Before we start doing lots of chord progressions, we should consider adding minor chords to the previous major chords. Using the CAGED method, we find that the E form, A form, and D form chords are best for making into minor chords. If we understand that these triads are built from the root, 3rd, and 5th notes of the parent scale, we can alter the major triad to create the minor triad. Let’s try this with the GMaj chord at the 3rd fret. If we count up from the root, we find that the 3rd of the chord is B. In E form chord at the 3rd fret, this note is on string 3. We can flat the B, or lower it by one fret. Notice that this allows the note to become part of the 1st finger barre.
Do the same with the A form barre chord. Let’s try with CMaj at the 3rd fret. The 3rd of the chord is E, and it’s found on the 2nd string:
Next, the same with the D form chord at the 3rd fret, FMaj. The 3rd of the chord is the A note, on string 1:
Let’s now try chord progressions incorporating major and minor barre chords.
There a number of possibilities for fingerings of these progressions. For the D chord, try the A form (root 5) chord. Also try the C form chord (root 5), as well as the G form (root 6). For the Bm chord, try the A form, the E form, or the D form. Same with the F#m chord. The G and A chords could be played using the E form, G form, C form, etc. Look for forms that are easiest to get to from the previous chord, either closest on the fretboard, or possibly the same form chord moved up and down the neck. Try other progressions, and definitely mix up the CAGED forms. There many unique ways to play chord progressions. If you’re playing with another guitarist, often it is best to use different voicings from each other.
In future columns, we’ll do more chord progressions, and then figure out how to create our own progressions. Keep practicing and have fun making music!