Tag Archives for " Guitar Chords "


Easy Drop D Tips For Guitar

Recently I spent a few days camping near a lake, and as I always try to do, I brought my guitar along for the ride. Playing guitar at home is great, but playing in front of a campfire is greater.

Anyhow, I happened to have my camera handy so I decided to do a quickie guitar lesson for you, with a bit of a nicer backdrop than my typical green muslin! The only downside was a couple of mosquitoes tried to take advantage of me while both my hands were busy… however one skill any guitar player worth his salt ought to master is the ability to quickly free up a hand for a quick scratch (you know those itches that absolutely DEMAND attention?) so I think I successfully nailed any offenders.

The lighting wasn’t the best, and I’m sure I’ve been known to produce better lessons at other times, but let me know what you thought of this, any and all aspects of it… I may attempt more outdoor lessons, and try to get the camera work so the guitar is better positioned and lit than it is in this one.

Okay – enough preamble – the main takeaway from this lesson is a cool way of making a G major chord while in Drop D Tuning. Basically, it is like this: 550033. You can also make an F like this: 330011.

The other chords I mentioned were F6/9: xx3233 and C9: x32033, as well as the standard D major chord of course. In drop D tuning, I also love dropping the F# off the 1st string in the D chord, which creates a D9: xx0320.

Alright, let’s dive in and have some fun! Don’t forget to leave a comment down below.

Video Problems? Watch it on Youtube.


Guitar Chord Inversions

If you’ve been looking for a way to change things up a bit, I suggest studying up on your chord inversions. That’s what this lesson is about (of course!). Let’s start with what exactlyis a chord inversion?

Basically, inversion means reversal, so what we’re actually talking about here is reversing the order of the notes in a chord.

We’re not changing the notes that are being used, we’re just changing the order in which they’re played, or the order that they appear as you write out the chord.

Chord inversions are useful in all aspects of your playing, from rhythm work to soloing, to writing new material; chord inversions are a great way to get a different flavor out of your guitar.

Let’s do a quick example before diving into the lesson with Colin.

The standard configuration of a major chord is the standard 1 3 5 arrangement. For the G chord (major) that produces these three notes: G, B, and D. (A G minor would be G, Bb, D, or 1 b3 5).

The first inversion then, of that G major chord, would simply be arranged starting from the second note of the chord, thus would look like this: 3, 5, 1 or B, D, G. That’s all we’re talking about here, and although it sounds complicated at first, I think you’ll pick it up ok from the lesson. Question and comments are always welcome at the bottom of the page!

Chord Inversions Lesson

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1 Learn how to play bar chords

Bar Chords Made Simple

Bar chords is one subject that stumps quite a few guitar players, mostly because initially they are harder to play than open chords.

A bar chord (sometimes also spelled barre chord) is called that because you essentially create a ‘bar’ with your index finger, fretting all six strings at once. Then, you create the chord shape after that with your remaining fingers. Naturally, this type of chord is going to require more finger strength, because you’re physically pressing down more strings than with open chords.

The fact that bar chords require a bit more strength to play however, should not be a deterrent. It should simply be a good healthy challenge to take your playing up a notch. Let me explain why.

Being able to play bar chords adds so much versatility to a guitar player. With bar chords in the bag, there are no limitations to which key you can play in, which chords you can use… everything becomes roughly equal. An Eb bar chord is just like playing an E, a Bb like a B.

For lead players, bar chords allow you to play along with the rhythm in a tight grouping close to where you’ll be soloing, allowing quicker and easier access to the scales you want.

For rhythm players jamming with others, bar chords allow you to play the same thing as the other players, and yet sound different. An open G sounds quite a bit different from a G played elsewhere on the fretboard, and the two played simultaneously sounds great. They really complement each other. So if you’re able to throw in the odd bar chord here and there, or even play your entire part using them, you’ll really be adding a new flavor to the song.

Because I’ve seen quite a few guitar players struggling to learn bar chords in particular, I decided to make a proper guitar lesson focusing on exactly that subject. The result is Bar Chords Made Simple, my newest 2 hour guitar lesson. At that link you’ll find a free guide that explains in detail how you can get started with your first bar chord.

