#1
Evening everyone,

I wanted to ask those that have achieved learning all of the chords on the neck what methods they rate for doing so, how they went about doing it, and any other thoughts that they would like to share on the matter, or learning resources etc....

NB This is all within the context of learning harmony and theory, it is not just an exercise to learn "all" the chords just for the sake of it.

I am an intermediate player and songwriter who is looking to achieve this goal. I have found the CAGED system the best tool, by a long way, for learning all of the chords up to Major and Dominant 7 and its variations into minor, combining this with learning and applying the minor pent & major scale before heading onto the other scales.

I am finding it difficult to make the same solid progress in learning 9s, add9s, 11s, 13s, the extensions etc. and would like to know what others on here think.

I am sure this is a very common question and situation. I have a good grounding in theory and know why 9, 11, and 13 are dominant etc etc, but wanted to see if I could continue the very direct trajectory of learning the chords thus far that studies like CAGED have allowed, so to speak.

It would be great to hear everyones thoughts on the subject and get a good constructive discussion going.

Cheers,

A. Beck

(I have had a look around the forums and could not find anything that addressed this matter as directly as this, my apologies if I did miss anything or do any faux pas; this is my first post on the forum)
Last edited by A. Beck at Aug 19, 2013,
#2
Why would you bother to learn "all the chords", as opposed to learning chord construction and having the ability to 1) know what chords contain what notes AND 2) knowing where those notes are on the fretboard?

What's the point in pointlessly memorizing every single chord in every possible position?
#3
^ +1

apart from anything else it's virtually impossible, there are a shitload of chords (not to mention it's pretty hard to nail down exactly what constitutes a "different" chord). it's like trying to learn how to read (in a language which uses an alphabet) by memorising the shapes of words rather than learning the alphabet.

As a halfway house, though, learning the notes on the neck (or at least, learning how to work out where the notes are on the neck) and learning one or two movable chord shapes (i.e. chords which contain no open strings, often but not always barre chords) for the different families of chords will help you learn a ton of different chord types quickly. There are books you can get on it on e.g. amazon (or i'm sure you can get them for free online too).
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Aug 19, 2013,
#4
Thanks Crazy and Dave for your replies, they are much appreciated,

I agree with what both of you say absolutely, I didn't mean for it to sound like I was just learning all of the chords by wrote for the sake of it; that's not the case at all. I am learning them as an extension of the larger harmonies, intervals, diatonic chords, etc, of western theory and music.

In some ways, everyone learns differently and for me, as you intimate Dave, music can be a language and you can piece together the different notes and chords, even if its "just" a suspended chord or arpeggio for example, to create different words. When I learnt CAGED it slotted in a lot of the fundamentals of theory and application on the guitar, so for example not only did I know the notes and intervals that made up a minor 7 but I had different voicings and "shapes" that I could play all over the neck.

Stepping on to "extended chords" and more advanced material has perhaps not surprisingly been less straight forward so I just wanted to see if anyone on here feels like they have "mastered" the fret-board and chords, or scales as well for that matter.

I know there are plenty of amazing players who dont use CAGED or look at guitar this way and that's fine of course. If it's not for you and you don't feel its a worthwhile exercise feel free to keep on steppin'.

I do know of amazing players however that say you should learn all chords and scales (within the larger context of harmony and theory) and for me this makes complete sense to do so, I am sure there are other people out there that know what I am going on about .
#5
Quote by A. Beck
Stepping on to "extended chords" and more advanced material has perhaps not surprisingly been less straight forward so I just wanted to see if anyone on here feels like they have "mastered" the fret-board and chords, or scales as well for that matter.

Question: Do you know the notes of the fretboard? If so, it should be easier to learn a few chords you don't know than if you didn't know the notes of the fretboard.

For example, 13th chords contain the intervals 1, 3, 5, b7, 9, 11, & 13. If you want to play a C13, then you should have the notes C, E, G, Bb, D, F, & A. Of course, because that's a lot of intervals, you may choose to use a "partial" 13th chord. A lot of people end up with something like 1, 3, 5, b7, 13 or 1, 3, b7, 13 (meaning C, E, G, Bb, A or C, E, Bb, A for a C13).

