5 Easy Acoustic Blues Songs help with road song section 3

ChristopherBrunner

Blues Newbie
Hi I am having trouble playing the A7 and E7 chords in the third section of "Road Song". I can't hold down strings 1 and 2 together while playing the rest of the chord, there is no way I can bend my first finger backwards far enough to hold these strings down while playing the rest of the chord. Is anyone else having this problem?
Has anyone had this problem and solved it
Thanks
Chris
 

Paleo

Lifelong Learner
Not sure about bending your first finger backward. :unsure:

Ouch!

Bending your finger back to "push" the strings down is more pressure than you need.

Just lay it flat with the pad across the top 2 strings for A and the top 3 for E.

Like you would for full barre chords but without needing the bottom strings.

I can remember as a beginner having trouble with an F chord in "open" position, holding down the top 2 strings with my first finger. o_O

It actually should be "easier" further up the neck. :giggle:
 
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dvs

Green Mountain Blues
What Paleo said.

Also, you could bar across the top 3 or 4 strings with your index finger in either (or both!) chords, whatever is easier. When I do this, my index finger feels flat on the fretboard, not bent backwards. Maybe it would help to kind of roll your hand clockwise around the neck just a little. You might not need to keep your thumb smack in the center of the neck for these chords, either.
 

Paleo

Lifelong Learner
Ah, yes.

Placement of the thumb makes all the difference.

Mine’s over the top.

I could potentially play 4 A’s in the chord!

But at least mute the 6th string.

If I’m playing just the top strings with my thumb in the center of the back of the neck my 1st finger will be bent “backward”.

But with my thumb up over the neck that’s not even possible.

When you watch Griff demonstrate the A chord you can see his thumb “peeking” over the top of the neck.

You might also refer back to Section 1 where he first discusses the “barred” A chord at the very beginning, following the initial pick up.
 
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BraylonJennings

Better than I was yesterday
I had a badly dislocated index finger which will still not bend much. I tend to just bar all six strings. It's very difficult for me to use my index on the skinny strings when I use my thumb over the top for barre chords, so I have to make do the best I can. Practicing these chords over and over can loosen and relax your hand until it becomes more natural.
 

TexBill

Learning Blues in Texas
Not sure about bending your first finger backward. :unsure:

Ouch!

Bending your finger back to "push" the strings down is more pressure than you need.

Just lay it flat with the pad across the top 2 strings for A and the top 3 for E.

Like you would for full barre chords but without needing the bottom strings.

I can remember as a beginner having trouble with an F chord in "open" position, holding down the top 2 strings with my first finger. o_O

It actually should be "easier" further up the neck. :giggle:
Paleo, what position (open or some other) are you referring to? In open position, I don't bend a finger backwards when playing A7 or E7. When I play an A at 2nd fret, I do bend my ring finger back just because it is easier on that finger than on the index finger. By easier I mean my ring finger is more flexible than any other on my fretting hand.

F chord at open position (index on top 2 strings) is one most strugle with, myself included. Practice, practice and practice with just index finger on strings 1 & 2 and then when you have that down, add middle finger on string 3 is what worked for me.
 

Paleo

Lifelong Learner
Paleo, what position (open or some other) are you referring to?
The position used at the beginning of Section 3.

Check out the top of page 8 in the manual, measure 2.

"Open F" shape, 5th position, with open 5th/A string.
 

TexBill

Learning Blues in Texas
The position used at the beginning of Section 3.

Check out the top of page 8 in the manual, measure 2.

"Open F" shape, 5th position, with open 5th/A string.
Thanks for the reference. That should not require bending the first (index) finger back to play A7 at 5th position. I don't get why ChristopherBrunner is having difficulty playing that shape. Same as playing "F" at 1st position with index finger on Top 2 Strings. Or am I missing something?
 

MikeS

Student Of The Blues
Staff member
Hi I am having trouble playing the A7 and E7 chords in the third section of "Road Song". I can't hold down strings 1 and 2 together while playing the rest of the chord, there is no way I can bend my first finger backwards far enough to hold these strings down while playing the rest of the chord. Is anyone else having this problem?
Has anyone had this problem and solved it
Thanks
Chris
Chris, Can you shoot a little phone video to show us the issue that you are having?
It might also help if you can tell us which bar on which page in the manual. Are you talking about bars 2 & 3 on page 8?
Here's how I play the chords at the top of page 8. No need to bend fingers backward at all.

Let me know if you need more help.
 

ChristopherBrunner

Blues Newbie
Thanks everyone for your input. I was trying to play the A7 chord like Griff does in the video, but it seems this isn't for me. After reading the replies to my question I worked out if I just bar across all six strings with my first finger I can play this chord. Now I just have to practice
Thanks
Chris
 

Griff

Chief Cook And Bottle Washer
Staff member
There are often little situations like that where, for whatever physical reason, the way I do something or the "normal way" isn't going to work for you. It sounds like you've found a workaround, but don't be afraid to use it. Modify things early and often as needed :)
 
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