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You may be saying, hey I know these chords. Yes, you may know these chords and you might even use them everyday in your playing. But do you know where they come from? I would have to say the majority of all questions I've received in the years I've been teaching or playing would have to be, where do I play lead, or what chords do I use? I don't want to overwhelm you on chord theory here in this chapter, but we need to look at some very interesting things going on here. Look at the chords below. Look at each chord very closely. Look at the Am7 chord. You should notice that the notes of this chord are, A, C, E and G. You should also know that the Am7 chord below is a Root 6 bar chord. This means that the chord is determined by the note on the 6th or Low E string. The Dm 7 and Em7 are Root 5 bar chords. This means that these chords are determined by the note on the A string. These are movable bar chords which mean you can move each of these chords all over the fretboard. Look at the Dm7 and see that it has the same fingering as the Em7. The only difference is the Dm7 is played at the 5th fret and the Em7 is played at the 7th fret. This is because the D note is at the 5th fret A string for the Dm7 and the E note is at the 7th fret A string for the Em7. The 5th fret D note highlighted in Blue would be the root note. The E note at the 7th fret highlighted in red would be the root for for the Em7 chord. When you strum this chord, you can start with that root note
Each of the guitar chords illustrated above can be found in the key of C major. Each chord is formed out the minor scale using the formula above.
Look at the image above and notice that it is right out of the key of C major. Notice all of the notes of the Am7 chord and begin to visualize playing these notes in your lead guitar work. Lay these chords down on a recorder and play these notes as arpeggios. Pick each note one note at a time. Strum the Am7 chord and rock out. Begin to see how each chord if formed for each scale.
If you use the blank forms and fill them in, you will get to learn the guitar fretboard inside and out. Use all of the illustrations and experiment. Use the blank illustration of the fretboard and fill in all of the notes of the C chord up and down the fret board. Use the blank illustration and fill in all the notes of the Dm chord. You will see where each note is positioned. You will begin to improvise over these different positions and open up endless possibilities and new sounds.
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