My point is, if you memorize the intervals of chords (the "construction of the chords"), then you don't have bother with memorizing different positions of that chord. All of this assumes, however, that you know where to find the notes for whatever chord you choose.

If you don't know the notes of the fretboard, then look into this article from the UG front page. (The 2nd section of that, the BEAD method, may appeal to someone familiar with the CAGED system, like yourself. But read the whole thing. )
Last edited by crazysam23_Atax at Aug 19, 2013,
#6
To learn some new chord voicings, I would learn songs that use them. For example you said you have troubles with a 9th chord. I just started using it and it's pretty basic for me.

Here's a basic 9th shape that I use:
B9:
x
2
2
1
2
x

And here's an add9 shape that I use:
Aadd9
7
5
6
7
x
x

Just figure out which notes you need to use for a chord and then find them on your fretboard and build these chords and then start using them. That way you'll remember them.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
Last edited by MaggaraMarine at Aug 19, 2013,
#7
Learn the basic chords and u. Will be ok .i got a book on chords and I was like there are tons of them. It scared me lol but just learn the basic ones just like most rock and metal are the same 4 chords
#8
Quote by Tazz3
Learn the basic chords and u. Will be ok .i got a book on chords and I was like there are tons of them. It scared me lol but just learn the basic ones just like most rock and metal are the same 4 chords

Disagree. Most rock and metal use power chords. You just need to know the basic power chord shape and you can play all basic rock and metal riffs. But major and minor and power chord shapes weren't the question here. They are beginner stuff that you learn pretty much first. When you can play barre chords, you can play all major and minor chords. TS was talking about 9th, 11th and 13th chords and add chords and all that (and they aren't really used in rock and metal but who says TS wants to play rock and metal).
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#9
Crazy, thanks for your reply, I agree that you want to know the construction of the chords rather than just shapes. Thats a good little article you recommended, even though I did cover that ground a while ago. BEAD is certainly worth remembering, I have to admit I hadn't noticed that "spelling" on the fretboard beyond BE! Even though I've gone through the circle of 5ths and 4ths ages ago. I do know the notes on the fretboard almost right of the bat and I guess I should put some work in just plugging in shapes and intervals to get those extensions, just takes a bit more work than more regular chords and voicings. I'll stop being lazy lol .

At the same time it is worthwhile discussing the subject as it helps to consolidate and get some new ideas. Thanks again dude !

Thanks for your replies as well MaggaraMarine great input. That 9 shape is one of the main ones I use (havent found a better voicing for this yet), sharpening the B string for the "Hendrix Chord" as he uses on Purple Haze to great effect. These "shapes" are great and these are the kind that I am looking for that just play really well all over the neck. Not wanting to sound lazy, I am putting in the work to find the voicings as well. I just knew that discussing it on the board could be useful. Case in point your add9 voicing, I had been playing that a different way not realising it was an add9, now just using those strings is excellent, cheers. And then if you play:

5
7
6
7
0 (Optional for Aadd13)
x

You get a really nice add13 inversion that is also movable. Really appreciate your input.

I am indeed looking to be able to play all music (maybe not too much metal though). I typically play blues, soul, rock and roll based stuff, solo, which is part of the reason that I am looking for all encompassing techniques.

Thanks for your reply as well Tazz, yeah I think those "1,000,000 chords" books have a somewhat deservedly bad reputation. As we seem to all agree, they seem to approach the subject from the wrong angle.

Thanks again everyone, even just this has been really useful. Anyone else got any thoughts?

Cheers,

A
#10
I dunno about that. If you know the theory as well and want to look up a few chords, it'll take less time looking up one of those books than trying to work them out yourself (or maybe i just suck ). I mean I bought a bunch of chord books recently for that very reason- not to avoid learning the theory (which i already know... sort of, anyway), but to minimise the amount of effort I have to put in so I can quickly find an easy-to-finger voicing rather than having to work it out myself. I can learn 3 chord fingerings using the book in the time it'd take me to work out one fingering on my own, kind of thing.

