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E Major (Open Chord Diagram)

Fig.1. Chord Diagram for the “Open E Major Chord”.
All strings are played (strummed) with the 3rd, 4th & 5th fretted AND the 1st, 2nd & 6th Open (hence the name).

Chord review: A Chord is produced when 2 or more unique (different) tones are played together:

-2 Unique Tones is referred to as a Power Chord (used in Rock & Roll usually with Distortion added).
-3 Unique Tones is referred to as a Triad.
-4 or more Unique Tones is referred to as an Extended Chord.

“Chord Types”

-There are various types of Chords.  Each Chord type conveys a feeling or emotion.
For example: A Major Chord sounds Happy while a Minor chord sounds Sad.
Other Chord Types are 7th, 9th, Augmented (Aug), Diminished (Dim) and Suspended (Sus).

Open Chords are Chords where one or more strings are not fretted.  The Open Major Chords are: A, C, D, E, & G.
Note: The Major Chords contain 3 unique tones and are therefore Triads.

Lets review the Open Major Chords:

Fig.2.  Open “A”Major  Chord.

Fig.3.  Open “C” Major Chord.

Fig.4.  Open “D” Major Chord.

Fig. 5  Open “E” Major Chord.

Fig.6.  Open “G” Major Chord.

-Notice how there is no “B Chord” or “F Chord” shown with the Open Chords above.
This is because the “B Chord” is simply an “A Chord” shifted up 2 frets & a “F Chord” is simply an “E Chord” shifted up 1 frets:

B & F Chords

Fig.7. The “B Chord” and the “F Chord” are formed by repositioning the “A Chord” & “F Chord” shapes.

“How Chords are Constructed”

Chords are comprised of 2 or more tones which may be repeated within the chord, in any octave and in any order.
Generally, the first note of the chord (lowest or deepest) is that of the chord name.  This reinforces the sound of the chord.
The first note of the chord (the lowest note played) is known as the Root note.

-There are only 5 options for finger shapes to play any given Type of chord.
For example: there are only 5 finger shapes used to play a Major Chord.  There are also 5 finger shapes used to play a Minor Chord.
There are also 5 finger shapes used to play Seventh Chords, 9th Chords, Augmented Chords & Suspended Chords.  And so on through ALL the chord types.

-Each of these 5 Chord Shapes may be moved up and down the fingerboard (moveable chords) to play any of the 12 Chord Names.
Because The 5 Shapes may be moved to play Any Chord Name, there are 5 ways to play any chord (one for each finger shape)
The following video demonstrates this with the E Major Chord:

The following fretboard diagrams show the “E Major Chord” played using the Open Chord SHAPES – A, C, D & G
Note that B & F are not included because these chords are made using the A & E shapes respectively.

E chord using A SHAPE

Fig.8. The “E Major” Chord using the “A Major” Chord’s SHAPE.

E Chord using C SHAPE

Fig.9. The “E Major” Chord using the “C Major” Chord’s SHAPE.

E chord using D SHAPE

Fig.10. The “E Major” Chord using the “D Major” Chord’s SHAPE.

E chord using G SHAPE

Fig.11. The “E Major” Chord using the “G Major” Chord’s SHAPE.

-It is not necessary to play the Fretted Xs.  You may if you can reach them comfortably.

-Note the overlapping of notes between the G & A and C & D SHAPES.  This demonstrates the redundancy of the fretboard and how the chordal shapes intertwine on the fretboard.

-The 5th Chord Shape  used to form the E Chord is the E Chord itself.


Chords on Wikipedia

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