Adding Spice With Chord Modifications

In the last lesson, we looked at one way to inject life into a basic strum pattern - this time we're looking at how we can spice up a basic chord progression. We'll learn a few new chords, and see how they can be easily interchanged for the old ones.

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Leave a Reply 62 comments

gary - November 25, 2014 Reply

in a rut...not playing with any group right now need something to get me back on track...

gary - November 25, 2014 Reply

in a rut ,need something to get me back on track

Scott Connell - November 25, 2014 Reply

Great way to play standard chords. I tried it and it made something plain into something that sounded fresh and new. It was refreshing and not that difficult.

Henk Kamps - November 25, 2014 Reply

Liked the lesson. Particularly the fact that small things have big impact and the countless possibilities on such a simple instrument. Thanks!

Dotty Fern - November 25, 2014 Reply

Pretty cool, ive done that with the g chord and a few others did not know what I was doing. but sounded good, thx

Lem Genovese - November 25, 2014 Reply

Keeping the fretting fingers moving and combining that with different picking, strumming and muting truly spices up the dynamics, flow and interest. Neil Young has been doing this for decades. - November 25, 2014 Reply

Another great sample. I have been mixing in 7's and the add9's in my playing for a while now, but it is great to have it explained, and with more detail to come with the new course it should help take my playing to a another level. Looking forward to Friday.
Thanks. - November 25, 2014 Reply

Good. I'm looking forward to tomorrow's lesson too.

M E Rochford - November 25, 2014 Reply

Really like this mini series, it's giving
me lots of ideas, very effective and
Interesting sounds etc - November 25, 2014 Reply

Good lesson, I have tried a couple of songs by changing to different chord patterns but I found you kind of have to know where to make the change and I believe this lesson will help very much.

Jeff Godoy - November 25, 2014 Reply

Your courses are always top-notch! Things I been struggling with you make easy and understandable with your teaching methods. You are the only teacher I have found that blends Music Theory with everything you do. You explain not only the how but the why.As long as you keep making courses. I'll keep buying them.

Cleophas Mc Donald - November 25, 2014 Reply

Hi J, I used some of the modifications through some of the gospel songs played in church and the music just seemed to flourish. Great Experience. Thanks. - November 25, 2014 Reply

I will buy your course based on when to add the riff - November 25, 2014 Reply

Thanks for these tips J - I'm using these chord variations to improve my blues sounds (which it really does) and to use ad hoc when I am just "strumming" in a new progression or key. Look forward to your next lesson!

David DePoe - November 25, 2014 Reply

This is great. I really helps add color and variety to my playing..

Lynne - November 25, 2014 Reply

Variety is the spice of life....and certainly applies to guitar chords

Richard Strand - November 25, 2014 Reply

Good lesson, some of this I have figured out in the last few years, wish I could have seen these kind of lessons 55 years ago when I got my first guitar.

lucbinh - November 25, 2014 Reply

Hi J. I learn some I didn't know before from your first lesson. Thanks so much.

Faith Joyful Jenny - November 25, 2014 Reply

Hi. Im Really new at guitar super beginner and help me to learn this, its hard for me at first but its good my finger crazy move great. Million Thanks

Anonymous - November 25, 2014 Reply

Enjoyed the video. I knew these chords, but I think I have a better understanding of how to use them. I enjoy your stuff! - November 25, 2014 Reply

I don't have any formal education in guitar, just what I have picked up from others and on the net. (Admittedly, I have bought a couple courses and have been disappointed so I'm a bit hesitant to buy again) I love it when I find someone who shows this sort of "modification" because I can use it immediately. I would like to learn theory in guitar but I would also like to have it where I will understand immediately how it applies. Then I know I would not give up on it so quickly. This may be the course that has just that.

- November 25, 2014 Reply

I started out as a pure rhythm player and used this technique without thinking about it. It could control the whole mood of the song, the tension and resolve. I could get the drums and bass to follow me and the music really came together. This is a very valuable concept to learn and master. It will change how you approach songs and music. If you can get fingers snapping and toes tapping you're doing a good job.
Thanks Guys for addressing this valuable tool.
Bill - November 25, 2014 Reply

My playing is plain, so I will use this to add some life!!

Dave - November 25, 2014 Reply

Nice video. Thanks! - November 25, 2014 Reply

Thanks so much! I occasionally have used some of these chords but didn't understand how the progression could be put together!

Mickey Duane - November 25, 2014 Reply

I really like your courses. I am trying to develop some good demos so as to perhaps get them recorded. Bank is taking the house in January and I take care of my disabled wife. I can't afford to buy anything right now but this course is right up my ally. I need to learn new things.

Thanks Mickey

- November 25, 2014 Reply

I have been asked to join with some friends in a pick-up jam session. We are all in our 60's and 70's and they are accomplished musicians which I am not. With this dynamic strumming I feel as though I will actually be contributing rather than be just tolerated because I am a good friend.

Mark Stephenson - November 25, 2014 Reply

Jonathan I am also relatively new to playing and am the type of person who wants to know the reasons behind the music . The lessons that you produce seem to supply the necessary theory as well as focusing on the skills that a beginner needs to make a little bit of music. Thanks and keep it coming! Mark


Richard Prochowski - November 25, 2014 Reply

Jonathan, thanks for the great tip. I'm going to try incorporating it into a song I'm working on. Happy Thanksgiving...even though you're in Canada!