But I'd agree that some chords books are better than others- the ones that have the chords laid out in a more logical order, alongside theory, are much better than the ones which just list a shedload of random chords.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#11
Quote by Dave_Mc
I dunno about that. If you know the theory as well and want to look up a few chords, it'll take less time looking up one of those books than trying to work them out yourself (or maybe i just suck )


For someone fluent in harmony, even an unusual chord should be playable on sight. The only way to get faster at finding chords on the fly is to work them out, not to look them up.

Looking up chords is really a complete waste. Once you get outside the basic open position and barre chords, knowing how play only one version of, say, F9b13 is pretty useless. Context dictates which voicing you'll use, and if you don't know how to make that chord on your own, the ones you already "know" won't help you.
Last edited by cdgraves at Aug 21, 2013,
#12
well sure, but if you're not at that level it can help.

I mean in an ideal world we'd all be virtuosos, but in an ideal world we'd all be experts at everything...
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#13
Quote by A. Beck
That 9 shape is one of the main ones I use (havent found a better voicing for this yet), sharpening the B string for the "Hendrix Chord" as he uses on Purple Haze to great effect

Not to be picky or a jerk, but the "Hendrix chord" shape is actually a 7#9 chord, which is like so:

X
8
7
6
7
X


In particular, Hendrix loved E7#9. Note that the chord consists of: root, 3rd, b7, #9. So, that's your "Hendrix chord" shape. It's quite a nice chord, imho.

Quote by cdgraves
For someone fluent in harmony, even an unusual chord should be playable on sight. The only way to get faster at finding chords on the fly is to work them out, not to look them up.

Looking up chords is really a complete waste. Once you get outside the basic open position and barre chords, knowing how play only one version of, say, F9b13 is pretty useless. Context dictates which voicing you'll use, and if you don't know how to make that chord on your own, the ones you already "know" won't help you.

Agree with all of this. That's why I said that TS should study chord construction. Honestly though, it really seems like he already has the basic tools (knowledge of the fretboard and a basic understanding of harmony); he just needs to apply those tools.
Last edited by crazysam23_Atax at Aug 22, 2013,
#14
I have a pretty good couple of books in the Progressive range of books i am working thru , 1 is the guitar rythym book and the other wich i think would suit u is the guitar chords book .
ait lists the 3 different types of chords in different ways and sort of explains how u should work thru the book , then at the end gives u all the different ways to play turnarounds with a) open b) barre and c) moveable chords , along with theory for all such said chords and a dvd and cd etc ,
Im way away from using them ( still on the barre chord bit) but the layout and explanations are pretty good for the stuff i have come across , so i would guess they are pretty good for the stuff ur ready for wich im not (cause theyre is heaps in their i dont understand and am not trying to understand yet)
Last edited by greg73 at Aug 23, 2013,
#15
Quote by crazysam23_Atax
Not to be picky or a jerk, but the "Hendrix chord" shape is actually a 7#9 chord, which is like so:

X
8
7
6
7
X


In particular, Hendrix loved E7#9. Note that the chord consists of: root, 3rd, b7, #9. So, that's your "Hendrix chord" shape. It's quite a nice chord, imho.


he said he sharpened the b string
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#16
Evening everyone,

I wanted to ask those that have achieved learning all of the chords on the neck what methods they rate for doing so, how they went about doing it, and any other thoughts that they would like to share on the matter, or learning resources etc....

---------------------------------------------------

a line from chord chemestry by ted greene....."..its better to know a few chords and know how to use them then know lots of chords and not know how to use them"

in the posts you refer to a chord as a A add 13 ... one way to look at it...but it is common to call it an A6...its use in many ways..i use it in a blues context often...it is also a F#minor chord and again depending on context it can be used in many ways..

there was also mention of the famed "hendrix chord" E7#9...which could also be a Bb13b5...again depending on context...

so you may know more chords than you think...its just how to use them..

another way to see chords...not a a static group of notes...but as( 3-4 etc) notes that have a life of there own...a study of voice leading would open up a new world of harmony and melody for you

play well

wolf
Last edited by wolflen at Aug 23, 2013,
#17
^ not to derail the thread, but is that chord chemistry book any good? it's on my wishlist but I haven't bought it yet
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#18
Quote by Dave_Mc
^ not to derail the thread, but is that chord chemistry book any good? it's on my wishlist but I haven't bought it yet


its a good reference book...there is some theory and chord melody basics and progressions..he shows the possibilities of what chords can do...its not a beginners book...but check out his other books for more practical ways to apply chord progressions and single note solo playing
#20
^ haha no worries

Quote by wolflen
its a good reference book...there is some theory and chord melody basics and progressions..he shows the possibilities of what chords can do...its not a beginners book...but check out his other books for more practical ways to apply chord progressions and single note solo playing


thanks. yeah i don't really need the bog basic stuff, I have a reasonably good (basic) handle on chord construction etc. (and also have other books for more basic stuff, anyway).

