Pattern Obsession and Music Weaving

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Learning Chords

D Chord

A Chord.

G Chord

Weaving

C Chord

E Chord

Minor Chords

A Minor

E Minor

D Minor

Functions of Minor Chords

Dominant Chords

G7 Chord

D7 Chord

A7 Chord

E7 Chord

C7 Chord

B7 Chord

Minor Seventh Chords

A Minor Seventh

E Minor Seventh

D Minor Seventh

Major Sevenths

C Major Seventh

G Major Seventh

D Major Seventh

A Major Seventh

Bar Chords

The Dreaded F Chord

F7

Fm

Fm7

A Shaped Bar Chords

Bb Chord

Bb7

Bbm

Bbm7

BbMaj7

F#

F#7

F#m

F#m7

F Maj7

F# Maj7

B

B7 Alternate

Bm

Bm7

BMaj7

G

G

D Shaped Moveable Chords

Eb Chord

EbMaj7

Ebm

Ebm7

Eb7

E Maj7

C Minor

C Minor Seventh

C Shaped Chords

Db Chord

Db Minor

Db7

Db Maj7

Db Minor 7

G Shaped Moveable Chords

Ab Chord

Chord Weaving Level 1

Ab Minor

Chord Weaving Level 2

Ab7

Chord Weaving Level 3

AbMaj7

Abm7

Basic Chord Progressions

Other Notes in Chords

Suspended Fourth Chords

Suspended Second Chords

Suspended Sixth Chords

Add Chords

6 Chords

Slash Chords

Second Inversion Chords

Slash Chords for Other Notes

Chord Progressions in Context

B Diminished

F# Diminished

C# Diminished

G# o

D# o

A# o

F o

C o

G o

D o

A o

E o

Diatonic Progressions with Sevenths

Minor Seventh Flat Fifth

Bm7b5

F#m7b5

Progressions Containing vii

Chord Weaving Level 4

Playing Up the Neck

Moveable A Shape

Moveable G Shape

Moveable E Shape

Moveable D Shape

Moveable C Shape

Moveable Alternate C Shape

Moveable Chords in G

Chord Progressions up the Neck

Transposing to Other Keys

Minor Chords up the Neck

Other Forms of Minor Chords

Minor Chords in Context

Minor Chords on ii

Seventh Chords

Tables for Other Forms

Chord Progressions up the Neck

Diminished Chords up the Neck

Diminished 7ths

Abbreviated Chord Shapes for o7

Diminished Seventh Open Positions

Chord Progressions Using vii Revisited

m7b5 up the Neck

Diminished Chords up the Neck

Suspensions up the Neck

Moveable Sus2 Chords

Moveable Sus6 Chords

Moveable Add2 and Add 4

Added Sixth Chords

Augmented Chords

Adding Scale Tones

Ninth, Eleventh, and Thirteenth Chords

Major Ninth

Minor Ninth

m7b9

m7b9b5

Eleventh Chords

Maj11

Maj9#11

Minor 11th

m11b9

m11b9b5

Fingering Complex Chords

Complex chord building formula, in order of importance

Thirteenth Chords

Dominant 13th Chords

Reference Chords

Major 13th

Maj13#11

Minor 13th

m11b13

m11b13b9

m11b9b5b13

Substitutions

Seventh Substitutions while Sight Reading

Add Notes Substitutions

No Root Substitutions

No Root Suspension Substitutions

Five-note Substitutions for 13th Chords

Substitutions Conclusion

Minor Mode

Harmonic Minor

Harmonic Minor Based Sevenths

mMaj7

Maj7#5

Ninth, Eleventh, and Thirteenth Chords in Harmonic Minor

Melodic Minor Ascending Chords

Substitutions for Melodic and Harmonic Minor Ascending Chords

Harmonization of the Modes

Modal Equivalents for Minor

Quartal Chords

Quartal Chords based on Harmonic Minor

Quartal Chords based on Melodic Minor Ascending

Quintal Chords

Quintal Chords based on Harmonic Minor

Quintal Chords based on Melodic Minor Ascending

Septal Chords

Septal Chords based on Harmonic Minor

Septal Chords based on Melodic Minor Ascending

Symmetrical Chords

Clusters

Whole Tone Scale Harmonization

Harmonization of Octatonic

Symmetrical Quartal

Build Your Own Chords

Transpositions

Transposing Chords with Roots other than C

Scales

Vertical Chord Progressions

Vertical Chord Progressions Complete

Adding Sevenths and Minor Shifts

Adding Chord Tones

Adding Chromatic Tones

Progressions with Fourths

Tritone Substitution

Partial Chords

Vertical Intervals

Fifths and Power Chords

Fourths

Thirds

Sixths

Octaves

Sevenths and Seconds

Intervals from Other Scales

 


 

Learning Chords

An introduction to chords, beginning with knowledge of a single chord and weaving in new chords one by one.

