2. Intro to Open Chords – G Major Variation (BC-104)

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Chord Spelling: G – B – D
Scale Intervals: 1 – 3 – 5
Name Variations: G – G Major – Gmaj

We already learned how to play the G major chord in a previous lesson (see here). Now we’re going to learn a variation of the G major chord, which gives us a slightly different sound and can make certain chord changes easier (G major to D major, for example).

For our original G major chord, we used the following shape:

G:1

For our new G major chord, we’re simply going to add one note, the D note on the B string:

fretboard option width=825 option height=240 show fret=3 string=6 text=G color=white fill-color=#dd9933 show fret=2 string=5 text=B color=white fill-color=#dd9933 show fret=0 string=4 text=D color=white fill-color=#dd9933 show fret=0 string=3 text=G color=white fill-color=#dd9933 show fret=0 string=2 text=B color=white fill-color=#dd9933 show fret=3 string=2 text=D fill-color=#cc3333 show fret=3 string=1 text=G color=white fill-color=#dd9933

This G major chord is very similar to the one we learned previously. To play it, place your second (middle) finger on the 3rd fret of the low E string to play the G note:

fretboard option width=825 option height=240 show fret=1 string=6 text=F fill-color=#cccccc show fret=2 string=6 text=F# fill-color=#cccccc show fret=3 string=6 text=G color=white fill-color=#dd9933

Next, place your index finger on the second fret of the A string to play the B note.

fretboard option width=825 option height=240 show fret=3 string=6 text=G color=white fill-color=#dd9933 show fret=1 string=5 text=A# fill-color=#cccccc show fret=2 string=5 text=B color=white fill-color=#dd9933

Place your third (ring) finger on the third fret of the B string to play the D note:

fretboard option width=825 option height=240 show fret=3 string=6 text=G color=white fill-color=#dd9933 show fret=2 string=5 text=B color=white fill-color=#dd9933 show fret=1 string=2 text=C color=white fill-color=#cccccc show fret=2 string=2 text=C# color=white fill-color=#cccccc show fret=3 string=2 text=D color=white fill-color=#dd9933

Finally place your fourth (pinky) finger on the third fret of the high E string to play the G note:

fretboard option width=825 option height=240 show fret=3 string=2 text=D color=white fill-color=#dd9933 show fret=3 string=6 text=G color=white fill-color=#dd9933 show fret=2 string=5 text=B color=white fill-color=#dd9933 show fret=1 string=1 text=F color=white fill-color=#cccccc show fret=2 string=1 text=F# color=white fill-color=#cccccc show fret=3 string=1 text=G color=white fill-color=#dd9933

This chord uses all six strings, so our final diagram is as follows:

fretboard option width=825 option height=240 show fret=3 string=6 text=G color=white fill-color=#dd9933 show fret=2 string=5 text=B color=white fill-color=#dd9933 show fret=0 string=4 text=D color=white fill-color=#dd9933 show fret=0 string=3 text=G color=white fill-color=#dd9933 show fret=3 string=2 text=D color=white fill-color=#dd9933 show fret=3 string=1 text=G color=white fill-color=#dd9933

When we play the chord, it should look as follows:

How is this still a G major chord? Chords can get a bit confusing sometimes, especially when we start changing things around. The key thing to remember is that every chord has a set number of notes, so any combination of strings where only these notes are played will always make a specific chord. In our current example, G major is always made up of the notes G, B and D. When we add our extra note, we are simply adding another D note – we still have the combination G, B and D, so we are still playing a G major chord.
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