Monday, March 07, 2005

Guitar Tips

Title: Guitarists - Use Your Neck, Not Your Head!Author: Joey RobichauxArticle:Want to expand your versatility on the guitar? Don't use yourhead -- use your neck!We're going to use a "G" chord and a G major pentatonic toillustrate how we can use 5 basic chord shapes to move up anddown the neck of the guitar.These 5 basic chord shapes are the open forms (played at the endof the neck near the tuning pegs) of the "G" chord, the "E"chord, the "D" chord, the "C" chord, and the "A" chord. Ofcourse, 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 -- althoughwe use the fingerings normally associated with the open "E","D", "C", and "A" chords.At the Beginning -- the "G" chordWe'll start with the basic open "G" chord. The chord form is:--ooo- open 1st fret------x 2nd fret------xx 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 secondfret on the "A" string follow the basic "G" chord form.The following box demonstrates the tab above and shows the basicchord form. The "c" is a note in the chord form, the "r" is theroot 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------rxr 3rd fret------Second Stop on the Fretboard - the "E" chordTo move down the fretboard, we're going to use the barred formof the "G" chord. This is basically the open "E" chord; however,played at the third fret it gives us a "G" chord. The chord formis:------xxxxxx 3rd fret------x 4th fret------xx 5th fret------Note how the third fret of the "c","r","x" pattern links thesetwo 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 isthe pentatonic pattern:------xxx 2nd fret------ccr 3rd fret------c 4th fret------xcrx 5th fret------Third Stop on the Fretboard - the "D" chordWe'll slide on down a couple of frets to the next position onthe fretboard. We're now using a form similar to the open "D"chord.------xxx 5th fret------ 6th fret------xx 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------ccrxx 5th fret------ 6th fret------xxcc 7th fret------r 8th fret------Fourth Stop on the Fretboard - the "C" chordContinuing down the fretboard -- we're now using a chord formsimilar to the open "C" chord. It looks like this:------xxx 7th fret------x 8th fret------x 9th fret------x 10th fret------The linking notes between this chord form and the previous arethe seventh and eight frets on the G, B, and E strings. We'llplay 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:------cxxcc 7th fret------r 8th fret------cx 9th fret------xrxx 10th fret------Last Stop on the Fretboard - the "A" chordOne more pass down the fretboard, where we'll play the open "A"form of this chord. The chord pattern is:------xxx 10th fret------ 11th fret------xxx 12th fret------The 10th fret from the previous "crx" link with this currentchord 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------crxc 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! Wecan now start over again using the patterns and shapes we beganwith.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------xx 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 weused originally, we'll just shift everything 12 frets down thefretboard.SummarySo that's how you can move up and down the fretboard using 5chord 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 notesbetween all each pattern and its neighbors.I've used a "G" chord in this illustration -- however, it shouldbe apparent that by shifting things up or down a fret, you canwork your way around the fretboard no matter what chord you'refollowing.Joey Robichaux maintains the Free Sheet Music website at the author:Joey Robichaux maintains the Free Sheet Music site at

No comments: