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Expanding The Five Basic Chord Shapes

Expanding The Five Basic Chord Shapes Brought to you by: guitar.com

In my last column, I explained the five basic chord shapes. In this column I'll build on those basic shapes. The purpose of this column in addition to diagramming some cool chords you may not already know is to show how all chords on the guitar, and there are thousands of them, can be organized easily as variations on the five already familiar basic shapes.

 

I'm not going to show every chord in the world, and I'm not going to be my normally over-wordy self here, either. But the following diagrams should give you a lot to think about. Just examine the diagrams and reformat your mental hard drive.

E Shape Chord Variations

These are all chords that are related to the basic E shape chord, whether in open position or barred. If you see a chord here in open position, you know there's got to be a way to barre it and move it up the neck, even if you have to change some of the fingering.

E - E7 - E7#9 - E

E7 - E9 - E6 - Eadd9 - E Augmented - E Diminished

E7 -  E7#5 - E7b5 - E9 - E13 - Emaj7

E6 - Em - Em7 - Em6


A Shape Chord Variations

These are all chords that are related to the basic A shape chord, whether in open position or barred. Again, if you see a chord here in open position, you know there's got to be a way to barre it and move it up the neck, even if you have to change some of the fingering.

A - A7 - Amaj7 - Asus4 - A6

A7b9 - Aadd9 - A6/9 - Aaug - Adim - Am7b5

Am - Am7 - Am6 - Amaj7 - Am9

Am7 - Am6


D Shape Chord Variations

These are all chords that are related to the basic D shape chord, whether in open position or barred. Don't be afraid to move them up the neck, barre them, change fingerings whatever it takes for you to add a cool new chord to your vocabulary.

D - Dmaj7 - D7 - D6 - Dsus4

D9 - D - D/F# - Dm/F - Dm - Dm7


C Shape Chord Variations

These are all chords that are related to the basic C shape chord, whether in open position or barred. Move them around and experiment with them.

C - Cmaj7 - C6 - C7 - C9 - C7b9

C7#9 - C9 - C13 - C7#5#9 -  Cm - Cm7


G Shape Chord Variations

These are all chords that are related to the basic G shape chord, whether in open position or barred. Have fun with these.

G - G - G7 - G7 G(no 3rd) - G

G6 - Gmaj7 - Gm - G - Gm7 - Gm6

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