1 next level guitar beginner dvd series 5

1 next level guitar beginner dvd series 5
NEXT LEVEL GUITAR
BEGINNER DVD SERIES 5-8 BOOKLET
INTRODUCTION:
Hello good people! David Taub here and I just wanted to take a second to thank you for purchasing our instructional
product. I think you will find that our teaching methods here at next level guitar are of the best available on the market
today. We will get you playing guitar and moving to the next level in the fastest and most efficient manner. This booklet
was designed to coincide with the video instructional lessons on beginner series DVDs 5-8. As you are watching the video
lessons I will make references to this booklet. Just flip to the corresponding page in this booklet as per the lessons.
Throughout my teaching career I have found that the fastest and most efficient way for students to learn guitar is to have
the combination of seeing the lessons combined with having written reference materials for students to read and study. So
by having all the learning tools at your disposal you will be amazed at how fast we can get your playing to the next level.
The first few parts of this booklet are a review of a guitar primer, the common open chords, and chord changing
techniques. You may be familiar with these materials from our first DVD series. Guitar is all about technique, so I think it’s
so critical that you have a solid foundation before moving to the next level – so a little review can be quite helpful.
Print out this booklet and keep it in a three ring binder with your other practice logs and reference materials. Keep it handy
so you can refer to it when practicing. Add filler paper to your binder and keep a practice log of the items you are working
on, what needs work, chord changes, progressions, etc.
Remember to follow our structured curriculum, practice the right things, and keep developing your ear. I wish you the best
of luck in all your musical endeavors. Please let us know if you have any questions, you can email us at
[email protected] and also please check out our website at www.nextlevelguitar.com
Thanks again, enjoy the journey, and……..ROCK ON!
David Taub
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Lesson
Page
Guitar primer – 17 essential points to remember..................................................... 2
Open position chords major and minor .................................................................... 3
Open position chord changing techniques and principles ....................................... 4-9
Chords to embellish with – Suspended, Add, and major 7th chords ....................... 10
th
Chords – Open position dominant 7 chords........................................................... 11
Slash Chords............................................................................................................ 12
Notes on the Fretboard ............................................................................................ 13
th
Open position Major 7 chords ................................................................................ 14
The Capo.................................................................................................................. 15
Chord Construction .................................................................................................. 16-17
Building chords from the major scale – major key ................................................... 18
th
Moveable Bar Chords – 6 string roots.................................................................... 19
th
Moveable Bar Chords – 5 string roots.................................................................... 20
Key chart – songwriting in major key ....................................................................... 21-22
Copyright David Taub, 2005 - all rights reserved – unauthorized duplication or distribution is prohibited
1
Guitar primer – 17 essential points to remember
-written by David Taub
1. Always start with a warm up to get your fingers, wrist, and picking hand warm and loose. If you have
come in from the cold, warm up your hands with warm water. Also do the finger stretches and warm
ups that I have discussed – they really help.
2. Wash and thoroughly dry your hands before picking up the guitar. It will keep oily residues and dirt off
the fingerboard and your hands will be clean to pick and finger notes.
3. Keep the fingernails on your fret hand short. If not your nails will interfere with the fretting of notes on
the fingerboard. If you press straight down with one finger on a solid surface, like a tabletop, and you
feel the nail hitting the table before your fingertip, your nails are too long and will need to be cut.
4. Keep your guitar neck and fret board clean. Wipe it down after playing – this keeps the neck clean and
prolongs string life.
5. A small degree of fingertip soreness and wrist discomfort is normal for the beginning guitarist. This will
get less and less and eventually disappear. But if you feel big pain in the wrist or arm, STOP. Check
that you are utilizing proper technique. Check that your fret hand is always close to the fret board,
fingers not flying out of position, wrist is down, fingers cupped and on your fingertips when fretting notes
and chords. Ensure your thumb does not slide out of position.
6. Big pain is your bodies’ way of telling you something may be wrong. Give it a little rest and go back to it
later and make sure you always use the proper techniques.
7. Many of the concepts and applications we are going to study may take a little while to master. Even the
fingering of certain chords can take quite some time to master. This is normal so please do not get
discouraged. Remember, YOU CAN DO IT! It takes time to get your fingers, tendons, and muscles
used to bending in the way that is necessary to play guitar. Take your time, be patient and it will come –
I guarantee it!
8. Playing slow and in time is ALWAYS better than playing fast and sloppy. Always master a concept at
slow speeds before trying to play it faster. Speed will come in time.
9. Practice the right things. One of the most important things you need when learning guitar is
STRUCTURE. You just can’t be practicing any old thing. Follow the practice regimens and routines that
I have set up and you will be rocking out in no time.
10. You don’t necessarily have to set aside one or two hour chunks of time to play each day. I find a few 15
or 20-minute blocks of time throughout the day works real well. Or if you have a spare ten minutes pick
up the guitar and practice. You will be amazed how all those ten-minute sessions really add up. Don’t
think that you HAVE to have an hour block for practice to have value.
11. For the most part keep your thumb anchored firmly on the back of the guitar neck about even with your
second finger or between your first and second fingers, (except when needed to mute strings – a very
important concept to playing chords and notes cleanly that we will study later).
12. Eventually you want to try and always memorize the notes that make up a chord or a scale, not just the
fingering or shapes. It will make you a much better guitarist in the long run and you will be able to speak
“the language” of music when conversing with other musicians, writing songs, playing with your friends,
or in a band situation.
13. Always try to utilize the proper fingering when playing chords or single notes. This will assist you greatly
as you move onto advanced concepts and lead guitar playing.
14. Whether you are picking notes individually or playing chords make sure the volume of you’re down
strokes and up-strokes are equal. You don’t want nice crisp down-strokes and then wimpy upstrokes.
15. Develop your ear – I say that often as I feel it is one of the most important things you can do as a
guitarist.
16. A little theory is a good thing – learning some will move your playing forward faster and you will be able
to see better how all the musical concepts overlap and can be connected. I think it gives a guitar player
a lot more vision and I think it’s important to know some theory and how to apply it on the instrument.
17. HAVE FUN AND STAY POSITIVE – practice does not have to be drudgery!
Copyright David Taub, 2006 - all rights reserved – unauthorized duplication or distribution is prohibited
2
CHORDS – Open position major and minor
-written by David Taub
Chord = any three or more notes played at the same time.
Open position chords = chords played with at least one open string.
rd
th
Chords - open position – MAJOR (root, 3 , 5 )
Low LEGEND
High
A
E A D G B E
D
C
Nut
1st fret
2nd fret
3rd fret
4th fret
X
0 1
E
0
2 3
2
3
0
X
G
1 0
0
2
1
0 0
3 2 0
1
0
X
X 0
Cadd9
3
4
X
2 1
0
1
3
2
2 1
1
F
3
4
X
X 3
th
Chords - open position – MINOR (root, b3rd, 5 )
Am
X
0
2 3
Em
Dm
1
0
X
X
0 2
3 1
0
1
2
0
0 0
-Small “m” denotes minor
-The black dots show where to put your fingers
-The numbers below the strings refer to the fingers to be utilized when forming each chord. On your fret hand your index
finger is 1, middle finger is 2, ring finger is 3, and pinky finger is 4.
