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Stairway to Heaven opening chord shape


Hot Topic Tourer
  • Oct 14, 2020
    Everett, Washington
    Ok. So I'm banging my head against the wall here. Finger picking and the other chord shapes are not a problem. I can't for the life of me figure out how to play that opening chord shape. No matter how I try, I can't get my ring or pinky finger to hit the 7th fret without muting the g string just below it. Even barring the 5th fret, once I make a move to put my ring or pinky on the 7th fret, my index finger comes off the b string. My thumb is squarely in the back of the neck but I can't get my ring and pinky to curl around. Obviously, I could just strike that "a" note and keep going without letting it ring, but that feels like it would be doing a disservice to the song. I refuse to use smallish hands as an excuse, but it's hard to not think that way. Especially when all the tutorials show people with long spider fingers. The rest of the intro is just fine. It's just that one shape and it's killing me. I really want to learn this intro.

    Ids Schiere

    Sold-out Crowd Surfer
    Nov 11, 2019
    I kinda have my thumb over the neck most of the time but I notice I tilt my wrist slightly when I get to that part. Bare in mind I have a freakishly flexible wrist(or so some of my friends and my brother told me) so what i do may not be comfortable for everyone.
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    Ed Seith

    Supreme Galactic Overlord
    Staff member
  • Nov 11, 2019
    Marana, AZ USA
    I've got big hands but short sausage fingers and I just looked at how I play that chord. You have to bend that last knuckle on the ring finger so it comes straight down on the string perpendicular. It's easy to get used to using those fingers flatter to help with muting on leads and stuff, so it's a completely different feel doing ringing chords.
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