Gb Chord on the Guitar (G Flat Major) – 10 Ways to Play (and Some Tips/Theory)

The Gb chord (G flat Major) is enharmonically the same as F# Major. The most common way to play the Gb chord is as a root 6 bar chord on the 2nd fret. None of the notes in the Gb chord can be played as an open string, so Gb can not be played as an open chord.

Some Quick Gb Chord Theory

  • The Gb Major chord contains the notes Gb, Bb and Db.
  • The Gb Major chord is produced by playing the 1st (root), 3rd and 5th notes of the Gb Major scale.
  • The Gb Major chord (just like all Major chords) contains the following intervals (from the root note): Major 3rd, minor 3rd, Perfect 4th (back to the root note).
  • The Gb chord is the first chord in the key of G flat Major. The seven chords in the key of Gb Major are: Gb, Abm, Bbm, Cb, Db, Ebm, F diminished. 

10 Ways To Play The Gb Major Chord

If you’ve come to this page just to view some chord diagrams for Gb, here they are.

Gb Major Chord - 10 Shapes

Standard Gb Chord Shape

The most common way to play the Gb chord is the root-6 barre chord, starting on the second fret.

Gb Chord Guitar

Easy Gb Chord Shape

While the root-6 barre chord shape is the most common way of playing the chord, it can be useful to learn the easier version of the chord, especially when starting out. The Easy Gb shape involves playing three strings, using the first three fingers.

Easy Gb Chord Guitar

How to Play the G Flat Major Chord (Step by Step)

  • Place your first finger on the second fret and barre all six strings.
  • Place your third finger on the fourth fret of the fifth string.
  • Place your fourth finger on the fourth fret of the fourth string.
  • Place your second finger on the third fret of the third string.
  • Strum all six strings.

The instructions above are step by step instructions for playing the most common Gb Major chord shape. These instructions can actually be super helpful when you feel like you’re interpreting the shape incorrectly. By going through the Gb chord instructions step by step, you can verify that you’re playing the chord correctly.

Barre Chord Shapes for G Flat

The Gb chord can be played as a barre chord by playing a root 6 barre chord shape and starting on the 2nd fret or by playing a root 5 barre chord Major shape and starting on the 9th fret:

Gb Barre Chord Guitar

Gb Major Triads

Playing the Gb chord using barre chord shapes is the most common way of playing the chord. However, it is also useful to explore the chord using triads (including inversions). The G flat Major triad can be voiced in the following three ways:

  • Gb Major Triad (Root Position) – Gb, Bb, Db
  • Gb Major Triad (1st Inversion) – Bb, Db, Gb
  • Gb Major Triad (2nd Inversion) – Db, Gb, Bb

Here are six different ways to play the Gb Major triad (including inversions).

Gb Major Triad Guitar

Which Keys Have The Gb chord in Them?

The Gb chord can be found in the following keys:

  • The key of Gb Major (Gb, Abm, Bbm, Cb, Db, Ebm, Fdim)
  • The key of Db Major (Db, Ebm, Fm, Gb, Ab, Bbm, Cdim)
  • The key of Eb minor (Eb, Fdim, Gb, Abm, Bbm, Cb, Db)
  • The key of Bb minor (Bbm, Cdim, Db, Ebm, Fm, Gb, Ab)
  • The key of Ab minor (Abm, Bbdim, Cb, Dbm, Ebm, Fb, Gb)

Alternative But Useful G Flat Chord Shapes

The following shapes are alternative ways of playing the G flat Major chord shape. They’re not the most common Gb shapes, but used enough to include here as interesting alternatives.

Alternative Gb Chord Shapes Guitar

Gb Chord Substitutions

The Gb chord can often be substituted with the Gb sus 4 chord, the Gb sus 2 chord and the Gb add 9 chord. The Gb chord can also be used itself as a substitute for more complicated chords, such as the Gb Major 7 chord, the Eb7 chord, and other extension chords which have Gb as the root note (it can’t be used in place of minor chords though!).

Which Scales Can Be Played Over the Gb chord?

The most common and effective scales that can be used to solo/improvise over the Gb Major chord, or to create melodies for the purposes of song writing are:

  • Eb Major pentatonic scale – This scale will almost always work over the Gb Major chord, in any context.
  • Gb Major scale – This is the ‘default scale’ of the Gb chord.
  • Gb Lydian mode – This scale can be used over the Gb chord in certain contexts to add a jazz flavour.
  • Gb Major Blues – This scale is particularly useful in a Blues context.

Further Reading

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