Intermediate Acoustic Guitar Course Week 1 Step 3 and 4

More fractions + I’m Yours!

Today we get the final three shapes of all the barred chords, well, six shapes if you count minor as well!

This is a lot to take in and you will spend more time on these in the future as well.

We also start working on the first intermediate song which is ‘I’m Yours’ by Jason Mraz.

In this first look at the song we explore all areas of the neck and we don’t play with a capo as I do in the video lesson.

Week 1 – step 3 – 15-30 min

Let’s begin with working out all the possibilities for our D, G and C shapes.

All these shapes are well awkward when transformed into barred chords and almost only work when turned into fractions.

Remember that you should always visualize the entire shape when you play a fraction of it.

D shape

First up is the D shape. Here’s the video lesson, I use the full shape in the video, it’s pretty hard so if you can’t do it, jump straight to the fractions.

And here’s the fractions in TAB, the last example only has the 3rd and 5th in it so you need to visualize a root that you don’t even play! Intermediate Guitar Course Week 1 step 3 Fractions of D

G shape

Let’s now look at the G shape, this shape is almost impossible to play in its entirety.

In the video I skip string 1 but this is actually still playing too much of the shape. It would be much better to just play three or four strings of the shape.

Here’s the video lesson:

And here’s the TAB for the fractions.
Intermediate Guitar Course Week 1 Fractions of G

C shape

Let’s look at the C shape. You can play all notes but I recommend playing only the middle four strings when practicing the shape (fractions example 1).

When you play the barred C shape in a song, you’d probably only end up playing only string 4, 3 and 2. Your root note is then on string 2.

Here’s the video lesson:

And here’s the TAB with possible fractions: Intermediate Guitar Course Week 1 Fractions of C

Same thing in minor – Dm shape

Let’s do the same to all these shapes in minor, first up is the Dm shape.

The Dm shape is easy to play using all possible notes, however, it doesn’t sound very good…

Here’s the video:

And here’s the TAB. Again, playing all four strings is in my opinion a bit too much.

Playing only the top three strings is a much better idea, the root note is found on string two now.

Just like in major we also play this without the root, this is a great exercise!

Here’s the TAB:
Intermediate Guitar Course Week 1 step 3 Fractions of Dm

Gm shape

The Gm shape is actually impossible to play as a full shape but don’t worry, it would sound too messy anyway. Skip straight to the fractions!

Here’s the video:

And here are the fractions. Notice how when you only play the top three strings, it’s the same as an Em shape.
Intermediate Guitar Course Week 1 Fractions of Gm

Cm shape

The Cm shape is another difficult shape to play using all notes. When using the fractions playing only on string 4, 3 and 2, you are playing my favorite chord shape!

Practice this fraction by looking for the root on string 2.

Here’s the video, in which I struggle fitting that little finger in!

And here is the TAB for you.
Intermediate Guitar Course Week 1 Fractions of Cm
Spend no more than 30 minutes playing through all these shapes.

We will revise these exercises several times so don’t worry if you can’t do it all today.

Week 1 – Step 4 – 15-30 min

Let’s put all these shapes to the test over the progression of ‘I’m Yours’.

Study the TAB carefully in each position. If possible, play through the entire sheet, along with the video.

If you look at each shape in a vertical way you can see how the order of the shapes moving up the neck is spelled: CAGED.

The first chord, a B, moves through the shapes like this: AGEDC

The next chord, an F#, moves through the shapes like this: EDCAG

The third chord we play, a G#m, moves through the shapes like this: EmDmCmAmGm

The final chord, an E, moves through the shapes like this: CAGED

Here’s the TAB chart, you could play this along with the video almost through out (The M8 use different chords).
I'm Yours 5 areas of the neck
And here’s the video to play along with:


Today we learned all the remaining barred chords. It now became obvious how important fractions are since some of these shapes are not actually possible to fret!

To apply this we then took the song I’m Yours and played all barred chord shapes all over the neck.

If you want to become great at playing guitar and understand the fret board inside out, then today was vital information.

It would be a great idea to repeat the exercises for chord fractions every day this week.

To make this easier for you I’ve made a PDF that you can download and print: Intermediate Guitar Course Barred Chord Fractions.

There is so much more to learn now that you can play your barred chords!

See you in week two and learn how to play I’m Yours, exactly like I do in the video.

Dan (your guitar guru)