... NEW LESSON: CAGED - How to Use it -- follow up to the original CAGED lesson ....

The Guitar | What is music? | Chords | Playing the guitar | Lessons | Licks | Forum | Online Tuner

Kirks Guitar and Music Primer
Just as major chords can have notes added to the three triad notes, we can do the same to the three open minors. Minors consist of a root (1), minor third (b3) and fifth (5) and, just like the majors, the next note we can add is the 7th note of their scale, which is the flat 7, also known as the 'minor seventh'. These three chords are the same: 1-b3-5-b7. Just like major chords, the minors have two different kinds of sevenths. By far the most common is the plain old 7th (shown below), which uses the flat 7. It's the one that arises naturally from the minor scale, but there is also the odd sounding 'minor major7th', which uses the major 7 note. They are rare and we won't go into them here and now.

Here are the 3 'open' minor chords

The green dots show you where to put your finger tips. The red crosses mean 'Don't pluck/play this string'; the blue numbers indicate the best left hand fingers to use.
1 = index; 2 = middle; 3 = ring; 4 = pinkie. Watch the movies above to see how the hand should be positioned.
open G open E open D

I'll say it yet again: the important thing to understand is that these three chords have the same quality—minor seventh—even though they look different. If you take the time, you'll see that a root has been sacrificed for a flat 7, which is two frets lower in pitch than the root. In the case of the A and E chords, the 7th are open strings, in the case of the D, the 7th is the C note on the second string. So these chords all consist of the same ingredients, namely the root (1), flat 3rd (b3), fifth (5) and flat 7 (b7), and therefore sound the same. You now have a bunch of open chords to practice. Always try to compare them to their plain old major counterparts. You will learn a whole lot about music theory just by doing that, by 'seeing the numbers'. The major scale and chord are the standard by which all other scales and chords are measured, so the sooner you start to relate everything back to them, the better. There's no need to worry about any of that if you're just starting out but as you progress as a musician, you will begin to realize the importance of knowing what it is you're playing, and the surest and quickest way to do that is to always relate everything back to the major scale/chord.
Now comes the harder part: what if the song you're learning requires you play a chord that's not one of the open chords? Well, you're going to have to play a barre chord ...but before we look at barre chords, let's have a look at some trickier progressions using chords we have learned so far.

<— Go back

All content © Kirk Lorange 2000 - 2015
Contact us | Privacy policy | Join Newsletter here | Online Guitar Tuner | Glossary | PlaneTalk | About us
Google+ youtube button facebook twitter button