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Dropping high e to c? Help with Coldplay songhow to play awkward looking chords

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#1 AxSlinger


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Posted 14 April 2009 - 08:28 PM

I picked up the guitar again after not playing AT ALL for over a year, and my hands are in all sorts of aches and pains, but that's beside the point.

I was looking at this live radio studio performance from coldplay, and also managed to find that someone tabbed that performance (for the song "the Scientist"), however something struck me as a little odd.

Youtube video:

I can manage to play these chords, however, with just muting the Low E string. It would be easier to barre the fret on these chords, but apparantly (according to just some dude who tried to figure this out himself) the high c string needs to be played open.

Can someone offer a suggest as to how to play these chords, and/or look at the video and offer a suggestion (maybe with even a different or standard tuning) on how to play it like Chris Martin does in the video?

Help is much appreciated, and thank you in advanced to all.

Here is the score below...

guitar is tuned to E A D G B c






Edited by AxSlinger, 14 April 2009 - 08:29 PM.

#2 dadfad



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Posted 15 April 2009 - 03:51 AM

Instead of barring the chords in the more common way, you use your thumb on the six-string. For example for an F-chord 133210 you'd hold it TRPMIO. (There are other similar ways too like the R holding both the 5th and 4th strings, but still using your thumb on the 6th-string.)

The ability to use your thumb on the 6th (and sometimes 5th) string can open up a few things that just can't be done holding the more conventional barre chord. Some people (typically classically-taught form-Nazis) would say (insert pompous voice here) "One should NEVER use ones thumb to fret with." Forget that, at least when playing real-world guitar. There are things that simply cannot be played any other way.

I've mentioned it before in this forum that once I was in a discussion with one of the afore said classical form-Nazis about using the thumb. He said anything that can be played can be played using "correct" (as he called it) technique. I said it couldn't and he said play something using your thumb that I can't play "correctly." Which I was happy to hear him say because there are lots of things, some just easier using your thumb, but some that just simply cannot be played any other way. I did a Blind Blake-style run out of G, relatively simple. If you hold it like Blake did (or like my teacher John Jackson). After struggling with it for a few minutes, he finally gave up and said (in his pouty pompous voice) "Nobody wants to play that crap anyway." (Pwned laugh2.gif )

(Oh, b/t/w, that run comes out of what would normally be a simple open G-chord 320003. If you use your thumb to hold the 3xxxxx, the tip of your thumb can also mute the un-needed 5th-string (unused when playing an alternating bass-line on the 6th and 4th strings. This now allows you free use of your other four fingers on the other side of the neck where you can now play treble runs on the 1st and 2nd (and 3rd) strings on all the frets from open to (depending on your span) the 7th fret easily as you alternate.) (That has nothing to do with using your thumb for barre-chords exactly, but is an example of how the ability to use the thumb can greatly enhance ones playing.)

When playing a barre-chord (like the E-shaped moveable barre), usually you don't need or even want the entire 6-string chord sound. More often than not you just want the bassier part (like say on the 6-5-4-3-x-x strings) or the treblier part (like on the x-x-4-3-2-1 strings). In those cases there's no reason to hold a full 6-string barre. You can if you want, but it's not necessary and so you can just hold the strings you need (which often will free up a finger to do something else with). On holding the bassier sounding partial-barres, the thumb is perfect to hold the 6-string. It can also be used on the 5th as well (like say for the A-shaped moveable barre).

It might seem like it requires larger hands to do this, but it really doesn't. It just reqires a little practice. (I don't have large hands at all.) I use my thumb often for what would normally be index-barred chords, especially like when playing rhythm or just strumming. It's not an excuse for not being able to hold and play a conventional moveable index-barred chord correctly. It's just another option, and the more options one learns and can use, the more he can do on his guitar.

Anyway, I hope that helped a little.

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