One of the pros of guitar is the visualization tools inherent in the instrument. We have one shape or one pattern and we change the root note and BAM! we have a brand new chord or scale. The hard part is relating theory to the guitar with these shapes or patterns!

The purpose of this lesson is to take the “E Shape” (6th String Barre Chords) and “A Shape” (5th String Barre Chords) and figure out where our triad chord tones are. This way we can physically see these chord tones change depending on what chord or arpeggio we’re playing. The big takeaway is:

E Shape:
1 – 5 – 1 – 3 – 5 – 1

A Shape:
1 – 5 – 1 – 3 – 5

So when we make a Minor Chord (1-b3-5) we have to take the 3’s and move it back a fret. How about a Diminished (1-b3-b5)? We take all the 3’s and 5’s and move it back a fret. Augmented (1-3-#5)? Take all the 5’s and move it up a fret.

Now each chord shape may not be playable but at least we’ll be able to know where the notes are that we can include and hopefully relate some goofy fingerings to something we can visualize!

For arpeggios we have to put everything in the 1-3-5-1-3-5 pattern. That’s why we have to add a note between the first and second note of our chord on both the E and A Shape.


-Related Lessons-

:10 – Building Chords?! | UGT 2/8
:57 – 6th String Barre Chords | BO 9/10
1:58 – Building Chords?! | UGT 2/8
2:38 – Diminished Arpeggios & Chords
2:38 – Augmented Chord Shapes & Arpeggios
3:56 – Major CAGED Arpeggio Shapes | CO 3/10
4:41 – 5th String Barre Chords | BO 10/10


Visualize Chord Tones – Triads PDF (E-A), Open/Barre/Sus Chords, Augmented Chords, Diminished & Augmented, CAGED Arpeggio Shapes, Theory

Play Alongs & Backing Tracks