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Let's get our guitar tuned to open G.

In open G tuning:

Your sixth string (the wound string closest to your chin) is tuned to D
Your fifth string is tuned to G
Your fourth string is tuned to D
Your third string is tuned to G
Your second string is tuned to B
Your first string (the plain steel string closest to the floor) is tuned to D

Staring with open G you get G#/Ab with a barre at the first fret, A at the second fret and so on.


The barre chord is not the only chord form that follows this pattern. Every chord is going to follow the chromatic scale up and down the fretboard. This is kind of neat because you only have to learn a few chord forms to learn all of the chords.

Major Chord Positions

All of the chords that we have been working with so far have been major chords. A major chord is made up of the 1st , 3rd and 5th notes in the scale.

A G major chord is made up of the notes G-B-D. If you play those three notes together anywhere on the fretboard you have a G major chord.

There are two types of chord positions. Open position chords have one or more open strings and closed position chords don't. That's easy to remember, isn't it?

In some of the chord forms shown in this and subsequent chapters you may notice a white dot marking one of the strings. That white dot indicates an optional string. You can fret it if you want to or you can just think of that string as being crossed out for that chord form.

The first form that we are going to look at is called the F position because its first position on the fretboard is an F chord.

There isn't any need to write out every single F position chord on the fretboard because it follows the same idea as barre chords. The chord one fret up the fretboard (towards the bridge- I know it seems like going down, but we call it going "up" the neck because the notes are getting higher in pitch). . .where was I? Oh yeah, the chord one fret up from the F position A chord at the seventh fret has to be A#/Bb. It can't be anything else because it follows the chromatic scale.

It also works the other way around. The E chord is an F position chord "cut off" by the nut. The next chord position is called the C or D position depending on who you talk to. Some folks call it the C position because the first chord we use is the C chord, other folks call it the D position because D is the first closed position chord using this form.

After E at the sixth fret you get and F chord at the seventh fret and so on.

Minor Chord Positions

Minor chords are made up of the same three notes as a major chord, but in a minor chord we flat the third note. That means we lower the pitch of the third note of the chord by a half step. So, a G minor chord would be G-Bb-D.

Minor chords have a dark, moody sound. Sometimes people will say that minor chords are sad or spooky, but that's really something that depends on how you use them. The best way to describe them is that they just sound different from major chords.

There are three main minor chord positions. All of them continue along with the chromatic scale.

The E Minor Position


The D Minor Position


The A Minor Position


Seventh Chord Positions

A seventh chord is a major chord with one extra note. The extra note is the flatted seventh note of the scale. A G7 chord would be G-B-D-F.

Seventh chords have a variety of uses. In folk music you often see seventh chords tossed into a chord progression just before a chord change. This works because seventh chords have this funny way of creating a feeling of tension that leads into a chord change.

The three most common seventh chord positions are diagrammed below.

Any barre or G position chord can be made into a seventh by dropping your pinky on the first string three frets below the barred fret.

In other words, if your barre at the second fret with your index finger and put your pinky on the first string at the fifth fret you would get an A7 chord. Barre across the fourth fret and place your pinky on the first string at the seventh fret and you get a B7 chord.

One seventh chord form that is kind of a trouble maker in open G tuning is the D7 chord.


It is moveable, but it's kind of awkward so most players don't treat this as a moveable position.

 

Blackberry Blossom MP3...Practice with a G scale

Below...Another Blues Run