General Question

Zyx's avatar

Guitar chords with for example the e string missing.

Asked by Zyx (4160points) June 21st, 2010

What should I do to keep those strings out of the chords? Is it a right hand thing?

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9 Answers

jfos's avatar

If you mean e as in the low e (fattest string if you have a 6-string), then yes, it can be a right hand thing. You could start your strum at the A string, and therefore leave the e string out completely. You could also use your left hand fingers to mute the string.

If you touch a string without pressing it down to the fretboard, it will usually be muted. The exception for this is natural harmonics (maybe you’ve experimented by lightly touching strings on frets 5, 7, 12, 18, etc. to discover the natural harmonics).

If you want to mute a string that is in between other strings that you want to play notes on, then it’s probably best to use your left hand. Experiment with touching strings to mute them. Play a G chord (not barre) and slightly lay down the finger you’re using to press 2 on the A string. It should mute at least the D string.

I hope this was written well enough to understand.

Randy's avatar

It is a picking hand problem. With enough practice, you can master it but muting it is the best way to make sure it doesn’t make a sound. In the chord you’re using as an example, do you use all four of your other fingers? Place whatever extra finger you have, (or the back part, closest to your hand) just slightly over the e string so that when you hit it, it makes a dead sound and doesn’t ring.

Another trick that helped me a lot with that is to place the palm of your picking hand on the bridge of the guitar and use your wrist instead of your arm to pick. It gives you a better idea of where you’re strings are.

Buttonstc's avatar

Are you referring to something like a “cheater G” chord?

I’m a very basic guitar player because I have such small hands with really short fingers.

Spanning a regular G chord just wasn’t workable for me, so a friend of mine suggested a “cheater G” where the top strings are depressed but the bottom E string is left out altogether. I just had to remember not to do a full strum.

I’m sure pro musicians would look down their noses at me for it but I just wanted some basic accompaniment when singing with my Elementary school students. They were less interested in music criticism than just having a good time singing.

So shoot me at high noon. It worked fine for what I needed it for :)

Zyx's avatar

@jfos Thanks, that’s pretty much what I was looking for. I suddenly noticed there is no E in a C chord, and I was having some (a lot) trouble playing fast up and down and avoiding that string and that string only. Guess I’ll just mute it for now.

stratman37's avatar

Oh, for cryin’ out loud – go buy some new strings!

LeotCol's avatar

When I want to mute the sound of the E string (the bigger deeper one) I wrap my thumb over the top of the fretboard and touch it. It stops it from vibrating and thus makes very little noise. Assuming you are a right handed guitarist then this would be a left hand thing.

Andreas's avatar

“I suddenly noticed there is no E in a C chord…”

@Zyx The C chord is made up of C E and G, the E usually being top E (thinnest string). A major chord (the C chord is more correctly C major chord) is made by the following:
Root note (C in this case) then up four semitones (E) and then up three more semitones (G).

I hope this helps.

jfos's avatar

@Andreas Good explanation, but it looks like you’re saying “A major” chord, instead of a “major chord.” Even though the semitones part still applies, it might be confusing to someone.

Andreas's avatar

@jfos You’re correct, it does sound like that. My modified statement is: THE major chord (the “C chord” is more correctly the “C major chord”) is made by the following: etc

Thank you for the heads up. ;-)

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