Chords Archives - Riff Ninja Academy

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Bag of Tricks: Chords

In this course we’re going to look at some chord forms that are a bit off the beaten path. You’ll end up with some cool unique new voicings, and hopefully gain a bunch of ideas to get you going in new directions than before!

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If you have comments, questions, or success stories related to this lesson, please write them in the comments below.

Open String Chord Tricks “E” (Part 1)

Most people think of open chords as being the standard “cowboy” chords – G, C, D, etc etc. But there are other open chords we can use, as we’re going to find out in this lesson. The ones in this lesson are based off “E” and they’re pretty cool. Let us know in the comments below how you’ve been able to start integrating these into your playing.

The next lesson in this series looks at open chords based off “A”.

Organizing Your Keys Using Relative Maj/Min Chords

Understanding your relative majors and minors and how they relate to each other, and to the scales, and to the chords, is really important. It’s part of the glue that holds it all together, and provides us some useful ways to approach our playing as well.

6 Basic Chords For E Major

Here are the 6 basic chords for the key of E major. Learn these well, because E is one of the more common keys on the guitar!

You can download the chord charts on PDF here.

1

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6 Basic Chords For D Major

Here we will be looking at the six main chords used in the key of D major, one of the most common keys on the guitar. Be warned, however, as a couple of barre chords are included in this key as well.

D

6 Basic Chords For A Major

In this lesson we will be examining the six main chords used for the key of A major – you will soon discover many combinations that can be heard time and time again in songs using this key. Some positions will require barring the fretboard, so be sure you’re prepared.

The six chords we’re looking at today are A, D, E, F#m, Bm and C#m.

Key of A Major

 

An Easy Capo Solution for A Major Chords

This is a handy way to get around the more awkward barre chord shapes in the key of A major – using a capo on the 2nd fret. This trick may not work in some scenarios, but for those who are still getting used to their barre chords, this is an easy solution to start playing in the key of A.

6 Basic Chords For C Major

In this lesson we’ll explore the 6 main chords you need to play nearly any song in the key of C major. If you’re a beginner and just getting the feel for your chords, this is a great lesson for you!

C

Mini Bar Chords for Weaker Hands

Bar chords can be a real struggle for the majority of guitar players – it can take a long time for the average person to build up enough strength to hold down all the strings with just one finger. But in this lesson we will be looking at mini bar chord variations that are a great way to get you started.

What Are Thirds? (Part 2: Applied to the Guitar)

What are thirds, and how can you use them on the guitar? Grab your guitar and get ready, because that’s what we’re talking about for the next 20 minutes.

Before going through this lesson though, you should have a basic understanding of the previous lesson that this one follows on from. Check it out here. In that lesson, Colin explains the theory behind thirds. In this one, he’s explaining how it applies to your guitar, and how you can use them.

Related Videos:

Using Inverted Thirds in Your Solos

 

 

Triads (Part 2): First Inversion Triads

In this lesson Colin takes his other lesson on triads a bit further, so that you can start applying it on the guitar.

Make sure you’re familiar with the previous lesson here before diving into this one! As Colin says, it is better to know a few things very well than to know many things poorly. So take the time and get to know this stuff really well!

Once you’ve got your triads down, take things a step further with Tetrachords.

Tetrachords – The Four Note Lesson (Board)

Four note chords are simply triads (a three note chord) with a fourth note added. The fourth note is not a repeat of any of the notes in the main triad, it is extra, so you end up with things like seventh chords, suspended chords, and various other extended chords.

If you haven’t yet watched the lesson on chord construction and the 4 basic triads, please do so before diving into this one.

 

Relative Major and Minor: Scales and Chords

Understanding the relative major and minor and how that relates to scales and chords is one of the most important parts of guitar theory you can learn.

Prior to going through this lesson, please make sure you’re familiar with the material in Colin’s lesson on I IV V.

Minor 7th Chords

This lesson is on Minor 7th Chords, which are used extensively in the blues, among other genres.

You can also watch the lesson Major 7th Chords if you’re interested in the other side of this coin!

After you’ve gone through this lesson, you might want to learn how to apply the Minor 7th Scales as well.

Major 7th Chords

You jazz players can sit up and take note of this lesson – it’s all about major 7th chords, which are heavily used in jazz!

6 Basic Chords (Key of G) Every Guitar Player Should Start With

This lesson is aimed toward beginner guitar players… and these six chords are enough to get your started, and on the road to being able to play hundreds of different songs.

Remember, if you have any questions or comments, you can leave them below.

Here are diagrams for the chords used in this lesson:

G

Power Chord Oddities

For beginners, power chords are a great way to get started on the guitar. Also called cheater chords, these babies get you ‘close enough’ to sound like you’re playing chords… and yet you only need to know one chord shape and how to move it around.

This lesson is on power chord oddities – different ways that you can use power chords in different and interesting ways.

If you haven’t yet watched the first lesson on power chords, you should do so first here.

Power Chords

For beginners, power chords are a great way to get started on the guitar. Also called cheater chords, these babies get you ‘close enough’ to sound like you’re playing chords… and yet you only need to know one chord shape and how to move it around.

For more advanced players, power chords are used frequently to create certain sounds, and even sometimes in soloing. If you’re playing backup guitar, playing the power chords while another guitar is playing the normal chords is a great way to add a bit of extra depth to the song.

Once you’ve finished this lesson on power chords, you should checkout the Power Chord Oddities lesson next!

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