Terry - November 25, 2014 Reply

Jonathan, I use to play many years ago but have taken a long break. I enjoy your video's and they have helped me start to learn new chords and patterns. Thank you very much.

Samuel Bloodgood - November 25, 2014 Reply

Thanks Jonathan! Keep em coming!!

Sam Lyons - November 25, 2014 Reply

Wow J:
I am really enjoying these videos. By adding additional fingers to traditional open chords, some great sounds can be accomplished. Can't wait to get your full course. Hope I am one of the lucky ones who wins a copy of your complete course. Just fantastic...

- November 25, 2014 Reply

This is how teaching should be. Keep it nice, simple, clearly explained.......and fun.

Gary Malinowski - November 25, 2014 Reply

Liked the lesson a great deal will try adding the variations to my playing. Thanks for everything. Been watching for a long time.

Nadine Martin - November 25, 2014 Reply

This is so cool, I've been thinking about how to do this and here you are right on time.

Daniel Boehrer - November 25, 2014 Reply

I like your videos - short and motivating

- November 25, 2014 Reply

Hey Jonathan. I'm gonna use these chord substutions to advance my playing with different sounds. I plan on using them on my looper while soloing over them. Thanks for all of the great videos and instruction. If it wasnt for you and colin and laying the foundation for me i probably would have quit already. Im almost at 2 yrs of picking up the guitar and it's all because of you guys.

Thanks again,

Heidi Hoffer - November 25, 2014 Reply

Like others, I'd heard and experimented a little with stuff like this in the past, but hadn't understood why or how it worked. This mini-lesson, along with the info in the unlocking I IV V course, and another of your mini lessons posted recently, are finally starting to help me understand vs. just trying to memorize. THANKS! 😀

- November 25, 2014 Reply

I enjoy your lessons, using the chord variations, getting some really good sounds. - November 25, 2014 Reply

great Lesson, I am 63 years old and have been playing accustic guitar for a little over 3 years now, your lesson changing the chord by adding 7th and add nines will help me add some new sounds and much needed inspiration to my old playing country songs. thank you for the inspiration. .

Henry Jablonski - November 25, 2014 Reply

You are a good teacher and present your lessons in easy to understand format. Thanks.

- November 25, 2014 Reply

You are a good teacher with easy to understand approach.Thanks.

Roger Norwood - November 25, 2014 Reply

Thanks J. Been wanting to find a course that deals strictly with strumming and chords. I really have no desire to solo, but need that "little extra" flare while playing rhythm. I think your course will show me exactly what I have been looking for. Thanks a bunch.

Allen - November 25, 2014 Reply

Of all the thinks I could improve on to make my guitar playing better... it would be rhythm and strumming.

- November 25, 2014 Reply

I recently picked up my guitar again just getting back into playing, I purchased your unlocking 145 course which helped to motivate me , and helped me understand what I was playing and why, keep them coming and thank you again.

Larry Smith - November 25, 2014 Reply

which I had seen this type of lesson earlier on in my journey . Makes a lot things fall into place

Danny Carman - November 26, 2014 Reply

Great lesson, I like being able to substitute different variations of each main chord to add different tones to my playing or maybe a particular song I'm learning. Thanks Jonathan for some new ideas and Happy Thanksgiving

Barry Kille - November 26, 2014 Reply

Hi Jonathan. I've been using variations in my strumming and it adds flavour. Good to see you are showing this technique. Keep up the tips....very helpful. Cheers..., Barry

- November 25, 2014 Reply

Hey Jonathan , Your lessons have led to more than a few ah ha moments for me and helped me to stop trying to be too structured. I am still studying your 1-4-5 lesson when time permits. thanks

Traci Rohm - November 25, 2014 Reply

Thank you! Playing quite a few chords already but never knew these & they bring out the essence of the song a bit more vibrantly! - November 25, 2014 Reply

This is right where I am at now. I like the sound when you change to a variation of the chord being played. Just playing the same chord all the time sounds boring. - November 25, 2014 Reply

Great Lesson

MikeBy - November 26, 2014 Reply

When I had guitar lessons 45 years ago they never showed us these things. Guitar classes were boring, because you practiced hard and still sounded rubbish. Luckily today people like Jonathon can get us sounding great (or at least better) in quick time. I'm looking forward to seeing (and trying) some more of his tips.

Brian Forster - November 26, 2014 Reply

Simple but very effective techniques. - November 26, 2014 Reply

Thank you great lesson

Galan - November 26, 2014 Reply

Total new beginner here an really looking forward to being able to play

Kim Allender - November 26, 2014 Reply

Great lesson, cant wait to try this out with other open chords. Thanks

Tommy Bowman - November 26, 2014 Reply

Kool add on, very dress up version!

- November 26, 2014 Reply

I want to get up the courage to play at an open mic, and not worry about putting the audience to sleep. This was just what I needed. Thank you, Jonathan!

Roger Boire - November 27, 2014 Reply

I am 63 and so far your lessons have been the easiest to follow, thank you very much

Deborah Smith - November 29, 2014 Reply

Great lesson. Love the variations. Thanks - October 7, 2015 Reply

Thanks Jonathan
This stuff is really helpful & enthuses me to grab my guitar & start playing. I'd really be interested to know how this works with barre chords ( of the same & other chords). I can also see how these additions to 'standard' chords lend themselves to further 'spice' such as hammer ons & pull offs.
So thanks again - another candidate for the upcoming course. !

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