Guitar Chords Variations

Guitar chord variations are an integral component of learning the guitar, giving a song direction or altering its feel.

Chords may be altered by adding or subtracting notes from their scale; for instance, an F#5 chord could be written as F#5/G to indicate that an E note has been added at the bottom.

Major Triads

Triads are essential building blocks of harmony that can be found across any genre of music. Composed of three notes (root note, third and fifth) they allow arpeggios and melodies to be composed easily with just three chords – opening up new possibilities when playing rhythm or lead guitar.

A major triad is formed by taking the 1st, 3rd and 5th notes of any scale and stacking them – starting with the root note as its base – in any order to form chord notes. The quality of this chord depends upon how many semitones or half steps separate its notes.

Each triad shape can be altered on the fretboard by changing its root note; for instance, moving C major triads up an octave becomes G major triads – and so forth with each of the other shapes as well.

Minor Triads

Minor triads are among the most frequently encountered chords in music. Like major triads, minor triads feature three notes; however, their third note has been changed from major to minor in order to alter its chordal properties.

Minor triads are an invaluable building block of four and five note chords, providing a quick way to quickly construct various sounds on the fretboard. Becoming proficient at learning these shapes will allow you to quickly build various sounds on the fretboard quickly.

Minor triads are typically notated using root notes followed by an “m” symbol or letter; however, this notation can be difficult to read in low light conditions and requires closer reading than desired. Therefore, another alternative notation for minor triads uses lower case m over root note. Understanding these triad shapes and their relationships to one another is paramount when comping chords or improvising over changes.

Major Sevenths

Major seventh chords are triads that add one major scale degree, commonly abbreviated maj7 in chord diagrams. They are common across genres and offer greater complexity and movement than their dominant and minor counterparts.

Plectrum shapes are also great ways to add a chunky sound to your rhythm playing, as they usually involve strumming only on bass strings, leaving open notes from outer strings for percussive strumming. For a more melodic approach, lower voicing of this shape with muted outside strings using both your underside of finger and tip of thumb should work effectively.

Addition of extra notes can give these shapes more flavor and create various inversions. For example, adding a flat seventh (9), added thirteenth (13) and altered fifth (#5 or b5) gives rise to chords such as Maj7add13/Add11/B5 etc. Likewise the drop 3 voicing can easily be extended by dropping the third an octave lower for an R-3-5-7 sounding chord.

Minor Sevenths

Minor seventh chords are four note chords consisting of a root note, minor third note, perfect fifth tone and minor seventh interval. They produce an inviting jazz sound when played over minor triads and there are numerous minor 7 chord shapes that can be played on guitar but below are some of the more commonly utilized minor 7 chord shapes.

Em7 chord formation is a quick and straightforward one to learn for any guitarist, especially beginners or players with smaller hands. It utilizes close-spaced fingers without large stretches between notes; hence making it suitable for beginning students or those looking to advance quickly.

F#m7 chord is another well-known minor seventh chord and can be composed by using root, flatted third and fifth notes from harmonic minor scale. Also referred to as Fm7, this minor sixth chord adds expectant qualities which work particularly well when played alongside major seventh chords as well as being beautiful all on its own.