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Guitar Technique:
Practicing Unusual Fretting

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Unusual fingerings can sometimes be a real killer to the Beginner or Intermediate guitarist. So, when it comes to making any strides within this area of technique, we need to come up with practical exercises. The exercises must promote increases in hand and finger fretting technique - including barring. However, at the same time these exercises should not be overly challenging either.

This 3 chord progression moves from a fairly standard B Mi half-baree (4th string root chord) over to a chord with the same geometry as the first chord, but this time built off of 5th string and generating an “E Aug.” chord type. Finally, the resolution chord in the 2nd measure is a thumb in the bass “F# Major.”

Applying the same 3 chord progression, only this time, we'll resolve into an “F# Minor.” This works quite well due to both the limited tones and somewhat ambiguous nature of the chords found in measure one.

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This example uses a unique fingering of a 5th string root dominant 7th chord and moves into a 5th string root Major chord missing the fifth degree tone. Next, comes a unique power-chord shape that has it’s root upon the 5th string, but transfers the 5th chord tone as well as, an octave with an unusual layout.

This example introduces an altered chord. This chord type takes some getting used to. The fingering is tight and requires an index finger barre, with middle and ring fingers covering two strings all within a ½ step of each other. The other unique chord here is the (add2) which requires a stretch out from your small finger, that may take a little getting used to.

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