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June Tune - A Second Look At This Progression

Guitar Lesson by Kirk Lorange
Difficulty Rating: Intermediate

June Tune Lesson 2 explained.

June Tune - part 1 | June Tune - part 3 | June Tune - part 4


Here is Part Two of the lesson I called June Tune. I will do a few more based on this progression as it's (1) nice to listen to and (2), a good one to get you moving around the fretboard.

The first lesson is here. In that one, I start the progression halfway up the neck on the A-form D chord, or a part of it. I then move down the neck toward the nut and end up on open chord shapes. In this version, I start further up the neck on the E-form D chord and work my way down the neck, but no open shapes come into this one. All the chords are fragments of barre chords, so you'll need to work out your own way of tracking them. The fretboard markers are definitely the best way to do that, that's what they're there for. If you're not used to moving up the fretboard, you will find that over time those markers become your best friends. Not that you will need to keep your eyes glued to the fretboard in order to play, your hand/forearm will learn the distances through muscle memory, but those markers are always there for when you need to make sure.

I keep that open D string ringing away in this one, just as I do in version 1. Again, when any kind of D chord is in play, all is well; when the G and E chords come into play, we need to write them out a slash chords to make sure we keep that D bass note ringing out. You can, of course, play those G and E chords as normal 'root position' inversions (and I will do that as a lesson too) but it sounds quite different when you do that.

From the top then:

I start with a partial E-form barre chord, 10th fret, which is D. The bass note is the open D chord, the top 3 strings are a 3-5-1 of D. I then drop that top note (a root) down a semitone to the 7, thereby turning the D major into D major7th -- so now we have a 1 (the open D string) 3-5-7. Next, I drop that top note down another semitone to the flat 7, thereby turning the Dmaj7 into a D7th (dominant 7th). now we have 1-3-5-b7. You may find this one uncomfortable at first. You really need to stretch those fingers apart and that may take a while. Persist, concentrate not only on the fingers, but on the forearm, the elbow ... experiment a bit, relax it all, don't feel that adjusting your whole upper body to accommodate that one chord is wrong ... it's not. Do whatever you need to do, but stay relaxed.

The G chords: You'll see that they're both D form shapes. You can easily see how the transition from major to minor means dropping that top note down a semitone from the major third to the minor third. That D bass note means that both G chords are 'second inversion' chords: they use their 5 as bass note instead of the root.

Next we go back to D, and it's the one we used to start version 1, a partial A form.

The E chords: I used a plain old 7th here instead of the 9th. It just sounded better. It is, of course, a D form E chord, and so is the Em. Here, the D bass note is the flat 7 of both of those E chords. They're known as 'third inversions'.

For the A, I'm using a partial E form and also the Bb6 and the Cadd9. Always try to see the plain old major chord shapes when dealing with these extended chords. For example, the Bb6 is really just a partial E form barre chord, 6th fret, with a 6 added (pinkie on the B string). Same with the Cadd9: it's a partial E form barre, 8th fret, with the 9 added on the thin string with the pinkie.

The end bit is a series of fretted and open-string notes, tricky for the picking hand more so than the fretting hand.

The picking pattern is pretty much the same as part 1.

So, the same progression, new voicings. There are countless ways to play this and I will show you more in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, why not try and find some yourself? >> Next up June Tune - part 3

Guitar Lesson by Kirk Lorange

Kirk LorangeAs well as putting together these free guitar lessons, I am also the author of PlaneTalk - The Truly Totally Different Guitar Instruction Package, which teaches a mindset, a way of thinking about music and a way of tracking it all on the guitar fretboard. Yes, there IS a constant down there in the maze of strings and fret wire, a landmark that points to everything at all times. I call it The Easiest Yet Most Powerful Guitar Lesson You Will Ever Learn and many testimonials at my site will back up that rather superlative description. If your goal as a guitar player is to be able to truly PLAY the guitar, not just learn by rote; to be able to invent on the fly, not memorize every note; to be able to see the WHOLE fretboard as friendly, familiar territory, not just the first 5 frets and to do it all without thinking about all those scales and modes, then you should read more here.