Free tips on playing the guitar.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Movable Chord Shapes

Time to exercise your brain instead of your fingers! Check out the chart below. All major chords are built with the root (1), the 3rd and the 5th of any given major scale. When you lower the 3rd by a half step, you've got a minor chord.

When you add a flat 7th to a major chord, it turns into a 7th chord. And finally, when you add a flat 7th to a minor chord, yes, it's a minor 7th chord!

So here is a major chord that you all are familiar with, I hope...

Lower the 3rd by a half step, and you've got a minor chord.

Add a flat 7th to a major chord, easier yet, lower the root (1 or 8) by a whole step and you've got a 7th chord.

Likewise, you can lower the root by a whole step from a minor chord and here is minor 7th chord.

These chords are movable, so you can play them anywhere on the guitar neck. If you want to play some F chords, just find out where the F is on the 6th string. F happens to be on the first fret of the 6th string, so now you can play F, Fm, F7 and Fm7 chords just by playing all the chords above on the first fret.

If you want to play these chords in B, play them on the 7th fret because that's where the B is on the 6th string.

You can do the same with the chords with the roots on the 5th string using the following diagrams. Same idea different strings.




Minor 7th

Have fun!


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5/21/2006 5:36 AM

Blogger Retired Rock Star Wannabe said...

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5/21/2006 8:24 PM

Anonymous Kondal said...

This is excellent, till now i learnt how to play minor or minor 7 or 7th chords but didnt know the logic behind those...

11/08/2007 1:08 PM

Anonymous Davd said...

Thank you so much this is helping my audition for college greatly.. They ask something along the lines play Xmajor/minor chord in 4 positions and I was clueless just knowing the basic CAGED chords.

So I have 3 shapes now. I ask you is there another moveable shape for the 4th string?


6/17/2008 2:14 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you. I was confused about moveable shapes after reading about them elsewhere and this really cleared things up. Appreciate it a lot.

8/31/2009 8:18 PM

Anonymous Wingnut said...

I was looking for a quick refresher on moveable bar chords and your site did the trick. Great job! Gets right to the point.

5/18/2010 5:53 AM


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