-A "0" below the indicated string means that that string is played open, (not fingered).
-An "X" below the indicated string means that string is not played. It most instances it will need to be muted.
-The goal is to get all the chords and respective fingerings memorized and for each note of each chord to ring
true. First play the notes of the chord individually, letting them ring out to ensure there are no overtones, muted
strings, or strings being bent. All notes should ring clean and sound true. Then strum the chord playing all notes,
and again check that the chord sounds clean. At first practice fingering the chords and lifting all your fingers off
fret board slightly, but keeping them in the same shape, then placing back on the fret board in the same position.
Check the chord still rings true and your fingers have not moved out of position.
Copyright David Taub, 2006 - all rights reserved – unauthorized duplication or distribution is prohibited
3
OPEN POSITION CHORD CHANGING TECHNIQUES AND PRINCIPLES -written by David Taub
NOTES: Practice the following when working with chords and chord changes:
1. Push down hard on the strings with the fleshly part of your fingertips. You will build calluses on your fingertips
over time so it will get easier and easier the more you practice. Many times the notes will not ring true
because you are not pressing down hard enough.
2. Playing slow and clean is ALWAYS better than fast and sloppy.
3. Do not get discouraged – it may take a little bit to get the fingerings down and for these chords to start
sounding very clean – that is normal – it takes time for your finger tendons and wrist to get adjusted to these
new positions. Keep positive and it will come with time.
4. Play the chords one note at a time before strumming to ensure they ring clean. Each note should ring true
with no clicks, pops, dead strings, or overtones from other strings.
5. Make sure you are not bending any strings as you finger the chord or the chord will ring out of tune. Sight
down the strings making sure they are straight and not bent.
6. Also check that your fingers are not touching any of the other strings, (except if you are muting strings on
purpose). If part of one finger blocks another or is hitting an errant string then try arching your fingers more by
bringing your wrist further under the fret board.
7. Try to play in time by counting out the measure or tapping your foot.
8. Focus on moving fingers only slightly off the fret board when changing chords.
9. Keep proper hand and wrist position with fingers staying close to the fret board at all times. It is acceptable for
these open position chords for your thumb to come up higher on the back of the neck for extra leverage,
support, and to mute the low E and A strings as needed.
10. Remember - pick the strings one at a time and listen that each note rings true, then strum all strings at the
same time. Do this for all the chords as you learn them as listed below.
11. These open position chords form the foundation for hundreds and hundreds of songs. Commit them to
memory and you can start playing many of your favorite tunes. Be creative – put them together in your own
unique combinations and rhythms.
12. Always remember to HAVE FUN – practice does not have to be drudgery!
Em
th
E minor – E (root), G (b3rd), B (5 ). This open position E minor chord has four open strings.
Notice the E root note appears in the chord three times. As you strum let all the individual
notes ring out. You can also finger this chord with the second and third fingers as an
alternate fingering. Practice both fingerings as you will find both come in very handy
depending on what chord you are going to next in a given progression.
0
1 2
0
0
0
C
rd
X
3
2 0
1
0
th
C major – C (root), E (3 ), G (5 ). This open position C major chord has two open strings.
The low E string is not played and needs to be muted so it does not muddy the chord. Let
the very tip of your third finger “spill” over the A string and slightly touch the low E string thus
muting it so it will not be heard when strumming the chord. Or you can also mute the low E
string with your thumb by having it come slightly over the top of the neck and just touch the
low E to deaden it.
Am
rd
th
A minor – A (root), C (b3 ), E (5 ). This Am chord has two open strings. Mute the low E
string much like with the C major chord above. Remember this fingering and chord shape,
as it will be exactly the same fingering, or voicing, for the E major chord that is explained
later in this lesson.
X
0
2 3
1
0
Copyright David Taub, 2005 - all rights reserved – unauthorized duplication or distribution is prohibited
4
OPEN POSITION CHORD CHANGING TECHNIQUES AND PRINCIPLES -written by David Taub
When first learning to switch chords a good practice method is to fret a chord and practice lifting your fingers off the fret
board slightly while keeping them in the same chord shape. Then place your fingers back on the fret board in the same
chord position. Pick all the notes of the chord individually and then strum the chord to check all the notes still ring clean
and your fingers have not shifted. When you are ready to change chords visualize the fingering in your mind of the next
chord as you are about to change. After time this visualization process will become automatic and will really help you to
move chords quickly and cleanly.
Good fret hand technique is an absolute must to get proficient at chord changing. Remember and practice the following
fret hand technique:
1. wrist down
2. on your fingertips and fingers cupped
3. thumb anchored in the back of the neck about even with the first or second finger
4. fingers as close to the fret board as possible at all times – not flying out of position
5. pinky finger attached to the side of the third finger
When changing chords you always want to utilize the following techniques.
1. practice the chord change mechanics at first by switching with only one strum per chord to get used to the finger
movements and to check that all notes of both chords are ringing true. Go back and forth between the two chords
till fluid.
2. move your fingers all at once, not one at a time.
3. keep your fingers close to the fretboard at all times – don’t have your fingers flying out of position.
4. look for shared fingers, clusters, and slides as explained below.
5. keep that pinky finger attached to the side of the third finger.
Once you have the chord change mechanics down for a given chord change then you want to try it in time while
strumming. When changing chords start off very slow and in time count and tap your foot in time counting quarter notes
“One – Two – Three – Four” – then change – then repeat. Make the chord change right on the “ONE” beat. When you
have the change in solid quarter notes then work it up to straight eighth notes or an eighth note strum pattern counting off,
“One – and – Two – and – Three – and – Four - and - CHANGE – and – Two – and – Three – and – Four – And CHANGE
- repeat”. Take your time, speed will come, playing slow and clean is so much more important than fast and sloppy. We
will practice changes two at a time and then start putting those together to make three and four chord changes and BAM –
you are playing songs!
1. THE SHARED FINGERS PRINCIPLE - When changing chords you want to examine the fingerings for each chord to
determine if there are any common fingered notes between each chord. If one or two fingers are to remain pressed on the
same note, then leave them pressed as you move to the next chord while moving your other fingers around them. Don’t
take any fingers off the neck if you don’t have to, especially if you are just going to put them right back in the same place
with the next chord. Leave them down. This “SHARED FINGERS” principle will improve and quicken your chord changing
abilities. Always analyze chord change fingerings in this fashion – so not to have any extra finger movements off the fret
board. Keep all fingers of your fret hand as close to the fret board as possible at all times.
G to Cadd9 change - In the illustration below when changing from a G to Cadd9 leave your third and forth fingers down
on the B and high E strings. No reason to pick them up at all. Then just slide your first and second fingers straight down
one fret each to go from the G to the Cadd9 chord. Slide your fingers right on the strings leaving them in the same cluster
to perform this change fluidly. Try the change mechanics first, then with a quarter note strum and then with an eighth note
strum – back and forth and try to tap your foot in time.
