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C chord played in three positions

January 28th, 2013 · 2 Comments


Hello everyone! This is sort of a continuation of the previous post dedicated to A chord played in 3 positions. Just as it was possible to finger A chord in 3 most used positions, so it is possible to do it with virtually any desired chord. Of course knowledge of the notes that make up a particular chord is very useful, as it allows you to create convenient fingerings for wherever the chord can be built on the fretboard. But knowing each basic chord in three positions is already a good start, as it gives you the open chord, barred chord and another chord down the neck which will be useful if soloing in these positions.

So just as in case with A-chord example, which we have examined previously, it is built on the root (tonic), in our case C, the major third – E and a fifth – G. Very simply, these are the first, the third and the fifth notes of a major scale. So to get my first chord, which will be a C major chord utilizing open strings, I get the root note which is C on the 3rd fret of the 5th string, add the major third – E on the fourth string, and the fifth – G on the open string. You see that there are some doublings – C on the second string which emphasises the root, and 3rd on the 1st open string to support its major character. We leave the 6th string unused, as even though it is a chord note, and will not sound bad, still having en extra third deep down will be a little too much.

You can also play a variation, as shown bellow. The only difference is that you finger the 1st string on the third fret with your fourth finger to get a fifth on top of the chord. It definitely sounds sweeter than the basic voicing of the chord.

Let’s look at the second chord in the third position. This on the barré chords, where you use your first finger to bar the notes on the third frets, as if your finger served in place of capo. So you bar the third fret and putting your other fingers in the indicated positions you should have: fifth, root, fifth, root octave apart, major third and another fifth. There are two fingerings available; the first is more common, while the other uses a partial barré to leave your other fingers free to add additional notes.

And lastly the standard barré chord on the eighth fret renders us the third chord shape. I call it an F-shape played on the 8th fret. It gives us root, fifth, root octave apart, a major third, another fifth and another root.  This chord has the root note both at the bottom and at the top, which makes it more prominent and may prove to be a better choice in some situations.

Practice these shapes and be sure to check the guitar secrets information by Andrew Koblick

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2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 ZOT Zin Music LLC // Mar 11, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    The way you have lined this post, i loved it.But you missed graphics, had it been there it has been the outstanding post for anyone to learn and play.

  • 2 Joe // Apr 7, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Even with the graphics I might struggle. great thatn someone takes the time to try to communicate skill to others. thank you

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