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Discover Minor 6th Chords

You see minor 6th chords in minor chord drop progressions where the bass note drops one semitone at a time.

These chords can be found in all types of music. This chord has two other names it can go by too. This is another chord with plurality. This is when a cord has 2 or more names.

It can also be called a minor 7th flat 5 and a 9th chord without a root.

Chords can be used without a root especially if there is a bass player, they are a little harder to keep track of unless you know some chord music theory

One note that is almost always in a chord is the 3rd, try keeping track of chords without roots that way.

Chord Origins

The minor 6th chord can built from the second note of the major scale. It can also be built from the minor scales.

Here are some Dm6 chord diagrams.

All of these chords are movable and they all have 3 names, so you have a lot of chords to add to your chord book.

Only the ii Chord

You can’t build this chord from the other two minor chords in the major scale.

For E minor the 6th would have to be a C sharp not a C and for the A minor chord the 6th would have to be an F sharp not an F.

Melodic Minor Scale

They can also be built from the 1st two notes of the melodic minor scale.

These chords aren’t played for long periods, they are usually part of a drop progression.

Don’t forget these chords have two other names. A Dm6 can be a G9 without a root(G) or a Bm7♭5.

Here’s a link to the melodic minor scale section if you want to check these scales out.

Melodic Minor Scale

Harmonic Minor Scale

They can be built from the 4th note of the Harmonic minor scale too.

Now you know if you see one of these chords your in the major scale, Melodic scale or the Harmonic scale.

Here’s a link to the Harmonic scale page.

Harmonic Minor Scale

Minor 6th Chords – Other Names

If you don’t understand chord construction check out these other pages and come back. They will open in a new window so you can go back and forth to get a better understanding.

Music Intervals Chord Triads

The formula for making this chord from the major scale is

1-2-3-4-5-6-7 These represent a major scale in numbers

1-3♭-5-6

Don’t confuse this with where the chord comes from. This is a way of making any chord from a major scale.

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Guitar Chord ProgressionsCommon Progressions

There are a lot of guitar chord progressions that are common for certain styles of music. By learning these progressions it will make learning songs much easier and easier to remember.

Learning these basic chord progressions will also increase the number of songs you know almost instantly.

Many songs will have slight variations of a basic progression. Giving it its own character.

During the 1950’s the I-vi-IV-V progression was used on thousands of songs. In the key of C that would be C-Am-F-G.

Some you still hear on oldies radio stations. This progression is like a time machine because of the overuse of this progression. It brings back a music era.

All the chords will be written in Roman numerals. The upper case for major chords I, IV and V. The lower case for minor and diminished chords ii, iii, vi and vii.

All chord numbers are based on the major scale. like below.

The degree sign under the vii column stands for a diminished chord.

The G♭ and F♯ are the same scale. One is a flat key and one is a sharp key. Same pitch just written different.

By using the above list you can change the key of any song you want to any key you want.

Numbering Variations

To switch keys for every chord that’s not in the key of the music would get very confusing. That’s why it is easier to think in one key with some variations.

Many songs do not stay in one key(called diatonic). They often borrow chords from other keys for chord progressions. Any one of your major chords can become minor and the minor chords can become major.

They can also be flat or sharp from the key. A common chord for this is the VII♭. This is made into a major chord and played ½ tone lower. In the key of C this chord would be a B♭

Other variations are chord extensions like a 6th, 7th, 9th, 11th or 13th.

The iii minor sometimes will become a III7. A dominant 7th. The same with the ii and vi chords.

Key Changes

Sometimes the written music will show a key change if it’s going to last for a bit. Other times it may only be a bar or two and they don’t show a key change. This is why you should learn all of the major scales and their basic chords.

If you learn one key you have also learned half of two other keys. If you don’t understand yet check out the guitar chords page.

Now that you know how guitar chord progressions will be written out we can move on into the progressions. The number system lets you play the song in any key you want.

This is useful for singing so you can reach the notes or you may want to play in an open position for an acoustic guitar or in a closed position for a solid body electric.