G
2
1
0 0
Cadd9
3
4
X
2 1
0
3
4
Copyright David Taub, 2005 - all rights reserved – unauthorized duplication or distribution is prohibited
5
OPEN POSITION CHORD CHANGING TECHNIQUES AND PRINCIPLES -written by David Taub
rd
Cadd9 to D change – When completing this change leave your third finger down on the 3 fret of the B string. That note
nd
is shared between both chords. Then at the same time move your first and 2 fingers together picking them slightly off the
fretboard to finger the D chord. Go back and forth between these two chords until fluid. Then try while strumming quarter
and eighth notes.
D to G change – utilize the four-finger G chord that we learned in a previous lesson, as that will make this change easier.
rd
Utilize the shared finger principle and when executing this change leave your 3 finger on the D note and all together
move your first and second fingers up to finger the G chord. Also move your pinky onto the G note on the high E string.
Keep practicing this movement and it will become very fluid over time.
Now put all above together make a three-chord change in the vein of Green Day and Guns and Roses:
G to Cadd9 to D - Put all three of the above changes back to back and you have the beginnings of many songs. Green
Day uses this change in the song Good Riddance and Guns and Roses have a similar change in the verses of sweet child
of mine. After the D chord go back to the G chord and keep rolling through the changes. In
MORE SHARED FINGERS CHORD CHANGES TO PRACTICE:
nd
G to Em change – When changing to the Em chord utilize shared fingers leaving your first finger on the B note, (2 fret,
nd
A string). Then just take your second finger and slide it under your first finger on the E note, (2 fret, D string). Go back
and forth between the G to Em until fluid.
nd
Em to C change - concentrate on the shared finger, leaving the 2 finger on the E note on the D string and just move
your 1st and 3rd fingers around that note. Think of it as a type of pivot maneuver – you are pivoting your first and third
st
fingers in unison to form the C chord. At the same time move your 1st finger to the C note on the B string, (1 fret), and
rd
your 3rd finger to the C note on the A string, (3 fret). Think of a pivot point for this change.
rd
C to Am change - switching from C to Am only requires the movement of the 3 finger to the A note on the G-string.
Nudge your second finger over just a bit to make a little room. Notice the first and second fingers are shared between the
two chords and don’t have to be picked up off the fretboard. Leave the first and second fingers in place from the C chord
as you move to the Am chord. Practice this change back and forth until its fluid.
rd
Dm to G change - utilize the shared finger principle and leave your third finger on the D note, (3 fret, B string) when
changing to the G chord. Then move your first and second fingers up to the G chord position while leaving your third
finger in the same place for both chords.
2. THE CLUSTER PRINCIPLE – Above we discussed how critical it is to analyze chord changes for shared fingers. You
also want to analyze chord changes for finger clustering. This is where you can leave your fingers in the same pattern, or
“cluster”, as you move to a change. You don’t break up the hand or finger cluster. This way you don’t have to spend the
time reshaping your fingers to voice the next chord. It makes changing chords must faster and much easier.
E to Am change - to illustrate the cluster principle first lets examine changing chords from E to Am. This is a fairly simple
change to play because the chord shapes are exactly the same and they are also played with the same fingerings. The
only difference is they are one string apart. In the illustration below you can see that the chord shapes are identical.
Concentrate on leaving your fingers in the exact same cluster as you lift off the E chord and just move the whole shape
down one string. It’s a quick lift off and put back – do not allow your fingers to come far off the fret board – slide them right
along the strings. Keep them close in and formed in the same shape.
E
0
2
3
Am
1 0
0
X
0
2 3
1
0
Copyright David Taub, 2005 - all rights reserved – unauthorized duplication or distribution is prohibited
6
OPEN POSITION CHORD CHANGING TECHNIQUES AND PRINCIPLES -written by David Taub
MORE CLUSTER CHORD CHANGES TO PRACTICE:
Em to Am change - Let’s practice the cluster principle with another change. This time we will change from Em to Am. To
switch between the Em and Am chords leave your 2nd and 3rd fingers on the Em shape cluster and just shift them both
one string down in the same cluster while at the same time adding your 1st finger on the C note on the B string. It’s a
very fluid change. Then when going back from the Am to the Em just lift the 1st finger off the B string and again leave your
nd
rd
2 and 3 fingers in the same cluster but just move them up one string. Remember to keep your fingers as close as
possible to the fret board. Never move your fret hand out of position.
A to D change – For this change keep your hand in that same tight cluster when moving from the A chord to the D chord.
nd
rd
You can even leave your third finger on the B and just slide it over from the 2 fret to the 3 fret when making the change.
Keep your other fingers close to the fretboard and bunched together coming off the A chord and lift them slightly off the
strings to get to the D chord.
C to D change – for this change there is no clustering or shared fingers. You will have to take all three fingers off the C
chord and reshape them into the D chord. Try to keep your fingers as close to the fretboard as possible and move your
fingers in unison. Keep practicing the motion and it will get very fluid over time.
A to Em change – when playing the A chord with three fingers leave your first and second fingers in the same cluster
and just bump them up one sting each into the Em chord voicing. It is a very fluid change. Remember to keep your fingers
close to the fretboard, just move them off the strings slightly when you move from the A chord to the Em chord.
Dm to E change – Much like a Am to Dm change the two chords are similar in shape, the Dm is just spread out the extra
fret. All three fingers will change positions during the change but keep them in the same cluster and just move them in
unison up or down the strings when making the change.
Am to Dm change – the shape of the A minor chord is similar to the shape of a D minor chord. The D minor is just spread
out across one more fret – so it is a little wider. Take a look at both chords and note the similarity. When executing this
change utilize the cluster principle and keep you’re fingers in the same basic shape, just spread it out for the extra fret
when changing to the Dm chord. All three fingers will change positions during this change but keep them clustered
together and just slide them in unison the one fret distance to finger the D minor chord. Practice this motion and when you
have it solid and in time then add in a strum.
3. THE SLIDE PRINCIPLE – at times when changing chords you will have to lift all your fingers off the fretboard to form
the next chord as the chords may not share notes or have common clusters. However, there are instances where you can
keep a finger or two down on the fretboard and just slide them into position for the next chord. This slide provides you with
a “guide” of sorts that lead you to the next chord. Usually you will find a slide where the next chord has a note on the
same string but one or two frets over. Lets analyze some examples over the next few pages.
THE SLIDE PRINCIPLE CHORD CHANGES TO PRACTICE:
E to D change - concentrate on leaving the 1st finger on the G# note on the G-string but when you change to the D slide
nd
rd
it up one fret, (a half step). At the same time lift the 2 and 3 fingers from and the A and D strings and fret the D and F#
notes on the B and high E string. Slide back down one half step when changing back from the D to the E chord and move
the other fingers to fret the notes indicated. Practice this motion and soon the slide will be a very fluid movement that will
make chord changes faster and easier to finger.