D Chord

 

e

a

d

g

b

e

Names of strings

o

o

 

 

 

Open o or muted x strings

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Fret

 

 

 

Second Fret

 

 

 

 

 

Third Fret

 

Learn the D chord. The cells on the grid represent the guitar fretboard.

The first row shown here contains the names of the strings in standard tuning. This row is only for information and does not usually appear.

The next row shows which strings play open (o) or muted (x). Do not play the strings with an x at the top.

The following rows are the frets on the guitar, with the first fret being the one closest to the nut (where the tuners are) and then moving higher up the fretboard on the second and succeeding rows.

Circled numbers indicate which finger usually goes on which string. In most chord forms, these contain just dots and the player figures out what fingers to use.

 

Place fingers close to the frets, straight down on the strings, so that the sides of the fingers do not interfere with the adjacent strings and so that all played strings ring cleanly without buzzing or dead sounds. Relax the hand as much as possible.

 

Set a metronome and practice paying the D chord repeatedly with a steady rhythm.

Begin very slowly at first before increasing tempo then moving on.

A Chord.

 

Learn the A chord.

 

o

o

 

 

 

o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice switching between the A chord and the D chord.

Leave the first finger down as a pivot. Practice moving slowly between them with a minimum of finger movement. Make sure the pinky finger is relaxed and not tight.

 

Set a metronome and practice switching between the D chord and the A repeatedly with a stead rhythm.

 

Begin very slowly at first before increasing tempo then moving on. If the chord changes are not clean, the flaws become permanent with improper practice.

G Chord

Learn the G chord.

 

 

o

o

o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If the fourth finger is not able to make the stretch across the strings, try the alternate fingering.

 

 

 

o

o

o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If that is still too hard, try leaving out the bass notes at first.

 

 x

 x

o

o

o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Using a metronome, practice switching between the G chord and the D chord.

Then, practice switching between the G chord and the A chord.

 

Weaving

Begin the process of learning new chords by weaving the new chord into the known chords. Each row in the following weaving table shows all possible combinations of chords.

 

DD

DA

DG

AD

AA

AG

GD

GA

GG

 

Practice each of the changes four times in a row with a metronome,

 

DA DA DA DA DG DG DG DG AD AD AD AD
AG AG AG AG GD GD GD GD GA GA GA GA

 

A surprising number of songs contain just three chords. These three chords work together as the three primary chords in the key of D.

C Chord

 

x

 

 

o

 

o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add one more row and column to the weaving table.

 

DD

DA

DG

DC

AD

AA

AG

AC

GD

GA

GG

GC

CD

CA

CG

CC

 

Read the table across row by row, playing each pair for times.

 

DA DA DA DA DG DG DG DG DC DC DC DC AD AD AD AD AG AG AG AG AC AC AC AC GD GD GD GD GA GA GA GA GC GC GC GC CD CD CD CD CA CA CA CA CG CG CG CG

 

As the rows get longer, concentrating on just the rows or columns with the new chord may be beneficial.

 

CD CD CD CD CA CA CA CA CG CG CG CG

 

The G, C, and D chords are the primary chords in the key of G. G and D are the two most popular keys for guitar, so with these four chords, a lot of guitar based music is now available.

 

Now would be a good time to start the first few scale exercises. Learning chord theory builds on using scale construction to figure out complicated chords and not just memorizing the pictures.

 

The G-C-D progression is known as a I-IV-V progression since G has a root of the first scale degree, C has a root of the fourth scale degree, and V has a root of the fifth. This I-IV-V progression is the basis for most of Western music. The already-learned I-IV-V progression for the key of D was D-G-A. Knowing all the I-IV-V progressions helps transpose music into different keys and also makes learning music easier. Understanding the function of the chord makes playing easier since the player is just working with common patterns across different keys and not just looking at the pictures.

E Chord

 

o

 

 

 

o

o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Each new chord adds another row and column to the matrix.