You can write these numbers next to chord symbols in sheet music and song books. This is a good way to learn different keys and chord positions.

Chord Numbering Example

This is an example of how chords would be numbered for the first 4 chords of the C scale.

The chords are a Cma7, Dm7, Em7 and a Fma7. The notes are the chord notes also called an arpeggio.

With a little practice you can transpose to any key just read the notes and play them 1 whole tone higher or any other change without rewriting by knowing your music intervals.

Circle of 4ths

Have you heard about the circle of 4ths? Understanding this will make remembering songs a lot easier. Check out the link below.

Circle of 4ths

Circle of Fifths

This is similar to the circle of 4ths but you might be able to understand how all the keys work together better from this point of view.

Circle of Fifths

Two Chord Progressions

Most songs have more than two chords but a lot of songs are based on two chords. Check out the page below.

Two Chord Progressions page.

Three Chord Progressions for Guitar

Now we are getting into songs that are based on three chords. These songs are based on the I, IV and V chords of the major scale. Some are just extensions of the two chord progressions.

Three Chord Progressions

Four Chord Progressions

Now things seem to be getting complicated but it’s only one more chord. We can have an even 4 or 2 measures for these progressions and then repeat it.

There are many more options for 4 chord progressions. Check out the page in the link below.

Four Chord Progressions

12 Bar Blues Progression

This progression is the foundation for thousands of songs. It is based on the I, IV and V chords of the major scale.

12 bar blues chord progression

I hope you found this page useful.

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Guitar Sweep Picking

Sweep picking is a technique every guitar player should know. It makes your playing sound very fast and clean. It’s like playing a chord but it’s not.

This technique takes a lot of slow concentrated practice. You can’t play the chord like you normally do, it has to be timed along with your fretting hand.

Don’t confuse this technique with a “rake” pick where you play a fast downstoke on a chord as one note. The sweep is more involved and timing is critical unlike the Rake.

This technique is how gutar player play at unbelievable speeds. They are actually playing chords but one note at a time is sounded out like an individual note.

The Picking Hand-Sweep Picking

To learn this technique you must start out slow and play each note of the chord as an individual note like playing a scale.

This can be hard to do at first because your mind wants to play the whole chord because that’s what you’re used to doing. That’s why starting slow is best, you can control your movements better.

The Fretting Hand

This hand controls how long the notes ring. As you leave one string with your pick you should let up slightly on that string to stop it from ringing because the next string will be ringing almost instantly.

You have to develop a co-ordination between the picking and fretting hand fingers. You will be releasing pressure one finger after the other but depending on the chord it might not be the finger next to the one you just released.

It’s not just the hand it’s the individual fingers that must respond to your picking.

Down Stroke and Up Stroke

When you sweep pick you are going in one direction. Going from the 6th string to the first you would use a down stroke. Playing from a higher pitched string to a lower pitched string you would use an up stroke.

Often after the down stroke or two you may have to do an upstroke and change the fretting hand position for the upstroke just like changing chords.

Some of these positions are arpeggios rather than chords. An arpeggio is the same notes as a chord played like a scale but the way the guitar is tuned we don’t have many chord forms that let us do this for more than 4 notes without moving.

Chords are usually made by using every other note of a scale.

So in reality you will have to use alternate picking and sweep picking together in many situations so you should have a handle on alternate picking first which is fairly easy to do.

Sweep Picking Practice

You must use a Metronome to perfect this technique, it’s all about timing.

Here is an example using a major 7th chord on the 1st 4 strings.

Before you use the metronome play the chords 1st to make sure you are getting clear notes if not work on that first.

Let the pick pass through the string and rest on the string below or above depending on which direction you’re going.

As you play the first note you should release tension on the 1st finger to stop it from sounding.

You should do this with all the other fingers and strings too. This chord has a nice sound with all the strings ringing but not for this lesson. These are meant to be very fast melodic passages not chords.