Learn how to play bar chords

Who Should Learn Bar Chords?

This course is aimed at guitar players who have at least a minimum level of experience in playing open chords. If you’re comfortable playing chords like G, C, D, E, Am, Em, etc, then you’re ready for this course as a next step.

Likewise, perhaps you’ve played guitar for quite a while, but for whatever reason you’ve just never got around to mastering bar chords… if that is the case, then this course is also for you.

You’ll get a good, although brief, introduction to the fretboard, so this is a useful course for those who want to move on to soloing later on.

If you’ve ever attempted to learn bar chords before, and yet never quite managed to master them, then this course is for you. I’ve included a few “cheater” ways of getting part-way there without having to go all the way; nice half-way steps to get started with. I’ve also included finger exercises that will really build up your finger strength, stamina, and stretchability. (Sorry, I just had to throw another ‘s’ in there).

In Bar Chords Made Simple we’ll go through from the ground up, assuming nothing, so you’ll have a systematic approach to the fretboard and guitar chords that will serve you well, forming a great foundation for future studies.

Click Here To Get Started


Tips For Playing The Bm Guitar Chord

I can still remember when I was learning to play the guitar that the Bm guitar chord was one of the more stubborn obstacles I had to overcome. I had mastered all the other open chords, but that Bm guitar chord was a really important chord that I just didn’t have a good open position for!

As such, it was really the first chord that forced me into learning bar chords, and it is a good thing it did. I still remember working on that chord for a couple weeks, and finally overcoming it to the point that it became easy enough to play wherever I wanted.

Now, playing bar chords is second nature to me, however you have to start somewhere right? Having your guitar chords down pat will also do wonders for your lead playing, even if you can’t see the connection right now.

The thing with B minor is that it is really quite an important chord in a number of the most popular keys: G, D, A, to name a few.

Colin put together this great video on some of the issues around the Bm guitar chord – including a couple ways to ‘cheat’ if you want by using fewer strings. Ultimately though, I recommend working on that full bar chord version as it not only sounds the fullest, but will pave the way for all your other bar chords as well.

If you’ve been struggling to get that Bm guitar chord down pat, this is the lesson for you.

Mastering the Bm Guitar Chord:

Watch on Youtube

For more of Colin’s lessons, visit him at RiffNinja.com.

If you’ve got any other tips for playing the Bm guitar chord that weren’t covered in here, tell us about them in the comments below!


7 Guitar Chord Embellishments

Guitar Chord Embellishments

Today’s lesson on guitar chord embellishments is a great one for beginner guitar players, but also you guys who are a bit more advanced and are still looking for a few ways to spice up some of your chords.

The guitar chords I chose are in the key of G, and basically all we’re doing here is moving around the notes in the chord, rather than adding or subtracting new ones. What I mean by that is you still end up with a G major chord, its just that the three notes (G B D) that make up that guitar chord are being re-arranged onto different strings.

This puts the emphasis on different parts of the chord – for instance maybe now instead of having a G B D G B G (starting with the 6th string) you’ve now got G B D G D G, which puts more weight on the D than on the B. Note that you’re not actually changing the names of the notes that are present in the chord though.

As such, you end up with a different sound by using these different fingerings and guitar chord embellishments. Fun stuff.

Video Problems? Watch the lesson on Youtube

If there are other guitar chord embellishments you like using, share them in the comments below!


How To Create Your Own Guitar Chords

This guitar lesson will show you how to create your own guitar chords, using nothing more than a scale and open chords you already know. We’re using the key of G, so the open chords are G, C, D and Em, Am and Bm. The relative minor scale is E minor, so we’ll use the E minor diatonic scale.

Basically, all we’re doing here is adding other notes from the scale to the chords we’re using, in order to create new variations that sound cool, and that can be used for song writing, jamming or improvising.

Chords that Work Together

Video Problems? Watch How To Create Your Own Guitar Chords on Youtube.