering if you only have to concentrate on the middle finger.


First western accompaniments are so much easier to learn


I would have to forego all the learning benefits if I played a G like this:

E ||---|---|-R-|-
H ||---|---|---|-
G ||---|---|---|-
D ||---|---|---|-
A ||---|-I-|---|-
E ||---|---|-M-|-

Advantages of switching to similar chords


Other chords can be more easily derived from the standard G:


Advantages for other chords with the little finger


If you train your little finger from the beginning, it will be much easier for you to play other chords where you cannot do without your little finger (B7, E7, A7, etc.)


Advantages for later melody playing


At the latest when melody picking the G major variant without a little finger proves to be a hindrance. Many pieces from melody picking and from simple classical music cannot be played with the ZMR variant of G at all.

Freight train

The ZMRK variant


But don't get me wrong: as long as the result is right, no fingering is actually wrong in and of itself. It may even be that for a certain effect it makes sense to deviate from a standard fingering so that other fingerings are easier to achieve.

As long as a clear advantage can be achieved with one fingering, you can certainly try to learn both the one and the other fingering and use them as needed.

For example, the following variant of the G major chord:


I would like to save these as an alternative for later in the Ballad Diploma (Fixed Fingers), in order to combine them with chords such as Cadd9 (x32033), Dsus4 (xx0233), Em7 (022033) and/or A7us4 (x02233). But the extended chords are material for later, after you have mastered the basics.

With such fingering combinations (which often only work in a single key and for a few songs), it is worth learning a variant.

However, I strongly advise against preferring a finger position "just" because of its convenience, if you later have to pay for this convenience by losing speed when changing. I hope you have realized that the G major chord with the little finger has significantly more advantages overall than the variant without the little finger.

It is true that you have a little more trouble getting the fingering right in the first few days. But this will also be the case later with other chords. Experience has shown that barre chords will also take a few days or weeks to get right. You should experience right from the start that the initial effort is worth it. False ambition, that everything has to work out perfectly right away, is poison for learning the guitar.

If you have learned G major differently, simply learn G major with your little finger as a new chord and use it for all new songs. Many people have relearned years later because they have realized that it is worth it.

I know that you can learn G in one or two days with the ZMR variant, and that you need one or two weeks for the RMK variant to really get it right. But the extra work is quickly recouped later by the many learning advantages.

In my opinion, the RMK variant is far better preparation for playing the guitar than the ZMR variant.

Train your little finger right from the start


And if you start taking the supposedly easier route with G major, you will also avoid other grips that seem a bit more complicated at first. But at the latest with B7 (Folk Diploma), the little finger is absolutely necessary. Not to mention the barre chords (Rock Diploma)...

So why shouldn't you train your little finger right from the start?

The fingerings taught in this course are well thought out, systematically structured and have proven themselves in practice, and are therefore played exactly like this by most guitar players. Anyone who still insists on playing G major without a little finger without there being a real anatomical reason (tendons between the ring finger and little finger are too closely connected) should look for another course or another teacher.

 back to -General rules for fingering-