 

DD

DA

DG

DC

DE

AD

AA

AG

AC

AE

GD

GA

GG

GC

GE

CD

CA

CG

CC

CE

ED

EA

EG

EC

EE

 

E is the V chord in the key of A, a new key possibility now available. IN A, I-IV-V is A-D-E

Minor Chords

With all the easy major chords learned, start learning the easy minor chords. The minor chords are sadder sounding than the majors. Create a minor by lowering the third of the chord.

A Minor

 

The scale exercises show how the third of A is C#, so the A minor chord lowers this to C natural.

 

o

 

 

o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DD

DA

DG

DC

DE

DAm

AD

AA

AG

AC

AE

AAm

GD

GA

GG

GC

GE

GAm

CD

CA

CG

CC

CE

CAm

ED

EA

EG

EC

EE

EAm

AmD

AmA

AmG

AmC

AmE

AmAm

 

In chord charts, A Minor shortens to Am or A-


Read through the rows and columns as in the previous steps, paying special attention to the last row.

 

E Minor

 

o

 

 

o

o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

E minor is just the E chord with the third (g#) lowered to g natural. Simply lift the first finger. Full chord weaves are becoming cumbersome, so just concentrate on the last line.

 

EmD

EmA

EmG

EmC

EmE

EmAm

EmEm

 

D Minor

D minor requires rearranging the fingers from the D chord.

 

o

o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DmD

DmA

DmG

DmC

DmE

DmAm

DmEm

DmDm

 

Functions of Minor Chords

Minor chords can serve as the root chord for minor keys, similar to the way major chords did. For example, the i-iv-v progression for the key of minor is Am-Dm-Em. Notice that this progression is i-iv-v in lower case since all the chords here are minor. Often the E major chord substitutes for a stronger i-iv-V progression.

 

Minor chords can also be substitutions for the IV chord in the I-IV-V patterns. In jazz, substitution of the minor chord built on the second scale degree is common. Instead of IV-V, play ii-V. So, in the key of C, ii would be D minor. Therefore the progression Dm-G-C (ii-V-I). is common. In G, ii-V-I is Am-D-G and in D, ii-V-I is Em-A-E.

 

Minor chords also appear on the iii and vi chords in a chord progression. More on that later.

Dominant Chords

The V chord in nay key is the dominant chord and plays an essential role in harmonic structure. The dominant signals the return of the tonic, I chord. (For information why, please see the music theory document.) This is why the V chord substituted for v in minor keys. This dominant function enhances by adding a seventh to the dominant chord. After major and minor chords, sevenths (7) are the next most common. To produce a dominant 7 chord, take the upper root and lower it a whole step (two frets).

G7 Chord

 

Begin with the G chord and lower the first-string G to F

 

 

 

o

o

o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

G7 is V7 in the I-IV-V7 progression in the key of C.

 

Practice weave:

 

G7D

G7A

G7G

G7C

G7E

G7Am

G7Em

G7Dm

G7G7

 

D7 Chord

Lower the second-string D to C.

o

o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

D7 is V7 in the I-IV-V7 progression in the key of G.

 

D7D

D7A

D7G

D7C

D7E

D7Am

D7Em

D7Dm

D7G7

D7D7

 

A7 Chord

For A7, just lift the first finger to lower the A to G.

 

o

o

 

 o

 

o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alternate fingering

 

o

o

 

 o

 

o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A7 is V7 in the I-IV-V7 progression in the key of D.

 

A7D

A7A

A7G

A7C

A7E

A7Am

A7Em

A7Dm

A7G7

A7D7

A7A7

 

E7 Chord

For E7, just lift the third finger to drop the e to d.

 

o

 

 o

 

o

o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

E7 is V7 in the I-IV-V7 progression in the key of A.

 

Since the weave excerpts are becoming long, skip the majors for now.

 

E7Am

E7Em

E7Dm

E7G7

E7D7

E7A7

E7E7

C7 Chord

C7 is the first four-finger chord. Simply dropping the upper root two frets does not work with C since dropping the second string first fret c down two frets is impossible. Instead, just drop the fourth finger down to play the Bb.

 

x

 

 

 

o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

C7 is V7 in the I-IV-V7 progression in the key of F.

 

C7Am

C7Em

C7Dm

C7G7

C7D7

C7A7

C7E7

C7C7

B7 Chord

B7 is another four-finger chord. Learning B will come later, but B7 works well here.

