substitute: the Final bow
This Issue: His Final Bow
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.