ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Guitar chords in G guide

Updated on March 18, 2012

Chords and scales in G

G major is a popular key for guitar songs, for good reason - the open strings available make most chords sound great. In this article I'm trying to expand the use of open strings to give the chords a fuller and more interesting sound. Quick theory - which is covered in detail in my other hubs:

In the key of G we find these chords used together:

G    /    Am   /    Bm   /   C   /   D   /    Em   /   F♯m7b5   /   G

- each chord built on a note from the major scale.

The G major scale is G   A   B   C   D   E   F♯  G. Notice that there is one sharp note, reflected in the key signature for this key.

The 2 scales that work with these chords, either as a melody line or a bassline, are G major and Em pentatonic. For playing lead guitar in G - Em pentatonic is the easiest, as there are less notes to worry about, and you can do pull-offs to the open strings. But they both work fine.

Chords and Scales in G

Chord progression 1

This is a full sounding version of G, moving across one string you have C add9, then Dsus4 to D. To play D sus4 (or D with a G note added...) just play your normal D shape and play the top note with your little finger. You can often use C add9 instead of C in this key, it will usually sound better.

Why the key based approach? - because when you learn a new song in the same key you will have a whole bag of tricks and improvements you can use with confidence.

If you play this set of chords backwards, it will be like Sweet Home Alabama by - no, I'm not going to try to spell it.

Green Day's popular song Time of Your Life uses just these chords, plus Em. Check out my hub Guitar Comedy for a great parody of this song.

Chord progression 2

A nice way to play C to D - just slide the shape up 2 frets. Em7 is used in Wish You Were Here, Heart of Gold, Wonderwall etc.

Chord progression 3

Am, D, G is a common progression. Here it is tweaked a little to improve the sound. The D chord is an inversion - with an F sharp note in the bass. This helps to make a smooth transition to G.

Chords on top 4 strings - good for playing with other guitarists, as they complement the low position chords so well. Especially good for recording, a concept used by The Beatles. The G here is just a D shape moved up the fretboard. Also, use the top 2 strings in these chords to play harmony lead parts.

Remember when you're playing lead that the guitar is polyphonic - harmony in 3rds or 6ths sounds great, and can be mixed in with single-note runs at any time. In this key, Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison is a good example of this. Harmonics are also easy to use because they will come out in the right key. If you're in the key of G you can use pull-offs to open strings, which works best on strings 3 and 4, as G and D are both notes in the chords anyway -try playing up the 3rd G string  0  2  4  5  7  9  11 12, with pull-offs to the open string. It's easy, but sounds impressive.

Slash Chords - this uses so-called slash chords. C/D for example, means a C chord over a D bassnote. Actually quite simple, when you start using these chords it will improve your playing instantly.

Theory

If you number the chords in G, chords I, IV and V are G, C, D.

Most easy songs, Dylan early period, folk, country and bluegrass, will use these three chords, sometimes with another chord from the sequence added.

More theory

The numbers in a chord name describe an interval - that is, the distance of the added note(s) from the starting point, the tonic or bass note of the chord.

So C add9 just means a C chord (CEG) with a D (9th note starting from C)

C D E F G A B C -that's 8, then start again D E F G A....

If we described this chord in numerical terms, it would be 1,3,5,9

It's easier to see this on a piano keyboard.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Jon Green profile imageAUTHOR

      Jon Green 

      8 years ago from Frome, Somerset, UK

      Hi Brian - there are more than 7,488 of them!

      Essential chords listed in Guitar chords 101 hub

      Major, minor, 7th, m7, maj 7, diminished are the most important.

    • profile image

      brian 

      8 years ago

      can you give me a list of all chords..tnx

    • Jon Green profile imageAUTHOR

      Jon Green 

      8 years ago from Frome, Somerset, UK

      10 weeks if you play every day.

    • seyiari profile image

      seyiari 

      8 years ago

      hi, please i really love to know how to play guitar cos i wan to use it to praise my God> how long can it take for me to learn it?

    • Jon Green profile imageAUTHOR

      Jon Green 

      8 years ago from Frome, Somerset, UK

      Hi.These chords are used in Only Livin Boy in NY (Simon and Garfunkel)and Good Riddance amongst others - also try using a capo on fret 3, it'll sound even better!

    • connelly73 profile image

      connelly73 

      8 years ago from Motherwell, Scotland

      Hi Jon I love prog 1 and can't stop using it on my songs. I sometimes add my thumb on the f sharp for bass on the D shape for a nice sound or tune the high e down to a D and play prog 1 with that string open.

    • Jon Green profile imageAUTHOR

      Jon Green 

      8 years ago from Frome, Somerset, UK

      Thanks keira - the other new one is about guitar online and DVDs, which I will keep adding to. Thanks for your support = I've been playing guitar for decades, still learning new stuff! It also helps to play keyboard a little. Cheers, Jon

    • keira7 profile image

      keira7 

      8 years ago

      Hi Jon, everytime I tell my son Jon Green has published a new hub, we read it together. Great work. Thanks Jon. God Bless.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)