Tips & Techniques

Add easy flourish to C-F-G-Am

Lesson #223

Video Overview

Get the PDF chord sheet (2 pages)

  • Support me on Patreon.com to get access to this and 200+ other PDF chord sheets I've made, plus new PDFs I make going forward (1-2 added each week).
  • The cost is $3/month (one month minimum, cancel anytime). Here's a free sample if you're on the fence. Thanks for supporting me & this project!
Download the PDF on Patreon

After clicking the button and logging in to Patreon, look for the PDF attached to the bottom of the post.

Editor’s notes

A favorite tip of mine, while playing songs in the key of C, is using the following improvisational flourish to spice up the C, Am, F, and G chords. By only removing & adding a single finger on your left hand – middle, index, or pinky – you can create a distinct effect on each of the four chords mentioned above. What’s better, is you can mix and match these flourish notes freely - and it’ll always sound good! In this lesson, I’ll show you how.

For each of the techniques below, get comfortable by being able to remove & add the individual left-hand finger noted in each heading – for each of the four chords. Once you feel comfortable with this, try to play freely using these four chords - in any order you want, using any strumming pattern you want! Add & remove the noted finger as you desire. Then learn the next technique – and return to the improvisational play, this time switching up which fingers you’re removing or adding.

The end result is ideally the ability to freely jump between these four chords, but do so in a way where you’re always able to add interesting flourish via the techniques shown here.

Technique 1: Removing/Adding Middle Finger

E ––0––––0––    ––0––––0––    ––0––––0––    ––3––––3––
B ––1––––1––    ––1––––1––    ––1––––1––    ––0––––0––
G ––0––––0––    ––2––––0––    ––2––––0––    ––0––––0––
D ––2––––0––    ––2––––0––    ––3––––3––    ––0––––0––
A ––3––––3––    ––0––––0––    ––––––––––    ––2––––0––
E ––––––––––    ––––––––––    ––––––––––    ––3––––3––
    C    *        Am   *      Fmaj7  *        G    *  

Technique 2: Removing/Adding Index Finger

E ––0––––0––    ––0––––0––    ––3––––3––    ––3––––3––
B ––1––––0––    ––1––––0––    ––1––––0––    ––0––––1––
G ––0––––0––    ––2––––2––    ––2––––2––    ––0––––0––
D ––2––––2––    ––2––––2––    ––3––––3––    ––0––––0––
A ––3––––3––    ––0––––0––    ––––––––––    ––x––––x––
E ––––––––––    ––––––––––    ––––––––––    ––3––––3––
    C    *        Am   *      Fadd9  *        G    *

Technique 3: Removing/Adding Pinky Finger

E ––0––––3––    ––0––––3––    ––0––––3––    ––3––
B ––1––––1––    ––1––––1––    ––1––––1––    ––0––
G ––0––––0––    ––2––––2––    ––2––––2––    ––0––
D ––2––––2––    ––2––––2––    ––3––––3––    ––0––
A ––3––––3––    ––0––––0––    ––––––––––    ––2––
E ––––––––––    ––––––––––    ––––––––––    ––3––
    C    *        Am   *      Fmaj7 Fadd9     G

Chord shapes

Here’s the four chord shapes we’ll be basing this practice tip upon. These chords are very frequently used together in songs (they’re all in the key of C), so it’s very common you’ll use them together.

E ––0––  ––0––  –(1)–  ––3––
B ––1––  ––1––  ––1––  ––0––
G ––0––  ––2––  ––2––  ––0––
D ––2––  ––2––  ––3––  ––0––
A ––3––  ––0––  ––3––  ––2––
E –––––  –––––  –(1)–  ––3––
    C      Am     F      G  

Here’s the specific finger positions we’ll want to use for this practice tip. For the F and the G specifically, you’ll want to follow the my notes below (which will enable you to add the flourish I’ll show later on):

E ––0––                   E ––0––                  E ––x––                   E ––3–– <= left pinky
B ––1–– <= left index     B ––1–– <= left index    B ––1–– <= left index     B ––0––
G ––0––                   G ––2–– <= left ring     G ––2–– <= left middle    G ––0––                 
D ––2–– <= left middle    D ––2–– <= left middle   D ––3–– <= left ring      D ––0––
A ––3–– <= left ring      A ––0––                  A ––x––                   A ––2–– <= left middle    
E –––––                   E –––––                  E ––x––                   E ––3–– <= left ring  
    C                         Am                       F                         G  

For the F, there’s actually a few ways you can approach it (all of which are easier than the full 6-string barred version). It’s ideal to know all of these:

E ––x––                   E ––x––                  E ––0––                   E ––3–– <= left pinky               
B ––1–– <= left index     B ––1–– <= left index    B ––1–– <= left index     B ––1–– <= left index
G ––2–– <= left middle    G ––2–– <= left middle   G ––2–– <= left middle    G ––2–– <= left middle
D ––3–– <= left ring      D ––3–– <= left pinky    D ––3–– <= left ring      D ––3–– <= left ring  
A ––x––                   A ––3–– <= left ring     A ––x––                   A ––x––               
E ––x––                   E ––x––                  E ––x––                   E ––x––               
    F                         F                      Fmaj7                     Fadd9       

Good luck!

I hope this was helpful for you. As always, it’s best to see my video lesson for reference. Please let me know what questions you have, and until next time - best of luck!

Enjoy my lessons? Buy me a beer!

If this and my other lessons have proven helpful to you, please consider making a one-time donation to my tip jar. Contributions of any amount help make this project possible (including the many, many hours I put into it).

You can also support me on Patreon. For only $3/month you'll get access to a print-friendly PDF of my notes for each new lesson (view free sample).

Thanks!


Subscribe to my YouTube channel

Be sure to never miss a lesson by subscribing on YouTube. I put out 2-3 new videos every week. These include full song lessons, as well as covers, practice tips, behind-the-scenes updates. Thanks!


Recent video lessons:

πŸ“ Print-friendly PDFs now available for all new lessons I make, including all those listed below. Get a free sample Β»


← back to lesson list