 

 

 

o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

B7 is V7 in the I-IV-V7 progression in the key of E.

 

B7G7

B7D7

B7A7

B7E7

B7C7

B7B7

 

B7 is the final of the easily fingered seventh chords.

 

Minor Seventh Chords

Adding a seventh to a minor chord is similar to the process with a major, just drop the upper root down a whole step. The minor seventh chords do not have the strong dominant function of the seventh chords. Minor sevenths in ii7-V7-I progression work well. The minor seventh adds color to the minor chord, and can occur anywhere a minor chord happens.

A Minor Seventh

For A Minor Seventh, just lift the third finger from A Minor.

 

o

 

o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In chord charts, A Minor Seventh shortens to Am7 or A-7

 

Abbreviated weave:

Am7Am

Am7Em

Am7Dm

Am7G7

Am7D7

Am7A7

Am7E7

Am7C7

Am7B7

 

E Minor Seventh

Lift the third finger from E Minor.

 

o

 

 o

o

o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Em7Am

Em7Em

Em7Dm

Em7G7

Em7D7

Em7A7

Em7E7

Em7C7

Em7B7

Em7Am7

 

D Minor Seventh

For Dm7, use the flat part of the first finger to bar the first fret on the first and second strings.

 

o

o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dm7G7

Dm7D7

Dm7A7

Dm7E7

Dm7C7

Dm7B7

Dm7Am7

Dm7Em7

 

Major Sevenths

Major seventh chords lower the top root one half step (one fret) instead of two. Abbreviate major seventh chords as Maj7, M7, or with a small triangle in hand written jazz parts. Major seventh chords usually occur on the first or fourth scale degree, so a IMaj7-IVMaj7-V7-IMaj7 progression would be typical for jazz playing.

 

C Major Seventh

Simply lift the first finger from a C chord to produce C Major Seventh

 

x

 

 

o

o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice

CM7G7

CM7D7

CM7A7

CM7E7

CM7C7

CM7B7

CM7Am7

CM7Em7

CM7Dm7

 

G Major Seventh

Begin with the G chord and lower the first-string G to F#

 

 

 

o

o

o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GM7G7

GM7D7

GM7A7

GM7E7

GM7C7

GM7B7

GM7Am7

GM7Em7

GM7Dm7

GM7CM7

 

D Major Seventh

Lower the second-string D to C# by barring all three notes with the flat of the first finger (or any convenient finger).

o

o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DM7D7

DM7A7

DM7E7

DM7C7

DM7B7

DM7Am7

DM7Em7

DM7Dm7

DM7CM7

DM7GM7

 

A Major Seventh

Lower the a to g#

o

o

 

 

 

o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AM7A7

AM7E7

AM7C7

AM7B7

AM7Am7

AM7Em7

AM7Dm7

AM7CM7

AM7GM7

AM7DM7

 

Bar Chords

A significant milestone marking the transition from a novice player to an advanced beginner is the ability to play barred chords. Bars allow for chords such as F and Bb, and also allow the player access to the whole neck and not just the open position chords.

 

Before learning the barred chords, first work on a bar out of context. Begin higher on the neck, around the fifth fret or even higher and bar straight across with the first finger.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This will be difficult at first until hand strength develops. Putting the second finger on top of the first finger for added strength might help at first. Keep working until all the strings ring clearly. Move the finger around the4 fretboard until hand strength is enough to play on the first fret.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Dreaded F Chord

The first of the barred chords is F, always a great challenge to advanced beginners. F is essentially an E chord slid one fret up. The first finger plays the first fret on the first, second, and sixth strings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If the full chord is too difficult, try leaving out the bass notes

 

 

x    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For practice weaving exercises for this and subsequent chords, refer to the external table "Chord Weaving Level 0 Table."

 

Once F is established, the variations mirror the patterns from E and E Minor, with the bar covering more strings.

F7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fm7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Shaped Bar Chords

Just as the F chord was shaped like an E chord slid up the neck, the next group of chords look like an A chord and variations slid up. The next chord is Bb.

Bb Chord

For Bb, bar as in F and then bar the second, third, and fourth strings with the third finger.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This will take some time to develop hand strength. Again, if this is too much, lave out the bass notes. Variations on Bb follow the same shapes as A.

Bb7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bbm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bbm7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BbMaj7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The huge advantage to knowing barred chords is that they can move anywhere to produce any chord. Simply sliding the E shaped chord F up one fret yields F# and its variants.