This is a good beginning chord for sweep picking. There are many others where you have to combine alternate picking and sweep picking together to complete arpeggios and combined chord phrases.

Here’s a listen

Flash

QuikTime

Windows Media

Sweep technique F major 7th chord

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What a List of Guitar Chords!

It’s hard to believe a list of guitar chords can be this big from one major scale. There are eleven more major scales to explore. This is a list every guitar player should check out.

Not all chords come from the major scale. The minor scales contribute too. You don’t have to remember where they all come from this is just a way of organizing them.

The guitar is a very versatile instrument when it comes to chords. We can create chords like no other instrument can without getting into electronics.

You can tune the guitar in a lot of different tunings and come up with some great sounding chords.

I Major Chords

C Major – C E G

CMa7 – C E G B

C sus2 – C D G

Cma7/6 – C E G A B

C sus2/6 – C D G A

C add9 – C E G D

C sus4 – C F G

C6/9 – C E G A D

C sus4/6 – C F G A

Cma9 – C E G B D

C sus4/9 – C F G D

Cma13 – C E G B D A

There isn’t anyway to play these chords on guitar using all of the notes. This is just how the chord structure is layed out.

Many of these notes are the same, the 6th note is the same as the 13th. It’s just that it’s supposed to have all these other notes before it.

We use shorter versions with the 3rd, 7th and essential notes.

ii Minor Chords

D sus2 – D E A

Dm7 – D F A C – Also called F6

D sus2/6 – D E A B

Dm7/11 – D F A C G

D sus4 – D G A

Dm7 sus2 D E A C

D sus4/6 – D G A B

Dm7 sus4 – D G A C

D sus4/9 – D G A E

Dm add9 – D F A E

Dm – D F A

Dm9 – D F A C E

Dm6 – D F A B

Dm11 – D F A C E G

Dm6/9 – D F A B E

Dm13 – D F A C E G B

iii Minor Chord

This is a short list. This chord doesn’t get the use that the ii or vi minor chords get because of a minor 9th interval, a not so good sounding interval.

Em – E G B

Em7 sus4 – E A B D

E sus4 – E A B

Em7b9 – E G B D F

Em7 – E G B D

Em7/11 – E G B D A

IV Major Chords

This chord has the least number of chord types out of the 3 major chords.

F Major – F A C

F6/9 – F A C D G

F add9 – F A C G

Fma7 – F A C E

F sus2 – F G C

Fma7/6 – F A C D E

F sus2/6 – F G C D

Fma9 – F A C E G

F6 – F A C D

Fma13 – F A C E G D

V Major Chords

This is the granddaddy list of guitar chords. It’s the main guitar chord for blues. This is where the dominant 7th chord comes from.

G Major – G B D

G7 sus2 – G A D F

G sus2 – G A D

G7 sus4 – G C D F

G sus2/6 – G A D E

G7 sus4/6 – G C D E F

G sus4 – G C D

G7/6 – G B D E F

G sus4/6 – G C D E

G7/11 – G B D F C

G sus4/9 – G C D A

G7/6/11 – G B D E F C

G6 – G B D E

G9 – G B D F A

G add9 – G B D A

G11 – G B D F A C

G6/9 – G B D E A

G11/13 – G B D F A C E

G7 – G B D F

G13 – G B D F A E

We’re not done with this list of guitar chords we still have some minor keys to explore.

vi Minor Chords

This list has a little more than the iii minor chord but it’s not too long

Am – A C E

A7 sus2 – A B E G

A sus2 – A B E

A7 sus4 – A D E G

A sus4 – A D E

Am7/11 – A C E G D

A sus4/9 – A D E B

Am9 – A C E G B

Am7 – A C E G

Am11 – A C E G B D

vii Chords

This gets a short list of guitar chords.

B° – B D F

Bm7b5 – B D F A

If you look at these chords you will see that they are combinations of triads added together. C major 7th is a C and an Em combined. They both share an E and a G. This list of guitar chords isn’t as confusing as you may think. You just have to understand it’s simple structure.

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