Expand Your Versatility On The Guitar



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Hey Folks,

 

This lesson is about expanding your versatility on your guitar. Take this lesson slow and reread sections that you don’t understand.  It’s very important that you understand how the scales are associated with each chord that you play. Mess-around with these concepts a little and things will come to light quickly. Be patient and don’t get in a hurry!!! If you still don’t get it, email me and we’ll go over it together…

riffmaster9@yahoo.com



Guitar Tab

Guitarists -- Don't Use Your Head, Use Your Neck! by: Joey Robichaux

"Want to expand your versatility on the guitar? Don't use your head -- use your neck!"

We're going to use a "G" chord and a G major pentatonic to illustrate how we can use 5 basic chord shapes to move up and down the neck of the guitar.

These 5 basic chord shapes are the open forms (played at the end of the neck near the tuning pegs) of the "G" chord, the "E" chord, the "D" chord, the "C" chord, and the "A" chord. Of course, when we play the chord shapes in different positions, the chord name will no longer be "E", "D", "C", or "A". In fact, the chord will be a "G" chord every time we play it -- although we use the fingerings normally associated with the open "E", "D", "C", and "A" chords.

At the Beginning -- the "G" chord

We'll start with the basic open "G" chord. The chord form is:

--ooo- open

|||||| 1st fret

------

|x|||| 2nd fret

------

x||||x 3rd fret

------

The pentatonics in this form of the chord are these:

E--0--3----------------------------------------------------------

B--------0--3----------------------------------------------------

G--------------0--2----------------------------------------------

D--------------------0--2----------------------------------------

A--------------------------0--2----------------------------------

E--------------------------------0--3----------------------------

Note that the third fret on the two "E" strings and the second fret on the "A" string follow the basic "G" chord form.

The following box demonstrates the tab above and shows the basic chord form. The "c" is a note in the chord form, the "r" is the root note of the chord, and the "x" are the extra notes that, when combined with the "c" and "r" notes, make up the pentatonic.

xxcccx open

|||||| 1st fret

------

|cxx|| 2nd fret

------

r|||xr 3rd fret

------

Second Stop on the Fretboard - the "E" chord

To move down the fretboard, we're going to use the barred form of the "G" chord. This is basically the open "E" chord; however, played at the third fret it gives us a "G" chord.

The chord form is:

------

xxxxxx 3rd fret

------

|||x|| 4th fret

------

|xx||| 5th fret

------

Note how the third fret of the "c","r","x" pattern links these two chord forms, since they have notes in common.

The pentatonics in this form of the chord are these:

E--3--5----------------------------------------------------------

B--------3--5----------------------------------------------------

G--------------2--4----------------------------------------------

D--------------------2--5----------------------------------------

A--------------------------2--5----------------------------------

E--------------------------------3--5----------------------------

Following the same "c", "r", and "x" notation as above, here is the pentatonic pattern:

------

|xxx|| 2nd fret

------

c|||cr 3rd fret

------

|||c|| 4th fret

------

xcr||x 5th fret

------

Third Stop on the Fretboard - the "D" chord

We'll slide on down a couple of frets to the next position on the fretboard. We're now using a form similar to the open "D" chord.

------

xxx||| 5th fret

------

|||||| 6th fret

------

|||x|x 7th fret

------

||||x| 8th fret

------

The fifth fret notes link this chord form to the previous one.

The tab for the pentatonic of this form looks like:

E--5--7----------------------------------------------------------

B--------5--8----------------------------------------------------

G--------------4--7----------------------------------------------

D--------------------5--7----------------------------------------

A--------------------------5--7----------------------------------

E--------------------------------5--7----------------------------

Here's the "c","r","x" pattern:

------

|||x|| 4th fret

------

ccr|xx 5th fret

------

|||||| 6th fret

------

xx|c|c 7th fret

------

||||r| 8th fret

------

Fourth Stop on the Fretboard - the "C" chord

Continuing down the fretboard -- we're now using a chord form similar to the open "C" chord. It looks like this:

------

x||x|x 7th fret

------

||||x| 8th fret

------

||x||| 9th fret

------

|x|||| 10th fret

------

The linking notes between this chord form and the previous are the seventh and eight frets on the G, B, and E strings. We'll play the pentatonic for this form as follows:

E--7--10---------------------------------------------------------

B---------8--10--------------------------------------------------

G----------------7--9--------------------------------------------

D----------------------7--9--------------------------------------

A----------------------------7--10-------------------------------

E-----------------------------------7--10------------------------

and the "crx" pattern is:

------

cxxc|c 7th fret

------

||||r| 8th fret

------

||cx|| 9th fret

------

xr||xx 10th fret

------

Last Stop on the Fretboard - the "A" chord

One more pass down the fretboard, where we'll play the open "A" form of this chord. The chord pattern is:

------

xx|||x 10th fret

------

|||||| 11th fret

------

||xxx| 12th fret

------

The 10th fret from the previous "crx" link with this current chord form. We'll play the pentatonic like so:

E--10--12--------------------------------------------------------

B----------10--12------------------------------------------------

G------------------9--12-----------------------------------------

D-------------------------9--12----------------------------------

A--------------------------------10--12--------------------------

E----------------------------------------10--12------------------

The "crx" form of this pentatonic pattern is:

------

||xx|| 9th fret

------

cr||xc 10th fret

------

|||||| 11th fret

------

xxcrcx 12th fret

------

All Done -- That Brings Us Back to "G"!

We're now at the 12th fret, so we've completed the octave! We can now start over again using the patterns and shapes we began with.

For instance, the next chord pattern will be the original open "G" pattern -- just played 12 frets further down the keyboard. The pattern is:

------

||xxx| 12th fret

------

|||||| 13th fret

------

|x|||| 14th fret

------

x||||x 15th fret

------

which is exactly what we began with -- except the "D", "G", and "B" strings are no longer open. We can use the same patterns we used originally, we'll just shift everything 12 frets down the fretboard.

Summary

So that's how you can move up and down the fretboard using 5 chord shapes -- the "G", the "E", the "D", the "C", and the "A". Remember, even though we may be using a "D" shape, it's still a "G" chord if we play it at the 7th and 8th frets!

Also, note how the "crx" patterns show you the linking notes between all each pattern and its neighbors.

I've used a "G" chord in this illustration -- however, it should be apparent that by shifting things up or down a fret, you can work your way around the fretboard no matter what chord you're following.

About The Author

Joey Robichaux maintains the Free Sheet Music website at http://www.freesheetmusic.net

jrobich@gmail.com









"Only press the string as hard as necessary to sound the note cleanly. Stay away from laboring and literally putting too much muscle into your playing." - Economy of Motion






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Updated: 2/28/07