Guitar Age Or A Guitarists Illustrated Primer V

author: Wankysweater date: 02/21/2011 category: for beginners
rating: 9.2 / votes: 9 
Alright pupils, warm up, tune up, and prepare to rock out. I hope you have been practicing your exercises because there are no shortcuts here skippy. So you know some Open Chords, but there is oh so much more to learn. Get ready for some more calluses and shed tears. So you are probably surfing the net looking at all of these songs calling for Minor Chords that I hadn't listed in my last lesson. I know what you are thinking but hold your WTF's because I shall reveal all in this lesson. I am going to show you how to play any Major and Minor chord, by learning 2 easy (well... ridiculously difficult for you) shapes. Lets start with the Major Shape. The following is an A Major Barre Chord:
e|--5--|
b|--5--| 
g|--6--| 
d|--7--| 
a|--7--|
E|--5--|
Now, I'm sure you are thinking that this is impossible because there are six notes to fret and you only have 4 fingers to use (unless your home is next FRACing site (and if you don't know what FRACing is, don't worry about it, but you should probably read more)). And yea, I just double bracketed. Deal with it. Anywho, back to the Barre Chord. Essentially your index finger is going to pull double duty and hold down all of the strings on the 5th fret. This is the barre portion of the barre chord. The remainder of your fingers will be used to press the notes on the 6th and 7th frets. So again:
e|--5--| Index Finger
b|--5--| Index Finger
g|--6--| Middle Finger
d|--7--| Pinky Finger
a|--7--| Ring Finger
E|--5--| Index Finger
And just so it is retartedly clear, your index finger is doing this:
e|--5--| 
b|--5--| 
g|--5--| 
d|--5--| 
a|--5--| 
E|--5--|
Your other fingers are holding down the notes on the 6th and 7th frets. Please don't make me break out a sock puppet to explain this further. Now you probably attempted to fret this shape and your hand is cramping up and it sounds like shit when you strum it. Fear not, you can only get better from here. When it starts to hurt, take a break and try again when it is relaxed (insert sodomy joke here). And make sure that your thumb pushing on the back of the neck of the guitar and not wrapped around it. Now that you have an understanding of what a barre chord is, I will show you the Minor Shape (this is A minor, to be specific):
e|--5--| Index Finger
b|--5--| Index Finger
g|--5--| Index Finger
d|--7--| Pinky Finger
a|--7--| Ring Finger
E|--5--| Index Finger
Same deal here children. Index finger barres the notes of the 5th fret and the other fingers press the notes on the 7th fret. This shape is even easier than the last because you don't need to use your middle finger. Now for the magic. The shapes I have showed you above can actually be moved up and down the fretboard to form other chords. No new shapes required (for now). For example, fret the A Major chord I showed you before:
e|--5--|
b|--5--| 
g|--6--| 
d|--7--| 
a|--7--|
E|--5--|
Now move the shape up 2 frets:
e|--7--|
b|--7--| 
g|--8--| 
d|--9--| 
a|--9--|
E|--7--|
Ok, you are now holding a B Major Chord my friend. Now think about what you just did. The shape you had formed with your hands did not change, only the location of where you played it on the fretboard did. Put the joint down for a second and think about that. Look at the chord diagrams above if necessary. As long as you keep forming the same shape with your fingers, you can move this bad boy up and down the fretboard to make any Major Chord you please. The same goes for the Minor shape I showed you:
e|--5--|
b|--5--| 
g|--5--| 
d|--7--| 
a|--7--|
E|--5--|
This is A Minor, now move it up the fretboard 2 more frets and you get B Minor:
e|--7--|
b|--7--| 
g|--7--| 
d|--9--| 
a|--9--|
E|--7--|
This is the beauty of Barre Chords. Now how do you know where to place these shapes so that they become the chord you want? Well you need to know the notes of the thick E string. Here they are as follows:
E | F | F# | G | G# | A | A# | B | C | C# | D | D# | E
The first E is the open string (0 fret if you will), the F is the 1st fret, the F# is the second fret, the G is the 3rd fret, ect It will take some time to remember which notes correspond to each fret, but it will come with practice. To the hecklers in the audience, I must admit that the above notes of the fretboard can also be expressed with flats. Yes, I could have explained it with flats but I didn't. I will cover it later. Back to the A Major:
e|--5--|
b|--5--| 
g|--6--| 
d|--7--| 
a|--7--|
E|--5--|
Notice how your index finger that is doing all of the barring is on the 5th fret? And how the note on the 5th fret of the thick E string is A? Ok good, keep up now. Whatever note you are pressing with your index finger on thick E string, corresponds to the chord you are playing. So now when you are jamming with a friend and they tell you that the chords to a song are B Minor and D Major, you can use the above method to figure out what chords to play. Here is how to do it: 1) Say the first chord is B minor, you would find the B note on the thick E string. Merely name the frets as you go up the string until you reach B. Did you find it? Yes it is the 7th fret. 2) Now make the Minor Shape and place it on the 7th fret. It should look like this:
e|--7--|
b|--7--| 
g|--7--| 
d|--9--| 
a|--9--|
E|--7--|
Good job sports fan! 3) Now for the second chord, the D Major Chord. Same drill, find the D note on the thick E string. Stop reading for this for the answer and find the damn note cheater! Ok, it's on the 10th fret. 4) You know what to do, place the Minor Shape on this fret like this:
e|--10--|
b|--10--| 
g|--11--| 
d|--12--| 
a|--12--|
E|--10--|
Oh snap! See how easy that was? You just learned how to find Major and Minor chords on the E string. Don't get me wrong, you are still painfully awful to listen to, but I do see potential. Also, don't think that you can just read this lesson and all of a sudden you are instantly as amazing as I am. It takes time and perseverance. Practice, practice, and friggin practice. That's what sets the prepubescent boys apart from the real guitarists. Now stop being a poser and learn a new song or two. Until next time my allies in music
More Wankysweater lessons:
+ Guitar Age Or A Guitarists Illustrated Primer IX For Beginners 10/03/2011
+ Guitar Age Or A Guitarists Illustrated Primer VIII For Beginners 08/11/2011
+ Guitar Age Or A Guitarists Illustrated Primer VII For Beginners 08/09/2011
+ Guitar Age Or A Guitarists Illustrated Primer VI For Beginners 03/21/2011
+ Guitar Age Or A Guitarists Illustrated Primer IV For Beginners 02/14/2011
+ Guitar Age Or A Guitarists Illustrated Primer III Chords 02/11/2011
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