F#

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

F#7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

F#m

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

F#m7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note that these forms are not the only way to play these chords. Because the same note appears on multiple strings, an advanced guitar player will know many different ways to play the same chord. One extreme example is the document "All Forms of the E Minor Chord," which shows an exhaustive list of the possible variants of just one chord. With F#m, for example on open form could be

 

 

o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2

 

 

2

2

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

 

 

 

 

But with chords that are not natural on the guitar such as keys with flats or many sharps, just learning to move around the bar chords is a better way to fill in the more difficult chords.

 

The major seventh versions of the E shaped chord are

F Maj7

 

  x   o

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

F# Maj7

The Major Seventh form of the E shaped chords bars with the first finger on two different frets for a pleasant sounding moveable chord.

 

 

 x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Take a glance at the tables

Major Chords up the neck with alternates

Minor Chords up the neck with alternates

paying attention to the open chords columns. If these chords are new, continuing here in the sequential order without all the variations is probably the best tactic. Just be aware that the picture of chords in sheet music are just approximations.

B

Sliding the Bb chord up one fret produces the B chord. Since B is the dominant in the key of E, the B chord and its variants are common.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

B7 Alternate

B has all the same patterns for variants as Bb did. Notice that this form of B7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is different than the B7 using open strings. The "correct" form to use would depend on what chords come before or after the B7. Whichever chord progression produces the least hand movement or cleaner voice leading is usually better, although the player may prefer the sound of one form over another.

Bm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bm7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BMaj7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The last few groups showed how sliding bar chord shaped like E or A produces chords that are easy to remember. The chords based on sixth-string roots (F or F#) or second-string roots (Bb or B) on the first nor second fret are often more appealing than the open forms of the chords. Pushing these chords to the third fret is often not as appealing, though. Consider the E shaped chord on the third fret.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

Since the root is on the sixth string, this is just a variant of the G chord. This G chord is not as easy as the G learned early on, so why use it? This form may be appropriate later when playing rock music that uses power chords up the neck, but for working with other open chords, it is in an inconvenient place and more difficult to finger.

 

Two variants of G, however, did not appear in the earlier list, G minor and G Minor Seventh. These could work with barred chords in a pinch, but these forms are usually better.

 

G Minor

Bar the first three strings with the third finger, and mute the second string with the second finger.

 

 

 x

o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

G Minor Seventh

This moveable form of Gm7 is probably the best to learn first.

 

 x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

D Shaped Moveable Chords

Just as the E shaped chords and the A shaped chords move up the neck nicely, chords shaped like a D chord can also bar and move up the neck. The most common of these is Eb.

Eb Chord

Bar the first and third strings with the third finger.

 

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

D shaped chords use the similar shapes as D.

EbMaj7

Barred with third finger

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ebm

x

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ebm7

Barred second finger

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eb7

x

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The D shaped chords are less elegant than the A or E shapes, so they occur less often. Eb is typically the only chord regularly played in this form, other than E Major Seventh

E Maj7

    o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

C Minor

C minor is a difficult chord, but important since chords based on C are so common. The open position version is unsatisfying because both E strings need to be muted.

 

 x

 

 

o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The third fret A minor shape of this chord is often easier to play, but is far from the other open chords.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

C Minor Seventh

A workable open form of C minor seventh is possible, but not recommended. Instead use the barred form when possible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

C Shaped Chords

The C chord may also bar and shift higher, although this is a difficult process. The C#/Db chord is one form that often calls for the C shaped version.

Db Chord

The f on the sixth string is possible to bar, but does not sound good as a bass note in most circumstances. The alternative to this difficult fingering is to play an A form on the fourth fret, but that is far from the other open chords.

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Db Minor

The minor form of Db is the open C minor chord shifted up into a moveable version.

 

 

x         x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Db7

The seventh form is also moveable and quite useful.

 

 

x         x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Db Maj7

Uses a bar

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Db Minor 7

 

x       o x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

G Shaped Moveable Chords

The beginning of the lesson started with five open chords. Each of these shifted up the neck into forms that are moveable. The last chord to shift up is the G chord. G shifted up is Ab (or G#).

Ab Chord

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While this fingering is certainly possible for some players, the stretch to the fourth finger is difficult for most, so mute the top string and use these fingers.