A to D minor change – this change will incorporate both shared fingers and the slide principle. Play the A chord with
nd
three fingers. When changing to the D chord there is a shared finger. Leave your second finger on the A note, (2 fret, G
nd
string). Then slide your third finger from the 2 fret to the third fret on the B string. The last part of the change is to be
nd
done at the same time you are sliding on the B string. Move your first finger from the E note, (2 fret, D string), to the F
st
note, (1 fret, high E string). Remember like with the other changes you want to train your fingers to execute these moves
all at the same time. It takes practice, but stay positive, keep working on it and it will come!
Copyright David Taub, 2005 - all rights reserved – unauthorized duplication or distribution is prohibited
7
OPEN POSITION CHORD CHANGING TECHNIQUES AND PRINCIPLES -written by David Taub
From previous lessons you have started building a chord vocabulary of widely used open position chords. So lets try a
four-chord progression utilizing some of the open position chords and changes we have discussed. When first attempting
to play a piece of music with more than a two chord change, first write out all the chords in the song. Then write out the
changes two at a time and analyze them for shared fingers or clustering. Practice the finger changing movements first, to
get them rock solid before putting a strum to them. This progression below may sound familiar as the band Pearl Jam
used this chordal foundation to cover the song “Last Kiss” a song made famous by the Cavaliers in 1964.
FOUR-CHORD CHANGE TO PRACTICE: G – Em – C - D
Analyze the changes two at a time - the G to Em change has a shared finger - leave your 2nd finger in place on the B
rd
nd
note and move your 3 finger directly below it to the E note on the A string. Nudge your 2 finger over a bit to make room.
The Em to C change also has a shared finger as we discussed that change above. The hardest change in this
progression will be the change from C to D, as you will have to move all three fingers off the C chord to change to the D
chord. Then the D back to the G has a shared finger as we discussed on the previous page. Break the changes down to
two at a time and practice them individually. G to Em, Em to C, C to D, and D back to G. Then when you have all the
change movements solid for each change then try to string them together in time to play the four-chord change.
Remember to visualize the change before you move your fingers, take things slow, and it will come. Work through the
finger movements first, then strum with quarter notes in time, then try eighth notes in time. Then try an eighth note strum
pattern. Remember to tap your foot and keep solid meter. Soon you will be able to play the progression faster and then
with different strum patterns and rhythms.
THE F MAJOR CHORD – YOU CAN DO IT!
The F major chord is one of the more challenging chords to learn and master when first starting out on the instrument.
This is due to the need to bar across two strings with your first finger while stretching to the third fret with your third finger.
Most students struggle with this chord at first, but if you keep practicing and pecking away it will come just like all the other
open position chords that you learned to date. Remember to utilize the fingering listed and play the notes of the chord
individually to ensure all notes are ringing true. If you are hearing muted strings, other strings ringing, or any other noises
check your technique and fret hand position to examine why the chord is not sounding proper. Narrow it down string by
string until you find the culprit and correct. Eventually you may utilize an F major bar chord in place of this open position
chord, but there is still a lot of value of learning it and having it in your chord vocabulary.
F
X
X 3
2 1
rd
1
th
F major – F (root), A (3 ), C (5 ). F major chord has no open strings. Do not play the low
E string and the A string as indicated in the illustration on the left. Utilize your first finger
as a bar and press firmly down on the high E and B strings. Sometimes it helps if you
angle the bar a little. If you are not able to stretch far enough to reach the A and F notes
nd
rd
th
with your 2 and 3 fingers then move the whole shape up to the 7 fret and practice it
there where the frets are closer together. Then slowly move the shape back down the
fretboard as you practice the chord each day and your fingers get used to the stretch.
Don’t get discouraged, this is one of the harder chords to get at first. Stay positive and it
will come with time.
Copyright David Taub, 2005 - all rights reserved – unauthorized duplication or distribution is prohibited
8
CHORD CHANGING TECHNIQUES AND PRINCIPLES
-written by David Taub
C to F change – the C and F chords are very similar in shape. When playing this change utilize the cluster principle as
you move your third and second fingers down one string each to voice the F chord. Keep your fingers close to the
fretboard and just shimmy your fingers down a string and then bar the B and high E strings with your first finger to get the
top two notes of the F chord to sound. Your fingers should have minimal extraneous movements and should be clustered
in the same shape as you move through these two very similar shaped chords.
F to G change – the F to G change is a bit more challenging but with a little practice you will have it dialed in just right.
Utilize the cluster principle keeping your third and second fingers at the same angle and in the same position as you move
them from the F chord to the G chord. Add your pinky to the G note on the high E string and remove the first finger bar as
to finish this change as you go to the G chord.
REVIEW
Chord changing can be one of the most challenging aspects of guitar playing. When first learning guitar just getting your
fingers to be able to form and play the chords properly with all the notes ringing true can be a challenge in itself. Then add
the challenges of strumming on top of that, keeping time on top of that, and then….you have to change chords!……..“I am
holding down this perfectly good sounding chord and now you want me to change it…GEEZ!” At times it can seem an
impossible task to do all those things at once and in time. As we have discussed the initial learning curve when first
learning guitar is quite steep and very challenging. But I can honestly tell you that it gets much easier once you get “over
the hump” of the initial learning curve. If you regularly practice the principles in the lessons above, soon you will be
tackling the most challenging of chord changes. The easier ones will become “automatic”, you wont even have to be
thinking about them – they will just happen – you fingers will just fall into place. Like anything that is worthwhile in this
world it takes a lot of hard work and practice to get proficient at the guitar. So stick with it, stay positive, and know that
there is light at the end of the tunnel. Below is a review from the above lesson and techniques on chord changing.
1. Playing slow and clean is ALWAYS better than fast and sloppy.
2. Always play with good technique
3. Do not get discouraged – it may take a while to get the fingerings down and for some chords to start sounding
very clean – it takes time for your finger tendons and wrist to get adjusted.
4. At first play the chords one note at a time before strumming to ensure they ring clean. Each note should ring true
with no “clicks” or overtones from other strings, and then strum all strings at the same time. Do this for all the
chords as you learn them.
5. Try to play in time by counting out the measure or tapping your foot.
6. Focus on moving fingers only slightly off the fret board when changing chords, keep you pinky finger attached to
your third finger tucked tight, wrist down, fingers cupped, and on your fingertips.
7. Analyze chord changes for shared fingers and clusters.
When analyzing a piece of music with multiple chord changes:
a – When first learning the song write out all the chords in the song
b – Write out all the changes two at a time
c – Practice each two chord movement individually until they are all very fluid
d – String the two chord movements together into four, five, or more successive clean changes
e – When ready put a quarter note strum to the changes and work up to an eighth note strum
f – Strum as slow as necessary to make the changes in time and then work up to the needed speed
g – Always play slow, clean, and in time as opposed to fast, sloppy, or out of time
h – Remember…Rome was not built in a day. Stay positive, take your time and keep practicing and it will come!
