Moveable Major Chord Shapes

So what if we want to play the chord D# major? Or Gb major? How do we achieve this? What we do is we use the ‘open position’ chords on the previous page and move them up the neck. To do this, however, we need to turn the chords into barre chords. The barre then acts as a movable ‘nut’ to raise … Read More

Minor Triads

Minor triads are derived from the minor scale, and are the basis of the minor chord. They differ from the major triad in that they have a MINOR THIRD instead of a major third, which basically means we flatten the third note (move it down one semitone or one fret). Let’s look at the natural minor scale, in the key of A: … Read More

Minor Chords

As for major triads, we can finger common minor chord shapes based on our three-note triads by repeating some notes in the minor triad. Listen: Here’s an example of an ‘open position’ minor chord progression, with a simple melody in between the chord changes. This example is in the key of A Minor, so the melody is derived from the … Read More

Moveable Minor Chord Shapes

These shapes can be moved up and down the fingerboard to produce a minor chord in any key. The root note will dictate what minor chord it is. Note we need to use a first finger barre again for some of these. Here is an example of a minor chord progression using barre chords. Note the reggae-style strum pattern (each … Read More


Most music in a major key has a bright sound that people often describe as cheerful, inspiring, exciting, strong, or happy. Music that is in a minor key is sometimes described as sounding more solemn, sad, mysterious, or ominous than music that is in a major key. This is called the Tonality of a chord (whether it is major or minor). If we wanted to enhance … Read More

Triad Inversions

We have seen that major and minor chords are made up of three notes, the 1st note (root), the 3rd note and the 5th note. Chords are usually constructed by playing the root note as the lowest note of the chord, and then have the 3rd and the 5th notes stacked on top of this. For example, when playing a C major chord, the note C would usually be … Read More


Polychords (or slash chords as they are sometimes known) may sound fancy, but are really quite simple. They are basically just major or minor chords with a different bass note added to the chord. They are written, for example, as C/B, where C is the chord you play (C Major) and B is the bass note added to the chord, usually … Read More

Seventh Chords

Major and minor chords are made up of three notes – the 1st, 3rd and 5th notes of the scale. The 7th chord adds the seventh note of the major or minor scale to the existing triad. So it will contain the 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 7th notes of the relevant scale. We can therefore have a major 7th, a minor 7th, and one other, a dominant 7th … Read More

Diminished Chords

The diminished chord is made up of four notes. When compared to the major scale they are: 1st, b3rd, b5th, and bb(double flat) 7th So once again if we look at the A major scale: We find that ‘A diminished’ would be composed of the notes A (1st), C (b3rd), Eb (b5th), and Gb (bb7th). The fingering would be: Listen (root notes on 5th fret): The diminished chord has a unique … Read More

Min/Maj 7 Chords

The min/maj7 chord is a minor triad (1st, b3rd, 5th) with a major 7th added on top. So it is kind of the opposite of a dominant 7, which is a major triad with a minor 7th on top. Here’s some examples of how we could finger it on the guitar: Listen (root notes on 5th fret): The min/maj 7th chord can be used as a root … Read More