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Comment by Phil Manuel on May 16, 2013 at 10:16am

Ok, here's the Dsus4 chord, which gives you a fairly complete 1st position D major chord and their often used voicings.  Get your fingers to play the D - Dsus2 - D - Dsus4, and you'll be on your way to playing like James Taylor, though he used different fingerings ;-)  And here's a useful link for Guitar Chord diagrams.

Comment by FloridaGull on May 16, 2013 at 9:40am

Andy - if you have the basic "D" chord down, you can try moving it up the fretboard (toward the body of the guitar) - move it up 2 frets (and, when you move out of 1st position, only play the strings that your fingers are fretting, thank you...) and you have an "E" - up 3 frets an "F" - up 5 frets a "G" - up 7 frets an "A" - up 9 frets a "B" - up 10 frets a "C"...

This works with the Dm chord as well - and the D7 - and the F... :-)


Comment by Andy Gallacher on May 16, 2013 at 8:47am

That is an excellent suggestion Phil, we do something similar in my lesson except we are going through 4 chords, stupid as it sounds but as a beginner I'm  not yet thinking  outside the box, or even just for myself, so it hadn't crossed my mind to cut the exercise down to how you suggested, but again, i'm not musically inclined so maybe it's just that  that stopped me thinking something that on reflection, is pretty  damn obvious!

Comment by Walt Pilcher on May 16, 2013 at 8:31am

Yes, FG, I'd like to hear a little about that.

Also, in the D/F# chord it's interesting that the diagram says mute or don't play the open 5th string.  However, since it's an A and therefore is in the D chord anyway (just an octave lower) it's fine if it plays, especially since it's almost impossible not to unless your thumb is a whole lot more prehensile than mine.  I can't even play the F# with my thumb yet.


Comment by FloridaGull on May 16, 2013 at 8:13am
Maybe we should talk about moving the basic D, Dm, and even F chord forms up the neck to acheive new and different (and relatively easy) chord voicings... ;-)
Comment by FloridaGull on May 16, 2013 at 8:05am
Phil - put up a Dsus4, and that'll cover most of the possible fun with the basic "D" chord form... ;-)
Comment by Phil Manuel on May 16, 2013 at 7:37am

Andy, that's the approach I'd take - beat the C chord until it says thank you! A simple exercise I found helpful, is to tap your foot in a slow rhythm, and play the C chord for 4 beats, then  switch to another chord, for 4 beats, trying to keep in time with your tapping.  It doesn't matter at this point which chord you alternate playing, as you are teaching your fingers to move into position.  Take it slow as needed. After doing this for a few weeks, you'll be surprised at your progress, and that you can actually do it faster after practicing.  Mix it up with different chords when you can. 


Comment by Phil Manuel on May 16, 2013 at 7:31am

And the other voicing...

Comment by Phil Manuel on May 16, 2013 at 7:28am

So, here are a couple of chord variations we talked about for the D major chord...

Comment by Phil Manuel on May 16, 2013 at 7:15am

Hugh, you're right, in some songs, you can play the low open "A" string in the D chord.  The "A" is the 5th tone in the scale, and just gives a different character voice to the chord.  Most times you'll see this noted in music songbooks as D/A, indicating the D major chord with a "A" in the bass.  Another popular voice I use a lot is "D/F#", where I place my thumb on the sixth string 2nd fret.  This puts the 3rd tone of the chord in the bass, and you'll see folks do this to add movement when going from a G  to Em or in endings  of songs.  Like I said in the beginning it's good to know these things, but if you are still at the bottom of the learning curve, you should probably focus on the straight voices of chords.

Just remember, there are a lot of ways to play, but just keep it fun will give you motivation to continue. - Thanks folks!


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