Copyright David Taub, 2005 - all rights reserved – unauthorized duplication or distribution is prohibited
9
Chords to embellish with – Suspended, Add, and major 7th chords -written by David Taub
Below are chord illustrations for some common chords that you can use to spice up your playing. These can be peppered
nd
th
in and substituted to create interest and melody. Below we will examine some suspended 2 , suspended 4 , add chords,
th
and major 7 chords. These chords can be very rich, lush, and “big” sounding – so memorize the notes and fingerings
and start to use them in your playing. These are only a few to get you started – many more to come.
nd
th
Suspended 2 and 4 chords have no third interval – the third is suspended. So the third is either raised to the 4th or
lowered to the 2nd scale degree. Remember from past lessons a major chord is constructed from the formula root or 1,
rd
th
3 , and 5 . A minor chord is constructed from the formula root or 1, flat third (b3), and fifth. You can easily tell a major
nd
chord from a minor chord by looking at that third degree – whether it is a major third or a flatted third. Suspended 2 and
th
4 chords do not have thirds, so they are technically not major or minor chords and they work equally well when used with
both major AND minor chords. So pepper them in with both. Suspended chords are often used in combination with major
or minor chords with the same letter name.
Add chords differ from suspended chords in that an interval is not removed from the chord but rather added. An add2
nd
nd
th
chord has the 1,3,5 and then on top of that adds a 2 . Where suspended 2 and 4 chords remove, or suspend an
interval, the add chords leaves that in and then adds another.
Below are some chords that can really add tremendous interest and melody to your playing. Try peppering them in while
th
th
strumming in time. Think melodically and start off strumming slow with an 8 note strum pattern. Work up to a 16 note
pattern and then try adding them to your other songs and progressions.
CHORD FORMULAS:
nd
nd
th
th
Suspended 2 – Sus2 = 1, 2 , 5
Add2 = 1, 2nd, 3rd, 5th
th
th
th
Suspended 4 – Sus4 = 1, 4 , 5
th
Add4= 1, 3rd, 4th, 5
rd
th
Major 7 – maj7 = 1, 3 , 5 , 7th
= leave finger down when needed
CHORD VOICINGS AND FINGERINGS:
Asus2
X
0 1
2
Asus4
0
0
X
X 0
1
3 0
X
Fsus2
X
X 3
2
4
0
X
3
0 1
X 0
1
3 4
0
X
X 3
4
4 0
X
3
2
3
1 0
1
1
X
X 3
2 1
4 0
Cmaj7
1 0
X
3
Esus4
4
0
2
3
0
3
2
0
4 0
0
2 0
0 0
Cadd9
0
X
2 1
Gadd4
Fmaj7
Fsus4
1
2 0
Cadd4
Eadd2
Dsus4
Dsus2
X
0 1
Cadd2
0
3
4
Gadd2
1 4
3
0
0
2
0 4
10
CHORDS – Open position dominant 7th chords -written by David Taub
th
th
th
th
There are many different types of seventh chords, i.e. the dominant 7 , major 7 , minor 7 , diminished 7 , 7 #9s, etc.
th
There are so many types because a variety of 7ths can be added to a variety of chords. When first studying 7 chords
th
they can be a bit confusing. In this lesson we are going to examine the very popular dominant 7 chord. These are written
th
th
out with just a “7” next to the chord letter i.e. A7, C7, Bb7, F#7. At times some mix up a dominant 7 chord with a major 7
chord. They are two very different chords with two very different sounds and need to be thought as separate entities.
th
th
Typically the dominant 7 chord is built off the fifth or dominant degree of the major scale. The dominant 7 chord is
rd
th
th
constructed from the scale degrees of root, 3 , 5th, and b7 . The dominant 7 is so useful and popular because it is a
th
major chord with a very strong sound and strong resolution qualities to the ear. The dominant 7 is widely utilized in all
genres of music. It has that b7 and that is what gives the chord its color – making it sound twangy and bluesy compared
to the sweet, dreamy, and jazzy sounds of major seventh chords.
Commit the following popular open position dominant seventh chords to memory and try to incorporate them into your
daily practice regimen. Some have few ways to finger them that provide a slightly different timbre. You will find yourself
utilizing them over and over again in a myriad of different playing scenarios.
Chords - open position 7ths - (root, 3rd, 5th, b7th)
A7
X
0
1 0
2
0
X
0
1 0
E7
0
2
B7
A7
0
2
0
X
2
1
3 0
E7
1 0
0
0
2
0
C7
4
X
3
D7
2 4
1 0
E7
1 4
0
0
2
3
X
X 0
2
1 3
G7
1 4
0
3
2
0 0
0
1
*Copyright David Taub, 2007 - all rights reserved – unauthorized duplication or distribution is prohibited
11
Slash Chords
-written by David Taub
Slash chords are a very common group of chords that you have probably seen written out many times. There is a lot of
confusion about slash chords but don’t let them intimidate you. They are actually pretty easy chords to play for the most
part and they add a lot of bottom end bite. They have a chord letter followed by the “/” symbol and basically they are a
chord played with a low bass note added other than the root.
For example, the slash chord C/G is read “C slash G“ or “C over G”. This means play a C chord with a low G bass note.
The first letter is the chord name, and then the slash, and then to the right of the slash is the low bass note. The slash
chord D/F# is read “D slash F#” or “D over F#”. You would play a D chord with an added F sharp low bass note. Try these
common slash chords below and experiment with the different sounds and the added texture of having the low bass note
added to the chord.
These chords will add bottom and texture to your playing. Some can be a little tricky to finger, as you may have to grab
the low bass note with your thumb, (T). If you come across these chords in songs you can always just play the main chord
and leave the bass note out, until you get used to the fingering – then add it back in. You will want to practice them and
get used to playing them as they really add texture. Below are a few examples of the more common slash chords to get
you going. In future lessons we will study how to use them to add interest in walking bass lines and more!
Am/G
4
0
2 3
A/C#
1
0
X
3
C/E
0
3
2 0
X
0 2
1
X
4
3
C/B
1 0
X
2
3 4
X 0
X
1
0 0
2 0
1 0
D/F#
1 0
T
X
G/B
Dsus4/F#
1
1 1
C/G
0 1
3 2
G/F#
3
4
1
X
0 0
3
4
*Copyright David Taub, 2006 - all rights reserved – unauthorized duplication or distribution is prohibited
12
NOTES ON THE FRETBOARD
-written by David Taub
6
5
4
3
2
1
E
A
D
G
B
E
Edie Ate Dynamite Good Bye Edie
F
Bb
Eb
G#
C
F
# = SHARP
b = FLAT
F#
B
E
A
C#
F#
G
C
F
Bb
D
G
G#
C#
F#
B
Eb
G#
A
D
G
C
E
A
Bb
Eb
G#
C#
F
Bb
B
E
A
D
F#
B
C
F
Bb
Eb
G
C
C#
F#
B
E
G#
C#
D
G
C
F
A
D
Eb
G#
C#
F#
Bb
Eb
E
A
D
G
B
E
High
Low
1st Fret
rd
3 fret
5th fret
7th fret
9th fret
E and D strings
are related – from
any note on the E
string go 2 strings
down and 2 frets
over and you have
the same note an
octave higher on
the D string
12th fret
The twelve-note scale consists of:
A, Bb, B, C, C#, D, Eb, E, F, F#, G, G#
Copyright David Taub, 2005 - all rights reserved – unauthorized duplication or distribution is prohibited
Low E and High E
strings have same
note names on each
fret – just two
octaves apart
A and G strings are related –
from any note on the A string
go 2 strings down and 2 frets
over and you have the same
note an octave higher on the
G string
13
CHORDS – Open position major 7th chords
-written by David Taub
Major seventh chords are very sweet, jazzy, and dreamy sounding chords. Illustrated below are some of the common
open position major seventh chords. These are not to be confused with dominant seventh chords. The difference between
th
the two is in the 7 degree. A major seventh chord is built from the formula root, 3rd, 5th, and 7th. The dominant seventh
th
chords are built from the formula root, 3rd, 5th, and b7. That’s the difference – the major seventh chords have a major 7
th
in the chord, while the dominant 7 chord has the dominant or flatted seventh in the chord. These two chords often get
mixed up but need to be kept separate and distinct, as they sound very different. The major seventh has the sweet and
jazzy sound while the dominant seventh has the twangy and bluesy sound. Remember they are two very different chords
with two very different sounds and need to be thought as separate entities.
