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Mobile Chord Forms for guitar III

Prepared by Alan Humm

1 Although, as with the C7 mentioned on the last page, it can be moved up the neck by simply muting the open string(s). In this case, that would be the B string (second from the top) which you mute by touching it with your ring finger. The Bm7 can be barred, although it is not the easiest in the world. The B9 we will see here in a minute. Each of these have their roots on the A string, like the A-form and C-form chords.

2 There are three advantages to the 'take a class' approach. First, you can ask questions more easily, second, you aren't allowed to skip the parts you think are boring, and third, you get lots of attractive fellow students to commiserate with. The disadvantage is that such courses are seldom targeted at popular music, and the instructors sometimes don't even understand how it differs. This disadvantage also frequently applies to the 'find a book' approach. The advantages to that method are..., well, the truth is, I can't think of any.

On the last page I told you that the vast majority of mobile chord forms are just regular nut-form chords built on top of barres. That, in fact, draws from all but two of the standard nut-forms. The F chord is itself just an E-form on the first fret (usually played without the lowest notes). The other one is the B7 chord that uses too many fingers to allow you to add a barre.1

There are, however, some common mobile forms that are not based on root-position chords. Note the word 'common'; there are actually many, many possible chord shapes, far more than you are likely to have any need to memorize. At some point, you are going to want to learn how to construct them on your own, without being dependent on published chord books, even when they are free, like this one. I will talk some about that a little way down the road, but what you really need for that is to go through a series on music theory. To accomplish this you can use the one I have here on this site, find a book, or take a class at your local college. Of course, I recommend the first option ☺.

Without further ado, here are the most common mobile forms not directly connected to nut-forms.

You already learned this as B9 (C9 played at the second fret). If you prefer to think of this as a B9 form, go for it. It could even be an A9 form; they are all based on the same root note.

This chord is very commonly used in blues playing for the subdominant (4) and dominant (5) chords. It is also pretty much of a staple in jazz.

This is also a frequent jazz chord, particularly the easy-listening variety, but you will see it lots of other places too.

This one looks a lot like the E7 directly above it, but they don't sound even close. It is an E-form half diminished seventh. Look what happens in the next chord.

This is the fully-(or doubly-)-diminished form of the same chord. Note the difference, both in how it structured, and in how it sounds. Like the diminished chords we learned on the first chord chart, this one can have its root on any of the contained notes—I have simply shown it with the root in the bottom so the difference between this and the half-diminished form will be more obvious.

These two chords work the same way as the last two, only rooted on the A string instead of the E string. Note the similarity of the left one to the fully diminished form you learned on the first chord sheet, but that one sounds more like the form to the right.


© 2013 Alan Humm