sub­sti­tute: the Fi­nal bow

This Is­sue: His Fi­nal Bow

Guitarist - - Contents -

this month, adrian Clark takes his leave from sub­sti­tute, after a decade of show­ing us how the com­mon chord can be trans­formed into a thing of wonder. Fans of the col­umn need not fear as it will re­turn in a new and ex­cit­ing for­mat, helmed by richard Bar­rett. But for now, we’ve hand-picked some of our favourite mind-ex­pand­ing – not to men­tion fin­ger-stretch­ing – chord sub­sti­tu­tions...

Guitarist would like to thank Adrian Clark for his ster­ling work in mak­ing the fret­board a much more in­ter­est­ing and chal­leng­ing place to visit over the last 10 years – and we hope that your un­der­stand­ing of how the wacky world of har­mony works has taken a leap for­ward as a re­sult!

Merely adding an ex­tra note to a chord and mov­ing it up the fret­board can com­pletely al­ter its sound. If you want to add even more jan­gle to this chord, ex­pos­ing the open E strings is a good move.

This chord’s shape can be used as a sub­sti­tute for an open C. But be­ware the F# on the top string; it won’t work in all in­stances; how­ever it’s a great gate­way to the Ly­dian mode. Prog­tas­tic!

This is an un­usual one and a lit­tle bit of a stretch, but the end re­sult is well worth the ef­fort. A very full­sound­ing six string Esus4 chord – add a pinch of over­drive for those rock god mo­ments!

An­other ex­am­ple to lift a chord’s sound, this E9 sits quite high up the fret­board and can add a lit­tle funk to your chord work and trans­form a rhythm part. Watch the fin­ger­ing!

Some­times a straight­for­ward open po­si­tion chord can ben­e­fit from just a lit­tle twist. In this case, ex­pos­ing the open B string in an A ma­jor chord adds zing – try it with a lit­tle cho­rus.

Here’s a way to add some zest to a simple E ma­jor chord. It in­volves a lit­tle fin­ger gym­nas­tics, but just the simple act of mov­ing up to the sev­enth fret and adding a ninth (F#) can freshen things up nicely.

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