How to deal with dif­fi­cult shapes

Chord shape too much of a stretch? Make it easier as we show you how to sim­plify cer­tain chord shapes…

Total Guitar - - CHORDS MADE EASY -

Com­plex chords can con­tain lots of notes, some­times as many as six or even more. This can make play­ing them quite a hand­ful! Here’s the thing: top play­ers only play the most im­por­tant notes. If you’re play­ing, say, a Dm11 chord (D F A C E G), it’s sur­pris­ingly not all that im­por­tant to play the root note (D) – that’s because the bassist is prob­a­bly al­ready play­ing it. There’s also lit­tle point in play­ing the 5th (A) as the ear tends to fill in this com­mon sound nat­u­rally. In­stead the F, C, E and G notes (3rd, 7th, 9th and 11th in­ter­vals) should be your fo­cus as they pro­vide the true char­ac­ter of a mi­nor 11th chord. This approach al­lows you to cre­ate in­ter­est­ing parts with­out ty­ing your fin­gers in knots.

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