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Moving Chord Shape?

Music Theory
13 Jun 2013 22:17 | Quote
Joined: 14 Dec 2009
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Okay, so I have been messing around with my guitar, just making up random fingerings to see what sounds good and what sounds like my 4-year-old trying to play. One thing I thought was kinda cool, but not unexpected either really, was to take a shape and move it along the neck. Since I am sounding fairly vague here (likely because I have no clue what I am talking about here), I will give an example.

Take the typical E chord in the open position. Just to show something really quick that sounded kinda cool to me, almost like an ending to a song, I played the following rhythm:

1 2-and-a
3 4-and-a
1-and (kinda stoccato)
[2]-and (where the two is silent)

And then the fingerings for these four "sections" would be:


It sounds like there is a lot of resonance in the first three "sections" and it finally resolves to the E major chord.

Okay, so it works and sounds kinda cool. Now, finally on to my question: WHY does it work? And is there a name for using the chord positions across the neck (NOT the same as a barre chord, because the open strings remain open and are not barred)? I would like to know if there is a name for this type of usage of chords or whatever so I could research it more on my own as well. I hope I am being clear enough here, because it doesn't seem like I am.

I tried myself to look up the chord names and see if there was something I could see myself. But unfortunately, the chord naming tool says that 044300 isn't even a chord, lol. I am not overly concerned, as if it sounds good, then in my opinion, just go with it. But I want to learn about it if it something commonly used and there is material on it.

15 Jun 2013 12:45 | Quote
Joined: 10 Jul 2010
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This is the best I can do on explaining your question. The chords you are using come from an E progression
099800=Badd4/E (E being the 4th) V chord
077600=Aadd2/E (E being the B string the 2nd) IV chord
044300=F#7add4/E (E being the B string the 4th) II chord
022100=E I chord
Notice these are not sus chords but ADD CHORDS since the 3rd is being used. The only one that is really out of place with the normal E progression is 044300. It should be F#min but if it sounds good play it. Try playing E Lydian over the F#add4.I think you may find this interesting.
Also listen to the intro of this tune by Maiden. When I strummed the first chord it came to mind immediately.

I really can't go into deep theory of why these work. Since I am self taught I don't know all the details but I know it works. Maybe one of the more experienced players will chime in. I hope this helps.
15 Jun 2013 20:54 | Quote
Joined: 14 Dec 2009
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Thanks for the post Mosh. When you write that out, I think it kinda sounds like a walkdown basically. Why the actual formations sounds good, well, that might be just because they are real chords and don't have avoid notes or something, I dunno. Just a thought I had.

In the example I put, I actually switched it up a bit. Instead of two stoccato strums with the 044300, I did the first strum as 066400 and the next strum as 044200, finishing with the standard open E chord. So it literally is a walkdown there, by changing the F#7add4/E to a variation of the G#min and F#min chords.

Further, that sounded familiar to me somehow, when I made the switch. Then it hit me. "Melissa" by The Allman Brothers. They do this very thing I am talking about in that song. So it is obviously not uncommon, I just wish I knew if there was a term for it now.
16 Jun 2013 12:35 | Quote
Joined: 24 Sep 2008
United States
Karma: 16
the chords you are playing are second inversion B major, A major, F# major and then E major chords. Your in the key of E key you just made the F# minor a major chord.

with the open notes your creating a drone/pedal tone. Look up the theory of that if you want to know more. The done is just the Root E with a fifth (b). It's not really a power chord due too the octave separation.

this is used a lot in classical music specifically organ based music and droning strings instruments.

Indian music used it a lot too (SITAR!!!)

bagpipes are an obvious examples as well


the first song "go your way"

just type droning guitar in youtube you'll get it

I wouldn't look at each one as a chord that just makes it overly and unnecessarily confusing.

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