Chord Relatives

Some chords are very close relatives to others in terms of the notes they contain. Some chords can even share exactly the same notes and therefore have two or more different names. These chord relatives can be useful to know for substitutions and also for melody purposes. Consider the chords C major 7 and E minor 6. Lets look at the notes they contain: Notice both chords … Read More


An arpeggio is a technique where the notes of a chord are played in order one after the other as quickly as possible, starting on the beat from the bottom note. Rather than a strum, where all notes are played more or less simultaneously, the notes of an arpeggio are ‘spread’ out and played in quick succession. Chords can be arranged with … Read More


The guitar can produce many sounds other than simple fretted notes or chords. One such sound is the harmonic. Harmonics are basically the ‘overtones’ of a note. They occur naturally every time we pluck a guitar string. However we do not hear them as such since they are very quiet compared to the fundamental note being played. In some places … Read More

Combining Melody and Harmony

On the guitar we can play a chord progression and the melody line at the same time. The melody is usually played in the upper register ie. the top strings, and the rest of the chord is played to fill out (harmonize) the melody. We can also play the bass line on the bottom strings in the same way . … Read More