42 Unique Ways To Play 1 Chord

In this lesson we’re going to explore how you can take one chord and play it in many different unique ways. In the previous lesson on triads and inversions, we learned how to form the major and minor triad and play inversions on the first three strings. You can read that lesson here. Here’s a brief summary of that lesson. The Major Triad The Major triad is made up of the 1, 3 and 5 of the major scale. For example, the C Major triad contains the following notes: C - E - G The minor triad is made up of the 1, b3 and 5 of the major scale. For example, the C minor triad contains the … [Read more...]

Why Fingerstyle Guitar Is Awesome

There is something awesome about fingerstyle guitar. For me, the power and beauty of this style lies in the fact that it is largely a solo-guitar genre. Many fingerstyle pieces are designed to be played by one guitarist only. Although it is often referred to as ‘Classical Guitar’, I think this name sells it short and connotes a style that is old and boring. In reality, classical guitar is simply about playing pieces of music, by yourself, using your fingers. There's nothing boring about that! … [Read more...]

Learn Fingerpicking With The Help Of A 19th Century Italian Guitarist

If you've never used the fingerstyle technique before, you're missing out. A lot of guitarists decide early on when learning, whether they'll be a 'picking guitarist' or a 'fingerpicking guitarist'. The truth is, you don't have to limit yourself to one or the other. Both techniques have unique benefits and advantages and you can easily develop both of them at the same time. Pick Vs Fingerpicking? So what is fingerpicking? Well firstly, most guitarists play the guitar by using a pick. It's pretty simple - the right hand (assuming we're talking about a right-handed guitarist) holds a pick and … [Read more...]

Building 7th Chords From Triads

This lesson is a follow up to the lesson on figuring out the seven chords in any key. In that lesson, we took the major scale and stacked 3rds on each degree of the scale, to produce seven chords that could be transposed in any key. You can read that lesson here. Here is a brief summary of the lesson. The Major scale has seven notes. If we build triads on each note of the major scale, by stacking them in 3rds, we get the following seven chords: Maj - min - min - Maj - Maj - min - dim Here is an example in the key of C … [Read more...]

How To Master Basic Guitar Chords

How many chords do you need to know? That's sort of a 'how long is a piece of string?' question, but in this case there is an answer, depending on what you're trying to achieve. There are 15 chords that when mastered, will allow you to play thousands upon thousands of songs. These 15 chords are 'open chords', which means they're played in the first position, and use at least some open strings. There are 15 open chords that just happen to get used more than the others. It's basically the 80/20 rule - most of the time, we use a small percentage of available chords. Because these 15 chords … [Read more...]

How To Figure Out The 7 Chords In Any Key

Why is a chord a chord? It’s a question philosophers have grappled with since the beginning of time. Ok, not really, but it is the subject of this lesson. Guitarists have a great dependance on chords. Many guitarists put themselves into the ‘rhythm-guitarist’ category and decide that that’s all they’ll ever learn. But for all the time we devote to learning chords and using them in music, we often overlook what they actually are, at a fundamental level. There are a few reasons why this happens. The main one is that we tend to learn shapes, which means that we can play a D minor chord without … [Read more...]