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Three finger power cords

Alicia Willis

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  • Nov 11, 2019
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    My husband and I just got into a discussion about three finger power chords.
    I basically brought up how I can flatten my ring ringer to hit two strings perfectly, but thought it was wrong and have been trying to use my pinky instead.

    He brought up the fact that Paul Stanley plays his power chords the same way I was doing, and that it’s not “wrong” if you’re hitting the notes and it feels comfortable.


    So my question is, do you guys use your pinky or is there anyone else who flattens their ring finger out ?
     

    Alicia Willis

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  • Nov 11, 2019
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    This is how I do it (excuse the chipped polish) lol
     

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    Donovan Etue

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  • Nov 11, 2019
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    I'd go with whatever was comfortable for me. I play power chords pretty much only using the index and ring or index and middle. Neither of them are necessarily wrong nor right. Can you play the power chord with your index and ring? Cool! Can you play them with your index, ring, and pinky? Cool! I will say though if you use just your index and ring it does leave room for you to add more notes for more chord options. Whatever works for you without hurting yourself is probably a fine way to go.
     
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    Jesse Salmons

    Stairway to Heaven Tab Studier
    Nov 11, 2019
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    Depending on the music, for thrash i do index and pinky. For classic rock, ill use index, ring and pinky just so i can throw in the ocatve note! Just whatever feels comfortable works for me😂
     
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    Lucas Weiman

    Free Bird Player
    Nov 11, 2019
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    It's fine if that is the only thing you are going to use them for, however if you ever want to be able to play 6-string major and minor barre chords you are going to have to use your pinky (since it involves the same shape, but with more notes on the higher strings) otherwise you won't be able to play them with with that flattened (barred) ring finger, so you might want to get started on building that muscle now.... but at the end of the day it's up to you.
     
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    Calvin Phillips

    Music Theory Bragger
    Nov 11, 2019
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    I use my pinky but I also move my pinky around and the best way to keep it close imo is to use it in the chord. If I'm baring more then 2 strings that obviously changes.
     
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    Calvin Phillips

    Music Theory Bragger
    Nov 11, 2019
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    It's fine if that is the only thing you are going to use them for, however if you ever want to be able to play 6-string major and minor barre chords you are going to have to use your pinky (since it involves the same shape, but with more notes on the higher strings) otherwise you won't be able to play them with with that flattened (barred) ring finger, so you might want to get started on building that muscle now.... but at the end of the day it's up to you.
    I think that's an big reason why I was able to transition easily when I started using my pinky more in lead. I also feel the tone sounds different with the pinky over a barred ring.
     

    Lindsey

    Music Theory Bragger
  • Nov 16, 2019
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    You're right, it's not wrong.
    Playing like this can actually be very beneficial once you add more notes to a chord, or when you have to bar 2 strings in 'jazz' chords.
    Just be careful this habit doesn't get in your way when playing chords you shouldn't do it to.
     
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    Andrei Moraru

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  • Nov 11, 2019
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    I use 3 fingers. Way more comfortable. May explain why I hate certain CAGED system chord forms so much :LOL:. But as long as it's not damaging your techniques or playing, you can do whatever you want, though as a sort-of bookworm myself, I prefer to do things correctly. Unless it's sweep picking and finger rolling, where all bets are off. My muscle memory is weird for those.
     
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    Alicia Willis

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  • Nov 11, 2019
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    It's fine if that is the only thing you are going to use them for, however if you ever want to be able to play 6-string major and minor barre chords you are going to have to use your pinky (since it involves the same shape, but with more notes on the higher strings) otherwise you won't be able to play them with with that flattened (barred) ring finger, so you might want to get started on building that muscle now.... but at the end of the day it's up to you.
    Depending on the music, for thrash i do index and pinky. For classic rock, ill use index, ring and pinky just so i can throw in the ocatve note! Just whatever feels comfortable works for me😂
    Good info. I can play with with the ring finger and pinkie, this is just like what feels “natural” to me.
    I was curious if others did this as well.
     
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    Sayonil Mitra

    Free Bird Player
    Nov 11, 2019
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    Alicia I use my pinky, and i find it really impressive that you (and some other guitarists) can actually bend their ring finger to play power chords. But, everyone's body, hands, fingers, comfort level acts and reacts differently. Do what you feel comfortable. eventually, you will face power chords which will force you to involve all 3 fingers - index, ring, pinky. Until then...
     

    Alicia Willis

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  • Nov 11, 2019
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    Alicia I use my pinky, and i find it really impressive that you (and some other guitarists) can actually bend their ring finger to play power chords. But, everyone's body, hands, fingers, comfort level acts and reacts differently. Do what you feel comfortable. eventually, you will face power chords which will force you to involve all 3 fingers - index, ring, pinky. Until then...
    Thanks. Kind of what I was thinking. I can play with three fingers but it just seems easier most of the time (especially with the easier things I play) to just flatten out the ring finger. Oddly enough, that’s the only finger I can flatten like that lol. I call it my my wonky finger 😂
     
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