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My Poor Fingers…

I like to contort my fingers into awkward positions on the fret board. In some strange way it creates a sense of relief. I like to move my hands around on the fret board to feel the strings and smell the wood. I don’t know how hard Mahogany Dreadnought is but it sure smells good and I hear the sounds of strings move beneath my fingers.

And so I contort my fingers and find the very essence of my soul. The place where I get to go and the place where I get to find my real self in the midst of a squall.

The conventional D-chord with an open 4th string just doesn’t cut if for anymore. I like the sound. It’s familiar yet I need more from the guitar. And so I wince in slight agony and push my ring finger up to the 6th string on the 3rd fret and drop my pinky down to the 2nd string on the 3rd fret and play the rest of the strings open. Ahhh…I feel the hollowness of it all. I can’t hold this in for one more second. I don’t want to always be or sound hollow though…so I add my middle finger to the 1st string on the 2nd fret and my index goes to the 3rd string on the 2nd fret. The 5th string is muted with an open D-4th string. I strum it all and let it ring true. Then I pull off the index and middle finger(s) simultaneously.

I leave the ring and pinky in there place, strum it open and then hammer-on and add Asus2 and pull-off just like that. Ok good. Repeat. Now let’s move toward a power chord. Middle and ring finger both on 3rd fret (5th and 6th string), index finger 2nd fret (4th string) with pinky on 3rd fret on the 1st string. Let all other open strings ring true. That’s a hearty sounding power chord. Now slide up the pinky to the 5th fret, 1st string and drop the index finger to the 3rd fret, 2nd string (while playing 3rd, 4th and 5th strings open with 6th string muted). It takes me and Chris Hadfield to the Moon every time.

Now slide up one more time, put the index finger on the 7th fret and 1st string with the middle finger on the 8th fret, 2nd string. Let all other strings ring open with the exception of the 6th string. Hear it ring open and true and then resolve all the way back to the modified and full 4-string G-chord.

And then contort again back to the original nearly impossible position and interchange with the 4-stringed Asus chord. It don’t get much simpler and levitating than this.

See you on the moon. I’m taking a Creemore Springs with me. It’s the only way I fly a space shuttle straight.

Matthew R. Polkinghorne

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