Commit these major seventh chords to memory and try to incorporate them into your daily practice regimen. You will find
yourself utilizing them over and over again in a myriad of different playing scenarios.
Chords - open position major 7ths - (root, 3rd, 5th, 7th)
Amaj7
X
0 1
2
Bmaj7
3
0
X
2
1
Cmaj7
4 0
Emaj7
0
3
2
1 0
3
X
3
2 0
Dmaj7
0 0
X
X 3
2 1
X 0
0
1
1
1 1
Gmaj7
Fmaj7
0
X
0
2
X
0 0
*Copyright David Taub, 2005 - all rights reserved – unauthorized duplication or distribution is prohibited
14
THE CAPO
-written by David Taub
Using a capo on your electric or acoustic guitar can be both functional and fun. It will give you access to a whole new and
exciting spectrum of sound textures as well as making key transpositions a snap. Using it is like giving the guitar the
whole new palette of sounds. Capo is actually short for the Italian phrase “capotasto”, which translates to “principle fret”.
The device in essence provides a temporary nut on the guitar at various fret positions. In effect it shortens the length of
the vibrating strings which raises the pitch of the open strings. So it makes open chord transposition a snap. The capo is
also a very useful tool as it makes it extremely easy to change a songs key to a more suitable vocal range. The guitarist
can instantly change the pitch of the strings to suit their vocal range from song to song. It also makes playing flatted bar
chords like Eb, Ab, and Bb much easier as with a capo you can play them with open voicings as compared to bar chords.
If you affix the capo at the first fret, all the chords shapes you normally play will now be moved up a half step. Try playing
familiar chord voicings while utilizing the capo at different frets and listen to the different sounds you can get with the
capo. Below is a chart that illustrates basic major chord shapes and what they will be transposed to if a capo is used at
th
the indicated fret. For example if you play a C chord shape while having the capo affixed at the 6 fret, the chord will ring
th
out to the pitch of F#. If you play a E chord shape with the capo affixed at the 6 fret, the chord will ring out to the pitch
Bb. You can see by these examples the capo allows the guitar player to shape common open chord fingerings but have
the actual pitch ring out to a chord they may have to play with a bar chord. So you can get that real open chord ringing
type of tones – experiment, be creative, and have fun!
capo fret
C C
h C#
o D
r Eb
d E
F
S F#
h G
a G#
p A
e Bb
s
B
1
C#
D
Eb
E
F
F#
G
G#
A
Bb
B
C
2
D
Eb
E
F
F#
G
G#
A
Bb
B
C
C#
3
Eb
E
F
F#
G
G#
A
Bb
B
C
C#
D
4
E
F
F#
G
G#
A
Bb
B
C
C#
D
Eb
5
F
F#
G
G#
A
Bb
B
C
C#
D
Eb
E
6
F#
G
G#
A
Bb
B
C
C#
D
Eb
E
F
7
G
G#
A
Bb
B
C
C#
D
Eb
E
F
F#
8
G#
A
Bb
B
C
C#
D
Eb
E
F
F#
G
9
A
Bb
B
C
C#
D
Eb
E
F
F#
G
G#
10
Bb
B
C
C#
D
Eb
E
F
F#
G
G#
A
11
B
C
C#
D
Eb
E
F
F#
G
G#
A
Bb
*Copyright David Taub, 2006 - all rights reserved – unauthorized duplication or distribution is prohibited
15
CHORD CONSTRUCTION
-written by David Taub
Chord construction theory is a critical concept to digest and comprehend in full as it gives a firm knowledge of why certain
notes make up certain chords. Analyzing chord construction will also illustrate the relationships between notes, chords,
and scales. It will tie many concepts together that we have discussed to date. Chords are built from notes in certain
scales. A scale is a series of sounds arranged by order of pitch, or alphabetically, from any given note to its octave. In
order to analyze chord construction we need to look at scales and the notes that make them up. All major keys are
constructed in the same fashion and music theory is compared to the major scale – the major scale is the standard in
music that all is compared. You have probably heard the major scale as doe, re, me, fa, so, la, ti, and then back to doe.
Lets examine the C major scale. The key of C major has no sharps or flats. In fact, C is the only major key with no
accidentals, (a sharp or flat is also referred to as an accidental). So if you see a piece of sheet music and it has no sharp
or flat symbols next to the clef you know it is probably in the key of C major.
C major scale = C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C
st
rd
Remember in previous lessons we discussed the three notes that construct a major chord are a root or 1 degree, 3 ,
th
and 5 . So to illustrate the relationship between the key signature, chords, and notes lets draw out the C major scale and
start counting. Remember that the scale is always laid out in order and each successive note is assigned a number or
degree – and always in order. Start on the C and count to the third degree and you have an E note. In the key of C major
th
the third is the E. Now count to the 5 degree starting from the C note and you have a G note. In the key of C major the
th
rd
5 is a G. Now put the three notes together as shown in the illustration below and you have a C major chord – root, 3 ,
and fifth or C, E, G.
C
1
D
2
E
3
F
4
G
5
A
6
B
7
C ……….C major scale notes
8 ………..Scale degrees
C, E, G = C major chord, (abbreviated Cmaj or just C)
C
X
3
2 0
Lets look at the C major guitar chord illustrated on the left that you are already familiar
with from our “open position major and minor chord” handout. Like all major chords it is
rd
th
constructed from the root, 3 , and 5 degrees of the major scale. In the key of C major the
notes would be C, E, and G as constructed from the C major scale illustrated above.
Playing these notes on the guitar neck is a C major chord. So you can grab these three
notes from anywhere on the guitar neck and play them together and you have a C major
chord. Now you can see from these three illustrations how the notes in a chord are
constructed from a scale and their relationship degree and chordal wise.
