You may be surprised, however, to learn there are many, many ways to play this, or any other major chord. The following lesson will illustrate 12 different ways to play any major chord.
Why Learn So Many Ways to Play a Major Chord?
Learning all these variations of major chords can be a major benefit to both your rhythm and lead guitar playing. Some guitarists - like Pink Floyd's David Gilmour - use major chord shapes extensively when soloing. Other guitarists - like the Red Hot Chili Peppers' John Frusciante - use major chord shapes almost exclusively in their rhythm playing.
Many of these alternate shapes get used frequently in reggae and ska music. After learning them, they will become part of your musical repertoire, and you'll find yourself using these shapes more and more, without thinking about it. They are also a great way to increase your knowledge of the fretboard.
A Bit About Major Chords
Let's explore what a major chord is. Any major chord you have ever played contains only three different notes. Any more, and it becomes something else (like a major7 chord, or a major6 chord, etc.) Obviously there are a lot of times when more than three notes are strummed... an open Gmajor chord uses all six strings, for example. If you check each of the notes in that Gmajor chord, however, you'll find that there are only three DIFFERENT notes played. The remaining three strings played are merely repeated notes.
The major chords we will explore today leave out any such repeated notes, so there are only three strings played in each chord.