Chord Bassics

By Cody Wright

In this lesson I’m going to take a look at some of the different ways you can move a major 7 chord shape around the neck to create a ‘spacey’ texture that’s great when you’re soloing or if you want to come up with a more somber tone. We’re going to start with a typical EMaj7 chord shape and play it in the higher register (example 1). We’re then going to take that same shape and move it up one fret with the open E string still ringing out. Suddenly, we have a really beautiful chord quality (example 2). Let’s expand that sound by keeping our chord shape exactly the same and using the top note, which I play with my pinky, as the lead tone for the melody. You can experiment with different ideas using this method, together with the blues scale, to give you more of an idea of what’s possible (example 3). Now for some ideas based around E Natural Minor (example 4). Finally, you can augment some of these chord ideas by moving the bottom note up by a half step (example 5). Feel free to experiment with these ideas and try them in different keys. Personally, a lot of what I do with these examples revolves around blues or natural minor stuff, but I encourage you to take it outside of that box and show me what you come up with! I also love the sound of chorus and reverb when using chords in this way.

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