Intermediate Acoustic Guitar Course Week 2 Step 3 and 4

All barred minor chord shapes + I’m Yours details!

Today we revise all the minor chord shapes. Just like with the major shapes, fractions of the shapes will work best and sometimes be the only option.

Remember to practice these whilst simultaneously calling out the chord name. Depending on the fraction you practice, the root note will be found on different strings.

In step 4 we take a final look at ‘I’m Yours’ as we work on the M8 which has a different progression.

Week 2 – Step 3 – 15-30 min

Let’s revise all those minor chord shapes, starting with the Em shape.

Em shape

Just like with E major chord shape, Em is easy to fret. To make it useful you need to play only fractions of them.

Play these along with my video using the cycle of 4ths, move: Am – Dm – Gm – Cm – Fm – Bbm – Ebm – Abm – Dbm – Gbm- Bm – Em.

Also, think of them as all sharps, say them out loud as you play: Am – Dm – Gm – Cm – Fm – A#m – D#m – G#m – C#m – F#m- Bm – Em. Here’s the video:

Here’s the TAB for the Em exercise using fractions.
Intermediate Guitar Course Week 1 Fractions of Em
Am shape

The Am shape is much easier to play than the A major chord shape. That top string is now easily included.

Here’s the video with the full Am shape:

And here’s the TAB with the Am shaped fractions.
Intermediate Guitar Course Week 1 Fractions of Am
Dm shape

The Dm shape is much easier to play over four strings compared with the D major shape.

Still, in a song, I prefer just using the top three strings. Practice both ways. 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. Here’s the TAB:
Intermediate Guitar Course Week 1 step 3 Fractions of Dm
Gm shape

The Gm shape is 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 again.
Intermediate Guitar Course Week 1 Fractions of Cm
Spend no more than 30 minutes playing through all these shapes.

Week 2 – Step 4 – 15-30 min

Let’s take a final look at Jason Mraz modern classic ‘I’m Yours’.

So far you learned the main Verse/Chorus part.

If it was difficult to learn then remember to practice slowly, to a click, gradually bringing up the tempo.

If this is still too hard, do what we did in the first beginner lesson, break it up beat by beat!

I’m Yours M8

The M8 section moves in a similar way to the Verse/Chorus section although twice as fast.

As you repeat this section you have a great opportunity to vary the chord shapes, I’ve written out a few suggestions for you in TAB, try them all!

I'm Yours M8-amend2

When you can play as I have notated above for you, finding out exactly what I do in the video is easy.

Before we sign off today I’d like to give you a chart I use mysefl when I play this song.

It’s detailed when it comes to the Verse/Chorus section in case I forgot the extra grace notes, they’re there.

For the M8 I have kept it relatively vague leaving the E and C# blank for improvisation.

There is also a random C# at the end of a chorus. As I’m writing this I can’t remember exactly when this happens and I’m not gonna find out either! There is a good reason for this.

By not knowing how many Verses and Choruses there are and what the exact structure is I have to listen to the vocalist.

I have never missed it live since it is really obvious when it appears, you can hear it building in the vocal melody.

Here’s my chart: I’m Yours

And here’s the video to play along with again:


Today you revised all the minor barred chord shapes, including fractions. You also worked on the M8 section and got a chart for ‘I’m Yours’.

Off course, you could spend several weeks practicing this song and why not do that? The more you play it, the more variations you find in your own time, the better.

Same goes for the chordal exercises. It should be clear by now what the 5 major shapes and 5 minor shapes looks like.

Use the exercises as a warm up whenever you pick the guitar up, just like you used to do with the Chromatic Exercises during the Beginner Course.

Next week we start working on a new song, we will take the chord progression and find all shapes in all areas of the neck using four keys.

See you then!

Dan (your guitar guru)