#1
I have recently just noticed that i can play any major chord easily by moving the fmajor chord(barre and e major shape) up and down the frets and also the minor chords using the samething with the barre and e minor shape. My question is are there any other shapes like this where all i have to do is just move the pattern up and down the fretboard to change the chord? I know you can also do this by barring the 5th fret and using the a major and minor shape. Also is there a name to these particular kinds of patterns or are all baree chords just moveable?
#2
There are 5 of them - The C, A, G, E, and D shapes (hence the CAGED system.) All chords are based on these 5 shapes.
I'd like to help, but not as much as I'd like not to.


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#3
You can do this with all of the shapes. As long as you don't play any open strings, you're good. And sometimes you're still good, even if you do.
#5
A chord shape in reality is a bunch of intervals ... a bunch of pitches at various "distances" (semitones) from each other (and hence from one in particular, the root). Guitar build and string tuning dictates the sound produced by a given shape. So long as you don't change the intervals, it can be moved anywhere, to still get the same overall sound, just starting higher or lower in pitch. Moving a shape completely unchanged is easy ... just slide it. All the interval relationships stay the same ... unaffected. Make a mistake, and change the shape somehow when you moved it, and you've changed the relationships between the intervals, to get a different chord type.

Simple example. The top three open strings (G,B,E) make the sound of a minor triad (E minor, the root on the top string, E). The nut is effectively a fret, fret zero. Slide that simple vertical line shape up 1 fret (so, you're now holding down

1
1
1
x
x
x

and you still have a minor triad, rooted one fret higher than before (F m triad). And so on.

5
5
5
x
x
x

Same shape, now rooted off A, (5th fret on top E string)

But make a mistake and change the shape ...

5
5
6
x
x
x

You've now change the interval relationships. This is now an A major triad.

if it has an open string in it, and you slide up say one fret, that that open string pitch must now slide up one fret (think of sliding up an open E shape one fret).

Hence, "movable chords" are ones where you can physically hold down all the notes needing to be moved. So, if you have something like

0
0
4
x
6
0

Moving it up one fret would need to become

1
1
5
x
7
1

You can see the problem ... you need a very big hand :-) So, these sorts of chords that involve a mix of open strings and other pitches a long way up the neck, are by necessity, non-movable.

Otherwise, any shape, ANY shape is movable.

You can also move across strings as well. Now the shape may change, depending which strings you land on (due to the way the strings are tuned relative to each other)
.
I've written a couple of articles on this that explains and simplifies all this which may help you: http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/lessons/the_basics/drastically_reduce_learning_time_with_intervals_part_2.html

cheers, Jerry
Last edited by jerrykramskoy at Dec 12, 2014,
#6
Literally any shape that doesn't have open strings in it is movable. Even chords with open notes will be movable if you can come up with a different fingering that allows you to move the open notes, such as the case of F just being E up a fret with the barre compensating for the open notes.
#7
All shapes without open strings are moveable.

Your first step should be getting all the barre chords down all over the neck, and then move on to 4 part harmony.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#8
Ok its been awhile and ive been playing around with chords. I just want to make sure im understanding this correctly. So for open chords, all i have to do is barre it and it will become moveable? This applies to all chord types like sus aug dim right? If so then dam that opens up a huge arsenal of chords that i will be able to play just by knowing the root
#9
Yeah basically. That's part of the magic of the way the guitar is laid out. As long as you transpose correctly you can play any shape anywhere if you keep track of the roots.
"There are two styles of music. Good music and bad music." -Duke Ellington

"If you really think about it, the guitar is a pointless instrument." - Robert Fripp
#11
Congratulations, you've just discovered barre chords - and spotting something like this yourself without having it taught to you means you've got a pretty good handle on how the guitar works.

Understanding is an important part of playing the guitar, with all the resources available it's dangerously easy to learn a load of seemingly isolated information parrot fashion without ever connecting the dots. You've already spotted the connection so you've obviously got the right mindset, and the more you look the more connections you'll see - keep that in mind when it comes to tackling scales and theory as it'll make things a lot clearer
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#12
Quote by steven seagull
Congratulations, you've just discovered barre chords - and spotting something like this yourself without having it taught to you means you've got a pretty good handle on how the guitar works.

Understanding is an important part of playing the guitar, with all the resources available it's dangerously easy to learn a load of seemingly isolated information parrot fashion without ever connecting the dots. You've already spotted the connection so you've obviously got the right mindset, and the more you look the more connections you'll see - keep that in mind when it comes to tackling scales and theory as it'll make things a lot clearer

so does this concept of moving shapes also apply to scales? I really havent bothered learning scales just mostly chords. If i were to learn a pattern say for the c major scale, could i use that same pattern to play a different major scale?
#13
Quote by Darkn3ss99
so does this concept of moving shapes also apply to scales? I really havent bothered learning scales just mostly chords. If i were to learn a pattern say for the c major scale, could i use that same pattern to play a different major scale?


Yep, it works the same way.
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#14
Quote by Darkn3ss99
so does this concept of moving shapes also apply to scales? I really havent bothered learning scales just mostly chords. If i were to learn a pattern say for the c major scale, could i use that same pattern to play a different major scale?


Not only that, but a number of scales are all the same pattern, just the sort of "reference point", or tonic they revolve around is a different note out of the pattern.

So, that means stuff like A minor, and C major are the exact same notes. So, once you learn one major scale pattern, say C major, that means you know all 12 major scales, essentially, because you can just slide them up and down. It also means that you know the patterns for the 7 modes as well. 7, because for C major, you have the notes A-B-C-D-E-F-G. Each of those can be your tonic, In the case of minor, it would be the A, so A minor is said to be the relative minor of C.

In a way, there's only really one pattern to learn. I mean that's 90% of it easy, but there are lots of ways to know it. Learning it on your actual instrument so it is internalized in a really intuitive automatic and simple way, is still tough, and a good amount of work. Conceptually though, the bulk of everything you need to know, is really simple.

That's more obvious on piano than guitar though.