1 0
th
th
Expanding on this concept that we discussed on page one directly above lets build a C major 7 chord, (Cmaj7). Major 7
rd
th
th
th
chords are constructed from the root, 3 , 5 , and 7 degrees of the major scale. The major 7 chord is actually built off
rd
th
th
the major as it has the root, 3 , and 5 degrees in it and then we add the 7 making it a major 7th chord. We have
st
rd
th
learned in previous lessons that in the key of C major the root or 1 degree is a C, the 3 is an E, and the 5 is a G. Let’s
th
draw out the C major scale again and begin counting degrees. The 7 degree in C major is a B. So put all the notes for a
rd
th
th
C major 7th chord together and we have the root, 3 , 5 , and 7 and if we count degrees as illustrated below we have C,
E, G, and B.
C
1
D
2
E
3
F
4
G
5
A
6
B
7
C ……….C major scale notes
8 ………..Scale degrees
th
C, E, G, B = C major 7 chord, (abbreviated Cmaj7)
Copyright David Taub, 2006 - all rights reserved – unauthorized duplication or distribution is prohibited
16
Cmaj7
th
X
3
2 0
Lets look at the C major 7 open position guitar chord illustrated on the left. Like all major
th
rd
th,
th
7 chords it is constructed from the root, 3 , 5 and 7 degrees of the major scale. In the
key of C major the notes would be C, E, G, and B as constructed from the C major scale
th
as illustrated above. Playing these notes on the guitar neck is a C major 7 chord. So you
can grab these four notes from anywhere on the guitar neck and play them together and
you have a Cmaj7 chord.
0 0
Lets try this same principle but this time we are going to change keys to G major. Remember, as discussed in the lesson
above, all major keys are constructed in the same fashion. The G major scale has one sharp or accidental, (F#). The key
of G major is the only major key with one sharp. Here are the notes of the G major scale:
G major scale = G, A, B, C, D, E, F#, G
Let’s draw out the G major scale and start counting. Starting on the root note G, count to the third degree and you have a
th
B note. In the key of G major the third is the B. Now count to the 5 degree and you have a D note. In the key of G major
th
rd
the 5 is a D. Now put the three together as shown in the illustration below and you have a G major chord – root, 3 , fifth
or G, B, D.
G
1
A
2
B
3
C
4
D
5
E
6
F#
7
G ……….G major scale notes
8 ………..Scale degrees
G, B, D = G major chord, (abbreviated Gmaj or just G)
G
2
1
0 0
3
4
Lets look at the G major guitar chord illustrated on the left that you are already familiar with
from our “open position major and minor chord” handout. Like all major chords it is
rd
th
constructed from the root, 3 , and 5 degrees of the major scale. In the key of G major the
notes would be G, B, and D as constructed from the G major scale illustrated above.
Playing these notes on the guitar neck is a G major chord. So you can grab these three
notes from anywhere on the guitar neck and play them together and you have a G major
chord.
th
th
Expanding further with the G major scale let’s build a G major 7 chord, (Gmaj7). Major 7 chords are constructed from
rd
th
th
st
the root, 3 , 5 , and 7 degrees of the major scale as discussed in the lesson above. In the key of G major the root or 1
rd
th
degree is a G, the 3 is a B, and the 5 is a D. Let’s draw out the G major scale again and begin counting degrees. The
th
rd
th
th
7 degree in G major is an F#. So put all the notes for a G major 7th chord together and we have the root, 3 , 5 , and 7
and if we count degrees as illustrated below we have G, B, D, and F#.
G
1
A
2
B
3
C
4
D
5
E
6
F#
7
G ……….G major scale notes
8 ………..Scale degrees
th
G, B, D, F# = G major 7 chord, (abbreviated Gmaj7)
Gmaj7
th
Lets look at the Gmajor7 open position guitar chord illustrated on the left. Like all major 7
rd
th,
th
chords it is constructed from the root, 3 , 5 and 7 degrees of the major scale. In the key of
G major the notes would be G, B, D, and F# as constructed from the G major scale as
illustrated above. Playing these notes on the guitar neck is a Gmaj7 chord.
2
X
0 0
0
1
Copyright David Taub, 2006 - all rights reserved – unauthorized duplication or distribution is prohibited
17
Building chords from the major scale – major key
-written by David Taub
As per previous lessons we have learned that music theory falls back to the major scale. The major scale is the standard
in music that all is compared. Now we will build chords from each degree of the major scale and you will easily be able to
know which chords are in any given key. A scale is a series of sounds arranged by order of pitch, or alphabetically, from
any given note to its octave. To find the notes in any major key, (major scale), start at the root and go up following this
pattern: whole step, whole step, half step, whole step, whole step, whole step, half step. This will take you to the root one
octave higher than where you began, and will include all seven notes in the major key in that octave. Remember, any
chord might show up in any given key, however, some chords are much more likely to be in a given key than others. The
most likely chords to show up in a given key are the chords made from combinations of the notes in that keys’ major
scale. You'll find that although the chords change from one key to the next, the pattern of major and minor type chords is
always the same for any major key. Lets examine the C major scale and build the chords in that key right from the scale.
Follow this template to build the chords in any key.
If you start on C and skip every other note in the scale for a total of 3, you have built a C major chord. The major chord
rd
th
follows the formula root, 3 , 5 . So a C major chord is constructed from the three notes C, E, and G, the root of the scale,
the third note of the scale, and the fifth note of the scale. (If this is not clear or totally new, before going forward, please
stop and review the previous lessons on chord construction).
C
1
D
2
E
3
F
4
G
5
A
6
B
7
C ……….C major scale notes
8 ………..Scale degrees
C, E, G = C major chord, (abbreviated Cmaj or just C)
Now if we do the exact same thing except start on the D note, the second degree of the scale, and skip every other note –
or just keep stacking thirds, we then have the three notes that construct a D minor chord, (as illustrated below).
C
1
D
2
E
3
F
4
G
5
A
6
B
7
C ……….C major scale notes
8 ………..Scale degrees
D, F, A = D minor chord, (abbreviated Dm)
The process of stacking 3 notes up in the major scale continues until you have a total of 7 chords, one for each note of the
scale. Each major key will have a total of seven chords, as illustrated below.
CDEFGABC -
E,G,B =Em (E minor chord)
CDEFGABC -
F,A,C =F (F major chord)
CDEFGABCD -
G,B,D =G (G major chord)
CDEFGABCDECDEFGABCDEF
A,C,E =Am (A minor chord)
o
- B,D,F = B (B diminished chord
Because major scales are always built from stacking thirds, the pattern is always the same for every major key. The
chords built on the first, fourth, and fifth degrees of the scale are major type chords (I, IV, and V). The chords built on the
second, third, and sixth degrees of the scale are minor type chords (ii, iii, and vi). The chord built on the seventh degree of
the scale is a diminished chord. So whichever key you are building chords from the pattern will always be the same.
Major....Minor....Minor....Major....Major....Minor....Diminished - commit this pattern to memory!
