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Thread: Different chord shapes

  1. #1
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    Default Different chord shapes

    Rookie question from a rookie. I was learning how to play "Losing my Religion" by REM and all the videos show playing the Am and Em chords using different fingering than what I had learned. I started to investigate the different fingering for say Am and found a lot of variations. What is up? isn't Am=Am, the different fingering sounds different to me so what is Am?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Different chord shapes

    A Major chord equals 3 notes, the root, the 3rd, and the 5th of the scale. The minor chord equals 3 notes, the root, the flatted 3rd, and the 5th of the scale. An Am chord is the combination of notes A C E. An inversion of the Am chord notes gives you a different sound but still contains the same three notes. Example C E A or E A C, hopes thatís helps my theory might be a little rusty.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Different chord shapes

    Here is a link to a good tutorial that will explain it better than me and he gives a very good lesson.

    https://youtu.be/tfL9t5-UIgI

  4. #4
    Moderator MikeEdgerton's Avatar
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    Default Re: Different chord shapes

    On any fretted stringed instruments the same chord can be created in different positions on the fretboard. There are times when the chord you are looking for just sounds better in a song than one found in another position. Yes they are the same chord but at times the subtle or not so subtle differences in sound can contribute to what you're playing. Take a look at this rarely talked about Mandolin Cafe feature. It can be eye opening to a newer player.

    https://mandolincafe.com/cgi-bin/chords/ch.pl?chord=Am
    "It's comparable to playing a cheese slicer."
    --M. Stillion

    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them"
    --J. Garber

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  6. #5
    working musician Jim Bevan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Different chord shapes

    Quote Originally Posted by neilca View Post
    isn't Am=Am
    Yes, Am=Am. An Am chord has an A, a C, and an E, in any order (eg C-A-E is an Am). If if has more than one A, and/or more than one C, and/or more than one E, it's still an Am.

    There are lots of notes on your mandolin, lots of A's and C's and E's, so while there are lots of different ways you could play an Am, they'll all be Am's.
    mandoscales.com
    technical exercises for rock blues & fusion mandolinists
    free downloadable pdfs & mp4 backing tracks

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Different chord shapes

    Quote Originally Posted by 707erich View Post
    Here is a link to a good tutorial that will explain it better than me and he gives a very good lesson.

    https://youtu.be/tfL9t5-UIgI
    WOW thanks for that link. This is a whole new way of looking at the fret board. Mind blown....

  8. #7
    bon vivant jaycat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Different chord shapes

    Just today I learned a new way to play a G7 on guitar... after 50 years of playing. So, yeah, there's more than one way to skin the proverbial cat.
    "The paths of experimentation twist and turn through mountains of miscalculations, and often lose themselves in error and darkness!"
    --Leslie Daniel, "The Brain That Wouldn't Die."

    Some tunes: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCa1...SV2qtug/videos

  9. #8

    Default Re: Different chord shapes

    Quote Originally Posted by neilca View Post
    WOW thanks for that link. This is a whole new way of looking at the fret board. Mind blown....
    Your welcome, sent you a PM too.

  10. #9

    Default Re: Different chord shapes

    Here's another note of appreciation from another newbie (we are legion) for this link, very useful!

    Quote Originally Posted by 707erich View Post
    Here is a link to a good tutorial that will explain it better than me and he gives a very good lesson.

    https://youtu.be/tfL9t5-UIgI

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