Classifying Chords According To Their Root Notes

In this course we are learning to classify chords according to the string on which their root note appears. This lesson deals with learning to visualize, to play and to name moveable chords based on the common knowledge A chord, a root 5 chord and the common knowledge D chord a root 4 chord.

Root 5 Moveable Chords

Conceptually, this lesson should not be challenging in the least. You will be using the same exact thought process, and same type of training regimens that you are introduced to in the last lesson. Let's get started by studying the two diagrams below, and visualizing their root five chords and becoming comfortable with the root five thinking and playing procedures.

As you study the chord diagrams for the root 5 major chords notice once again that I have suggested some fingerings you may not be used to. To play the a chord as illustrated below you need to make a bar with finger one on fret to and cover three strings, the D string, G string and B string. The high E are in string is muted. As you slide this chord up the neck, notice that the third finger is playing a bar, and that finger is bent slightly backwards at the large knuckle and once again presses down on the D, G and B strings.  This is definitely the most difficult bar chord a student will encounter. So extra patience is required in this case.

Spend a little time drilling on the A major and B major part chords as you see them illustrated above, once again a few people are able to do this automatically without any practice whatsoever – but that is very rare. It will probably take a few days or maybe even a week or so before you get comfortable with grabbing a root 5 major bar chord. To continue your studies of bar chords, naturally I would recommend that you learn to name every note on string five.

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player


Once you're able to name every note on string five, study the diagram below until you understand and can easily visualize a major, minor and dominant chord form. The open posotion A major, A minor and A7 chords provide the shapes for the moveable chords with a root on the 5th string.

Next, work your way, slowly and methodically through the 13 chord diagrams you see below. Play each chord, say the name of the chord to yourself, and keep your eyes moving between your fretting hand and the diagram. Do this ascending up and descending down the neck until you know the name and location of each one of these chords as well as you know your own phone number.

Root 4 Moveable Chords

If there is one concept in this lesson that is not exactly widely embraced by the guitar teaching community it might be the concept of root 4 moveable chords. Often overlooked and under estimated these tight little voicings have all sorts of great uses and can be found in the palying of all of our guitar heroes.


In keeping with the methodology of this lesson, use the interactive animation below to learn the name of each and every note on string 4, the D string. As I have said too many tines: use your eyes to program your brain.

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

The short video to follow offers practice tips and suggestions as well as additional visual training exercises. After watching the lesson, drill on the chords you see below.