Problem is I find almost every book in existence has some merit and often tells you one thing better than any other book. But that gets expensive quickly I think I have GAS for books now.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#21
Quote by A. Beck
Evening everyone,

I wanted to ask those that have achieved learning all of the chords on the neck what methods they rate for doing so, how they went about doing it, and any other thoughts that they would like to share on the matter, or learning resources etc....

NB This is all within the context of learning harmony and theory, it is not just an exercise to learn "all" the chords just for the sake of it.

I am an intermediate player and songwriter who is looking to achieve this goal. I have found the CAGED system the best tool, by a long way, for learning all of the chords up to Major and Dominant 7 and its variations into minor, combining this with learning and applying the minor pent & major scale before heading onto the other scales.

I am finding it difficult to make the same solid progress in learning 9s, add9s, 11s, 13s, the extensions etc. and would like to know what others on here think.

I am sure this is a very common question and situation. I have a good grounding in theory and know why 9, 11, and 13 are dominant etc etc, but wanted to see if I could continue the very direct trajectory of learning the chords thus far that studies like CAGED have allowed, so to speak.

It would be great to hear everyones thoughts on the subject and get a good constructive discussion going.

Cheers,

A. Beck

(I have had a look around the forums and could not find anything that addressed this matter as directly as this, my apologies if I did miss anything or do any faux pas; this is my first post on the forum)



Oh man chords are never ending really.

when I used to study jazz I had no choice but to learn all the chords from the songbooks I had but now that I play rock I don't bother learning chords that I will not really use.

In general what I do is pick a chord type say 7ths and learn one shape for each string. Once I have them memorised and can apply them without thinking I then start learning all of the inversions of that chord type.

Inversions really help you to hook up the entire neck

/Dave
#22
To learn chords properly, you need to understand them (well, this applies to almost anything). Just memorizing shapes is not the most efficient way to learn them. You could kind of compare that to studying in school (and I know not everybody does this but I know lots of people do). Most of the time you just memorize some random formulas to get good grades in tomorrows exams without even actually understanding them. (That's because in school most people don't actually want to know about things, they only want good grades and I think that's a problem in schools today - people go there only to get good grades.) You know the formulas but you don't understand them. Same with guitar - you know the shapes but you don't know where they come from. If you know how to build chords, you'll also learn them faster. You don't just look at different chord shapes - you understand where they come from.
Quote by AlanHB
Just remember that there are no boring scales, just boring players.

Gear

Bach Stradivarius 37G
Charvel So Cal
Fender Dimension Bass
Hartke HyDrive 210c
Ibanez BL70
Laney VC30
Tokai TB48
Yamaha FG720S-12
Yamaha P115
#23
I think there are two aspects to this. One is physically playing the chord, the other is understanding the theory behind the chord.

To memorise a chord, play it around the circle of fifths every day. After a couple of weeks you'll be able to play it without thinking twice.

To understand it's context, work out it's place in whichever harmonised scale series it comes from, then you'll know other chords it works with / can superimpose with, how to improvise over it, etc.
I teach guitar, so if you're in Uxbridge, United Kingdom and fancy brushing up, get in contact! Uxbridge Guitar Lessons
#24
Quote by MaggaraMarine
Disagree. Most rock and metal use power chords. You just need to know the basic power chord shape and you can play all basic rock and metal riffs. But major and minor and power chord shapes weren't the question here. They are beginner stuff that you learn pretty much first. When you can play barre chords, you can play all major and minor chords. TS was talking about 9th, 11th and 13th chords and add chords and all that (and they aren't really used in rock and metal but who says TS wants to play rock and metal).


ok iam start starting out so i wont even anwser this tpe of question lol
bear with me all lol