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Thread: Movable Chords

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    I am a bit of newbie with no background in music theory and have a question regarding movable chords. Can all closed position chord shapes be moved up and down the neck to make standard chords in different keys? It was my understanding that they can and this may be obvious to those with a music theory background but I am uncertain if this is correct. Thanks for any information in this regard.
    JPhil

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    Yes.

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    Thanks much
    JPhil

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    Registered User groveland's Avatar
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    Not only can a given shape be moved up and down the neck for new chords, but in the future be on the lookout for chord shapes that can be used in multiple ways! #For example, a C6 chord has exactly the same notes as an Ami7 (A minor) chord: CEGA and ACEG. (Your bass player can make your C6 chord into an Ami7 simply by switching from C to A - You don't have to change a thing.) #So if you know a C6, you have learned an Ami7, too, and vice versa! #(Emi7 = G6. #Bmi7 = D6. #Etc.) #Similarly, Cma7 is the same as Ami9. You can squeeze some extra mileage out of the shapes you learn.




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    Definetely. Some people play a D using all four strings and that's fine. However recently i just pretend like there's a capo and like I'm playing out of G using the C.

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    Quote Originally Posted by (BluegrassGirl26 @ Aug. 04 2006, 23:08)
    Definetely. Some people play a D using all four strings and that's fine. However recently i just pretend like there's a capo and like I'm playing out of G using the C.
    Like I said in another post, I'm a true beginner, so what does "playing out of G using the C" mean?
    My axe is used for choppin'.

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    Quote Originally Posted by
    Quote (BluegrassGirl26 @ Aug. 04 2006, 23:08)
    Definetely. Some people play a D using all four strings and that's fine. However recently i just pretend like there's a capo and like I'm playing out of G using the C.

    Like I said in another post, I'm a true beginner, so what does "playing out of G using the C" mean?
    It's not completely clear - but I fairly sure this refers to the idea that any shape you play with open strings you can pretend there's a capo using your index finger and move the whole works up. In this case, if you move an "open" C chord up two frets (a whole step) and put your finger across the second fret like a capo, you get a D.

    It's probably not recommended to refer to playing in first position with open strings as "playing out of G" but you get the idea.

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    I think she means playing the open C chord form moved up. Open strings are pretty much key of G (the 1 and 5 power chord are there on the G and D strings). I find it odd that people go to such great effort to construct the chop chords and then usually only use 2 or 3 strings. On most songs, failing to completely mute the E string on a chop sounds pretty bad to my ears (and my instrucor and many of my books tell me not to sound it on a chop).
    "First you master your instrument, then you master the music, then you forget about all that ... and just play"
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    Registered User groveland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by
    Open strings are pretty much key of G
    And the key of C, D, A minor, B minor, E minor. It's better not to use the phrase "playing out of G" when referring to open strings.

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    I am not saying that is the best way to refer to it, just likely that it is what she meant. It seems common that people learn keys based on a scale anchored on the G string. A couple of beginner books I had teach it that way.
    "First you master your instrument, then you master the music, then you forget about all that ... and just play"
    Charlie "Bird" Parker

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    Registered User groveland's Avatar
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    Thanks, arbarnhart. Just trying to keep the context there for accuracy. I found the reference in itself confusing!

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    I thought she was talking about using the 3-fingered C shape, which can be moved all over the neck just as the 4-fingered shapes can. You gotta remember to mute the open pair, but that's liable to happen by accident anyway.
    If you can't learn to do something well, learn to enjoy doing it poorly.

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    I guess what I just described isn't really a chord after you move it, but I've seen quite a few old-timers play it that way and when you're chopping it probably doesn't matter if you're only getting 2 notes instead of 3.
    If you can't learn to do something well, learn to enjoy doing it poorly.

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