 

 

 

 x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chord Weaving Level 1

At this point, all the major chords are playable. The level 0 chord weaving was useful at first, but usually becomes tiresome long before now (you probably gave up doing those long ago). Now, with all the major forms learned, access the Level 1 chord weaving section to practice the chords in a more meaningful sequence, the circle of fifths. The circles of fifths and fourths ingrain many of the common chord changes found in Western music.

 

Ab Minor

Uses the same shape as G minor, shifted up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chord Weaving Level 2

At this point, all minor chords are presented. Access the Chord Weaving level 2 for exercises using major and minor chords around the circle of fifths.

 

Ab7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chord Weaving Level 3

At this point, all seventh chords are presented. Access the Chord Weaving Level 3 for exercises using seventh chords around the circle of fifths. The tables for level three also contain patterns for other chord forms as they complete.

AbMaj7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abm7

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At this point, all major and minor seventh chords are presented and ready to work on the Chord Weaving Level 3 Table.

Basic Chord Progressions

Before moving on to diminished and augmented chords, take some time to play through some common chord progressions that use the chords learned so far.

 

Begin with

I-IV-V-I Chord Progression

This section shows all the basic relationships essential to Western music. Work the sections on major chords, natural minor chords, and seventh chords, both major and natural minor. The other sections, up the neck, harmonic minor, and melodic minor (with their respective sevenths) come later. These support tables do not have fingerings, though. The numbers in those cells refer to the fret number. Typically chords forms do not include fingerings, but just have a large dot and the player figures out the fingerings.

 

After I-IV-V relationships are ingrained, work on substituting the minor ii for IV, jazz style in the section

ii-V-I Chord Progression

 

Then work some of the common four chord patterns popular in many songs.

 

I-vi-IV-V-I Chord Progression

I-vi-ii-V-I Chord Progression

I-V-vi-IV Chord Progression

I-iii-ii-V-I Chord Progression

I-V-vi-iii-IV Chord Progression

 

Finally, work and memorize the 12 Bar Blues Chord Progression, a staple for rock and roll music.

Other Notes in Chords

So far, all the chords build on the root, third, fifth, and seventh of the scales. Other notes of the scale can add to the mix also. In fact, before reaching this point, you have probably come across lots of other chords. The sequence of chords so far has been in the order that they evolve naturally.

 

The scale degrees not considered part of the basic chords are the second, fourth, and sixth scale degrees. These may also have the labels ninth, eleventh, and thirteenth, respectively. In the C scale two octaves, for example,

cdefgabcdefgab

d is the second note and also the ninth note

f is the fourth and also the eleventh, and

a is the sixth and also the thirteenth.

 

The most important way these other notes function is as suspension. In a suspension, the new note replaces one of the other chord tones.

Suspended Fourth Chords

The most common of these suspensions is the suspended 4, notated sus4, or just sus. Producing these are as simple as raising the third a half step. Refer to the table sus4.xls for all versions. The fingerings for the open forms are.

 

 

C

sus4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

x

 

 

o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

G

sus4

 

 

 

 

 

x

o

o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

D

sus4 (Common)

 

 

 

 

x

o

o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A

sus4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

o

o

 

 

 

o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

E/Fb

sus4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

o

 

 

 

o

o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

B/Cb

sus4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

x

 

 

 

o

o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

F#/Gb

sus4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

C#/Db

sus4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

x

 

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ab/G#

sus4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

x

 

 

 

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eb/D#

sus4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bb/A#

sus4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

F/E#

sus4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suspended fourth often resolve back to the I chord. Try the progression G-Csus4-C to see how the suspension delays the resolution aback to I in a pleasing manner.

 

Note that no minor version of suspended chords exists since the third is not in the chord. Amsus4 and Asus4 would be the same chord.

 

Suspended Second Chords

Suspended second chords (sus2) also replace the third of the chord, but with a second instead of a fourth.

 

C

sus2

 

 

 

 

 

 

x

 

o

o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

G

sus2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

o

o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

D

sus2

 

 

 

 

 

 

x

o

o

 

 

o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A

sus2

 

 

 

 

 

 

o

o

 

 

o

o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

E/Fb

sus2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

o

 

 

 

o

o

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

B/Cb

sus2

 

 

 

 

 

 

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

F#/Gb

sus2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

x

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

C#/Db

sus2

 

 

 

 

 

 

x

 

 

 

 

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ab/G#

sus2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

x

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eb/D#

sus2

 

 

 

 

 

 

x