The guitar lesson that I had this week went over chord fingering for the guitar but this time, instead of playing the full chord, we concentrated on just using two or three strings.
By way of example, when you play a barred G chord, you have your index finger across all the strings on the third fret, and the three remaining fingers make what is a basic E configuration. But because it’s done on the third fret, it’s going to be a G chord.
Now suppose you take the index finger off the fretboard, but leave your remaining fingers in place. If you play those three strings that your fingers are depressing, you still get a G chord.
But because you are not using all six strings, you get a different kind of chord. Not one that was as full and one that may make it easier for your voice to cut thru the guitar and be heard when you sing.
And, as you will recall, saving your full chords for the chorus gives the chorus more impact and size to the listener.
By reversing your fingers and putting your index finger on the third fret the fourth string, you add an F note which turns the G into a G7 chord. But because you are only using those three notes, you are getting a different sounding G7 chord.
Try this out on the neck, everywhere up and down the frets. Practice making these three chord configurations until you fingers can do it without you thinkning about it.
Now take a song that you have been doing and replace the chords you were using with these simpler three finger chords in the verses and then go back to the chords you were using for the chorus.
Can you hear the difference? This is such a simple technique to give your songs more impact and make them more interesting to listen to. If you are playing solo, this is key to growing as an artist.
Playing the same chord configurations all the time makes your songs have a sameness, regardless of the tempo.