Copyright David Taub, 2006 - all rights reserved – unauthorized duplication or distribution is prohibited
18
Moveable Bar Chords – 6th string roots
-written by David Taub
The following chords are moveable up and down the neck on their given root string. Keep the same fingering and same
shape as you slide these chords around. The name of the chord will depend on which root note you are playing. For
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example, play the root 6 string major chord on the 5 fret, (A note). The A is the root note, as depicted by the squares in
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the illustrations below. So this chord would be an A major bar chord. Now, move the whole shape to the 7 fret - slide the
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whole shape up a whole step or two frets. Now it becomes a B major bar chord. If you move it to the 8 fret it will be a C
major bar chord. You can move all these chords on its given string in the same fashion. Practice them in all keys and be
patient, it will take some time to get your fingers to voice these chords – but with practice, you can do it. To ease into the
fingering of bar chords let’s start by taking the shape of the E major open position chord we learned in a previous lesson:
E
0
3
4
2 0
0
Voice the same E major shape, but for purposes of this exercise only, utilize the new fingering
underlined in the illustration on the left. I want to free up that first finger as that will be the “bar”
finger. While keeping your fingers in this E major chord fingering, slide the entire shape up one
half step, (one fret). Notice that the 1st finger is totally free. Bar the 1st finger across the entire
first fret pushing down on all six strings. If this is too much of a stretch for your fingers, then
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move the E major shape to the 7 fret, as the frets will be closer together thus easier to stretch
across. You can then work your way back down the fret board as your fingers adjust to the
new shape and the stretch. Once your 1st finger is firmly in the bar position across all six
strings you have now voiced a Major bar chord off the low E string root.
NOTE: Learn the following chords in the order presented by moving the fingerings as described below:
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6 string root
major bar chord
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1. Major, 6 string root– Root, 3 , 5 – The root is denoted in the illustration as the square
box. Make sure to anchor your 1st finger across all six strings just behind the fret, pushing
down hard, utilizing it as the “bar”. Pick the notes individually and check they all ring true.
Then strum the chord and check the chord rings true and in tune and none of your other
fingers are interfering with the other notes of the chord.
1
3
4
2 1
1
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6 string root
minor bar chord
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2. Minor, 6 string root– Root, b3rd, 5 – Finger the major chord as shown in the number
one example directly above. Now just lift your 2nd finger off the fret board and you have a
minor bar chord off the low E string root. Remember to keep that first finger bar anchored
firmly behind the fret.
1
3
4
1 1
1
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6 string root
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minor7 bar
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3. Minor 7 , (m7), sixth string root– Root, b3rd, 5 , b7th – Finger the minor chord as
shown in the number 2 example directly above. Now just lift your 4th finger off the fret board
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and you have a minor 7 bar chord off the low E string root. In many instances this m7th
chord can be used in place of the minor chord for a more “jazzy” sound. Play them both and
listen to the subtle difference in chordal texture.
1
3
1
1 1
1
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6 string root
7th bar chord
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4. 7 , sixth string root– Root, 3rd, 5 , b7 - Finger the minor 7th chord as shown in the
number three example directly above. Now just add your 2nd finger to the G-string one fret
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up from the bar and you have a 7 bar chord off the low E string root. The 7 chord is built
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off the major chord - as you can see the 7 chord has the root, 3 , and 5 which is a major
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chord – plus the b7th which then makes a 7 chord.
1
3
1
2 1
1
Copyright David Taub, 2006 - all rights reserved – unauthorized duplication or distribution is prohibited
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Moveable Bar Chords – 5th string root
-written by David Taub
The following chords are moveable up and down the neck on its given root string just like the sixth string root moveable
bar chords in the lesson above. Keep the same fingering and same shape as you slide these chords around. As with most
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moveable bar chords the name of the chord will depend on which root note you are playing. For example, play the root 5
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string minor chord on the 5 fret, (D note). The D is the root note, as depicted by the squares in the illustrations below. So
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this chord would be a D minor bar chord off the 5 string root. The bar chords below have their roots on the 5 string, (A
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string). Now, move the whole shape to 7 fret, (slide the whole shape up a whole step, (two frets). Now it becomes an E
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minor bar chord. If you move it up a half step to the 8 fret it will be an F minor bar chord. You can move all these chords
on its given string in the same fashion. For the most part do not play the low E string when playing the below chords. Mute
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the low E string by letting the tip of your first bar finger to spill over the 5 string and just touch the low E string to deaden
the string. Practice the below chords in all keys and be patient, it will take some time to get your fingers to voice these
chords. You can do it!
NOTE: Learn these chords in the order presented by moving the fingers as described below:
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5 string root
minor bar chord
X
1
3
4 2
1
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1. Minor, 5 string root– Root, b3rd, 5 - To ease into the fingering of bar chords on the 5
string root let’s start by taking the shape of the major bar chord that we learned in the
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previous lesson and finger its root on the B note - 7 fret, (B major bar chord). Now just
move that entire shape down one string by slightly sliding all four fingers, at the same time,
in one “cluster”, down one string each. Keep your fingers in the same shape and continue to
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bar with the 1st finger. Voiced at the 7 fret this chord is an E minor bar chord. Instead of
playing all six strings leave out the low E string and only strum five strings as indicated in the
illustration on the left, (X). Mute the low E string but letting just the tip of your first finger
slightly touch the low E string so not to sound any errant rings or overtones from that string.
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5 string root
m7 bar chord
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2. Minor 7 (m7), 5 string root - Root, b3rd, 5 , b7th – To play this m7 chord finger the
minor chord as shown in the number one example directly above. Now just lift your 4th
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finger off the fret board and you now have a minor 7 bar chord off the A string root. In many
instances this m7th chord can be used in place of a straight minor chord for a more “jazzy”
sound. Play them both and listen to the subtle difference in chordal texture.
X
1
3
1 2
1
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5 string root
sus2 bar chord
X
1
3
4 1
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1
1
4. Major, 5 string root– Root, 3 , 5 – This chord will require that you utilize both your 1
rd
and 3 fingers as bars. Finger the sus2 chord as shown in the number three example
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directly above. Lift your 4th finger off the fret board. Place your 3 finger directly flat on top
of the fret board utilizing it as a bar to finger the three notes on the D, G, and B strings.
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Press down firmly. Your bar fingers should be parallel to the frets and not angled. If your 3
finger knuckle bends back a little then you should be able to sound the high E string. If your
knuckle does not bend back and cant get the high E string to ring clean then don’t play that
string. Pick the notes individually and check they all ring true. Then strum the chord and
check the chord rings true and in tune.
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5 string root
major bar chord
X
1
3
3 3
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3. Suspended 2nd, (sus2), 5 string root - Root, 2nd, 5 , - Finger the minor chord as
shown in the number one example above. Now lift your 2nd finger off the fret board and you
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have a suspended 2 , or sus2 bar chord. Anchor your 1st finger firmly across all five strings
to allow all the notes to ring out clean. Suspended chords are known for being very “full” and
“jangley” sounding. For an even fuller sounding variation on this suspended chord utilize
your 1st finger to also fret the note on the sixth string. This basically adds a low bass note,
which really fills the sonic frequency spectrum – add some distortion and you have one
HUGE sounding chord!
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st
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