Friday, 8 August 2014

Exercises to get familiar with major and minor chords in fourths tuning

In previous posts I've covered how to play major chords in fourths tuning. Here I'll introduce two chord shapes for the minor chord and include some exercises to practise using the major and minor chords.


You will need to mute the unwanted notes. To mute the first (E) and second (B) strings, I mostly lay my index finger across these strings, as shown in the following diagram.

I also use my little, ring and middle fingers of the picking hand to mute the first, second and third strings, respectively. I mute the sixth and fifth strings with the heel of my picking hand.

Minor chord shapes

The exercises below use two minor chord shapes, following are the chord diagrams which include the note intervals which make up each chord.







The following exercises use a common progression, I-V-vi-IV, in the key of G. Both left-and right- orientated chords (ie chords constructed from notes to the left or right of the root note) are used to show you the various options available in fourths tuning to play this progression across the fretboard.

The tab is for the Eb-Ab-Db-Gb-B-E fourths tuning. If you use E-A-D-G-C-F then increase the tab numbers by one.

Focus on playing cleanly, see my muting techniques described above.

Ex.1. I-V-vi-IV progression in the key of G using right-orientated chords.

Ex.2 I-V-vi-IV progression in the key of G using left- and right-orientated chords.

Ex 3. I-V-vi-IV progression in the key of G played in first position. An alternative minor chord shape is introduced compared to Ex.2.

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