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Guitar Chords - E/G#
E/G#. Or E with the 3rd in the bass.
This is not your standard E chord shape. It's a really nice variation on the E Major chord that will make your fingers stretch.
We'll fret this chord putting the basic E chord together first and add the 3rd at the end.
Fret the 4th (or D) string with you index finger. That's the E or Root note of the E Major chord.
Next play the 5th of the E chord by putting your ring finger on the 7th fret of the G (3rd) string.
Note that just playing those two notes gives you a Root to 5th chord. That's the most basic chord you can play. You can move it up and down the neck. If you are playing electric and add some distortion you'll be able to get a big sound just out of that.
Rock n Roll!
Fret the 2nd (or B) string with you little finger. This is the note E one octave up from the Root note you are playing on the 4th string.
Playing the above 3 notes gives you the chord made up of the notes E, B and E. These notes are the Root, 5th and Octave of the chord. Chords which use only the Root, 5th and Octave are also called power chords.
The above is a great chord shape to know just in itself. It's a movable chord which you can slide up and down the neck to play other chords.
If you move that shape so that your index finger is on the 7th fret then you'll be playing an A chord. If you move the shape up another 2 frets to the 9th fret you'll be playing a B chord.
If you play the E, A and B power chords you are playing the I, IV and V chords in the key of E.
Playing with another Guitarist
If you are playing with another guitar player and they are playing the standard E, A and B chords - it's a good idea to try playing the above chords. You will both be playing the same chord tones but in different positions on the neck. This will add additional flavor to the music than if you are both playing the same shape for each chord you are playing.
The Funk Brothers
If you want to study this concept and sounds you can get then check out The Funk Brothers. The Funk Brothers are the studio musicians who played on all the classic songs from the Motown era. The guitar players, Eddie Willis and Joe Messina, were masters of playing nice chord voicings and not getting in each others way. They did this by playing on separate parts of the guitar neck. A simple idea that is very effective.
Everyone should watch the DVD Standing in the Shadows of Motown. You'll learn more about being a musician from that than just about anything else on the planet.
Adding the 3rd in the Bass
Now for the big gun - instead of playing the Root note on the low E string, you are going to play the Major 3rd of the E Major chord which is located at the 4th fret.
It's easier if you angle your hand so that your middle finger pointing more towards your face than the sky when you fret the 4th fret. You are already fretting the 4th fret on the 3rd string with your middle finger. If you angle your hand towards your face a little, you will be able to get your middle finger right being the fret wire on the 4th string.
Once again you can move this chord shape up and down the neck to play any of the 12 Major chords. You just need to remember that the Root note is located on the 4th fret of for this chord shape. If you are playing the shape in 7th position, where you index finger is on the 7th fret of the 4th string and your middle finger on the 9th fret of the 6th string then the chord is an A Major chord with the 3rd in the bass. Because the Root note is the A located on the 4th string at the 7th fret. The 3rd in the bass (on the low E string) is the note C#. So you can write that chord as A/C#. Which means you are playing an A Major chord with the C# in the bass.
Using the same fingering as above, the guitar tab for this chord is as follows:
A/C#. Or A with the 3rd in the bass.
The A/C# chord is the IV chord in the key of E. If you want to play the V chord then you move the shape up another 2 frets to play the chord B/D#:
B/D#. Or B with the 3rd in the bass.