Your first Intermediate Lesson!
Welcome to your first Intermediate lesson in this Guitar Course.
In this course you will learn:
- 22 Acoustic Songs
- How to play all barred chords
- How to play fractions of barred chords
- How to create 2nd guitar parts
- 5 Minor Pentatonic scale shape
- 5 Major Pentatonic scale shape
- How to extend to maj7, dom7 and min7
- How to build and play finger style patterns
- How to pick and strum at great speed
- How chord progressions work
Just like in the beginner course, each week contain two lessons that last between 30-60 minutes.
Every lesson has two steps, let’s get right to it and start with step 1.
Week 1 – Step 1 – 15-30 min
The first thing we need to do is move away from the open position chords and start playing barred chords.
As I mentioned in the beginner course, this is the most common hurdle guitar players arrive at before they give up.
The reason they give up is based on the misunderstanding that you have to play barred chords as full shapes – you don’t, almost always will you only play fractions of a barred chord.
Before we start practicing these fractions, let’s clear up how to build all barred major and minor chords.
Study the images below and see how a chord is simply moved up the fretboard. When you move an E chord up the fretboard it becomes an E shape, an A chord an A shape, a D chord a D shape and so on.
Below are all major open position chords as major shaped barred chords.
- E chord
Open Position E chord
- E shape
G chord - E shape
- A chord
Open Position A chord
- A shape
C chord - A shape
- D chord
Open Position D chord
- D shape
E chord - D shape
- G chord
Open Position G chord
- G shape
A chord - G shape
- C chord
Open Position C chord
- C shape
D chord - C shape
Similarly, we can do the exact same thing to our minor chords. Now an open position Em becomes an Em shape. An Am become an Am shape and so on.
Below are all minor open position chords as minor shaped barred chords.
- Em chord
Open Position Em chord
- Em shape
Gm chord - Em shape
- Am chord
Open Position Am chord
- Am shape
Cm chord - Am shape
- Dm chord
Open Position Dm chord
- Dm shape
Em chord - Dm shape
- Gm chord
Open Position Gm chord
- Gm shape
Am chord - Gm shape
- Cm chord
Open Position Cm chord
- Cm shape
Dm chord - Cm shape
Spend no more than 30 minutes playing around with all these shapes.
If you can’t fret them and get a good sound when strumming, don’t worry, not all of these barred chords can be played using the full shape.
In fact, most of them are very difficult to play and even if you manage to do it, they won’t sound very good when used in a song arrangement, they simply have too many notes in them.
It is however very important that you can see the full shape.
Week 1 – Step 2 – 15-30 min
Let’s take the E and A shaped barred chords and play fractions of them.
Simply follow the video which move around the neck using the cycle of 4ths.
First play as in the video, but more importantly, using the fractions you see notated in the TAB below the video.
The bonus here is that you will also learn all the notes on the neck. Always call out the chord name as you play the exercises. This will connect the fret number with the note and reinforce the learning.
Here’s a video of the E chord shape moving around the neck using chord: A – D – G – C – F – Bb – Eb – Ab – Db – Gb – B – E.
Here’s the A chord shape moving around the neck using chord: A – D – G – C – F – Bb – Eb – Ab – Db – Gb – B – E.
It’s easy to just translate this exercise to minor. Here’s the video for the Em shaped chord, moving through the cycle of 4ths:
If you come back tomorrow and do the same thing again you will speed up the learning process.
Today you learned how to move an open position chord up the neck and create a barred chord.
It is very important that you can see the whole shape, you don’t necessarily have to play the full shape though.
This brought us to what is really important and that is to play fractions of barred chords.
If you spend some time every day playing around with these fractions you will take your guitar playing to completely new heights.
In three days time we will look at playing fractions of the three remaining shapes. As well as this, we start learning a song.
See you then!
Dan (your guitar guru)