#1
I've noticed in a lot of acoustic performances I've seen the guitar player playing what looked like a bar chord up the neck but he just left the higher B and E strings open to ring out and it sounded really pretty. I can play them but I don't really know what they are called? I've googled and everything but I can't find a good lesson on it. Like how many different shapes there are instead of sticking to the "power chord" shape. I saw one on Youtube where the guy called them pseudo barre chords. I think he was just making up a name though. Here are a couple of examples

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVwrRlEOH7s

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYBCAyINTWE&feature=relmfu

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wS0a4jopcbQ&feature=relmfu

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OF_UMjB1SbY

I can play the first two but not the second two. I'm more interested in the last one. Just mainly the different shapes that can be moved across the strings to give the guitar that more open, acoustic, pretty sound.

thanks!
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#2
They don't have an actual name, they're just chords. To be entirely specific what's actually happening is the guitarists are using the open strings to add more colourful tones or just more body to the sound since that's really something you want with this kind of music.

If you learn some actual theory you'll be able to tell what you'll be able to use and when if you want this sound. If that sounds like something you don't want to do then you'll just have to experiment; it's not exactly hard, just play a chord with whatever open strings are available to you and see how it sounds.

You really won't get any shapes that can just be moved around with any open strings, the thing about open strings is they're always the same notes so you can't really just insert them in to any other chord and automatically have them sound good. Moveable shapes don't tend to get on well with open strings for most things.
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Last edited by Zaphod_Beeblebr at Apr 12, 2012,
#3
It is what we call an inversion of a chord. Effectively, an inversion is whenever the first note isn't the root note of the chord.

C Major Barre Chord (rooted on E):
e -8---
B -8---
G -9---
D -10-
A -10-
E -8---

C Major First Inversion:
e -0---
B -8---
G -9---
D -10-
A -10-
E -0---

I should say though that it changes on every position of the chord, because the open note is always an E and never changes to relate with the chord position and therefore it may actually just be an inversion, or sixith... it's hard to tell unless you talk about each chord specifically. Don't worry though, there's loads of chords that I use that I'm not certain of the name of, as long as it works it works. Remember, chords existed before the names of them did - they're just sound, there's no rules.
Last edited by Ryan L at Apr 12, 2012,
#4
Quote by Ryan L
It is what we call an inversion of a chord. Effectively, an inversion is whenever the first note isn't the root note of the chord.

C Major Barre Chord (rooted on E):
e -8---
B -8---
G -9---
D -10-
A -10-
E -8---

C Major First Inversion:
e -0---
B -8---
G -9---
D -10-
A -10-
E -0---


While you're right about the definition of inversion, that's really not what these are. It works for that C major chord but if you were to try the same trick with a Bb major barre chord (for example) it would sound very dissonant.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

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Legion.
#5
@Zephod Ok. I understand what you're saying. I know a bit of theory so it's not too bad. and I know that the open strings aren't perfectly resonant with everything. like I know that you can't slide them just anywhere. I guess I was just looking for a formula or something? lol. I'll put mroe effort into looking at the theory behind it.
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Or rape.
#6
Quote by TRiggER2117
@Zephod Ok. I understand what you're saying. I know a bit of theory so it's not too bad. and I know that the open strings aren't perfectly resonant with everything. like I know that you can't slide them just anywhere. I guess I was just looking for a formula or something? lol. I'll put mroe effort into looking at the theory behind it.


While I understand the want, it's just not going to happen, hahaha, even if there were a formula that could give you any strings that would sound fine with a given chord shape (of which there are millions anyway) it wouldn't tell you what would sound like the one you wanted so you're better off just experimenting anyway.
R.I.P. My Signature. Lost to us in the great Signature Massacre of 2014.

Quote by Master Foo
“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”


Album.
Legion.
#7
Quote by TRiggER2117
@Zephod Ok. I understand what you're saying. I know a bit of theory so it's not too bad. and I know that the open strings aren't perfectly resonant with everything. like I know that you can't slide them just anywhere. I guess I was just looking for a formula or something? lol. I'll put mroe effort into looking at the theory behind it.


The "formula" is just basic chord construction - there's nothing inherently special or different about the open strings. Like Zaphod said, it's just about the notes - so if a chord contains the note G there's nothing to stop you using the open G instead of a fretted note.
Actually called Mark!

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#8
I understand. and with just experimenting I can use different shapes that cause more dissonance and such. In that last video he is using a lot of dissonance at different parts
Quote by denfilade
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Or rape.
#9
Well it works both ways, so if a chord doesn't contain the note G - well adding that note may cause the chord to become dissonant, and again it doesn't matter if you add a fretted note or an open one
Actually called Mark!

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#10
I love playing with open strings. You can get some really cool chord voicings.

Try this as an exercise (I enjoy this and its a good theory exercise)

Check out this site:
http://www.all-guitar-chords.com/scales-to-chords.php

You can put in a scale and get all the chords that scale makes up (or that key makes up).

So if you put in E major scale your basic chords to go with that scale are:
E, F#m, G#m, A, B, C#m (avoid the dimished chord that will be the 7th step for now)

Everything but the E and A are barre chords. Play them normally for a strum then just pick up your index finger so you let the open strings previously barred ring. You will find some pretty cool voicings just doing that. Now start doing that but hammer on that index finger after the strum. Cool sound no?

Doing this kind of thing really helped open the whole fret up for me. Hope this made some sense...
he of tranquil mind
#11
Quote by fishmike
I love playing with open strings. You can get some really cool chord voicings.

Try this as an exercise (I enjoy this and its a good theory exercise)

Check out this site:
http://www.all-guitar-chords.com/scales-to-chords.php

You can put in a scale and get all the chords that scale makes up (or that key makes up).

So if you put in E major scale your basic chords to go with that scale are:
E, F#m, G#m, A, B, C#m (avoid the dimished chord that will be the 7th step for now)

Everything but the E and A are barre chords. Play them normally for a strum then just pick up your index finger so you let the open strings previously barred ring. You will find some pretty cool voicings just doing that. Now start doing that but hammer on that index finger after the strum. Cool sound no?

Doing this kind of thing really helped open the whole fret up for me. Hope this made some sense...


Yeah that makes a lot of sense. Really just playing around with it all is the best practice. I play piano too and I'm always trying to find new ways to voice chords and that is the exact same concept with these chords on the guitar. I'm having a "duh" moment haha
Quote by denfilade
He's just a friend waiting to happen.

Or rape.
#12
Quote by TRiggER2117
Yeah that makes a lot of sense. Really just playing around with it all is the best practice. I play piano too and I'm always trying to find new ways to voice chords and that is the exact same concept with these chords on the guitar. I'm having a "duh" moment haha
well yea... if you have some piano your so very lucky. Ive been playing for about 3 years and the more my playing progresses the more theory becomes important. I read a lot of threads where guys dont understand the very basics like what notes they are playing. For me being able to visualize notes on a keyboard has always been huge.

Funny thing.. the application of theory goes both ways. I hadnt played a note on the piano for a couple years. Last Christmas I was spending some time at the inlaws and they have a nice piano and I was really playing well. All I was doing was messing around with chord progressions and modes and the family was all impressed. Very cool stuff
he of tranquil mind