Major 6th Guitar Chord Of The Week

This week's Guitar Chord Of The Week is a useful major 6th shape. It probably won't be the first major 6th chord shape you learn; check out this shape for a more common way of playing a 6 chord. However, this week's chord is a good shape to have up your sleeve when you are writing songs or rhythm guitar parts.

Guitar Chord Of The Week Major 6th Chord

At the end of the article there is an example chord progression that shows one way in which this shape could be used.

Major 6th Chord Theory

Major 6th chords are relatively simple in their construction: they contain the notes of a major triad plus the 6th note.

Therefore, a C major 6th chord would contain the notes: C, E, G (the major triad) plus an A (the 6th).

This week's 6th chord shape doubles the third and omits the fifth entirely. If it was played in second position, so that the root note was a C, then the notes would be, from bottom to top: C, E, A, E.

C6 Diagram
C6 Diagram

Notation for this shape is shown below:

Major 6th Chord Notation
C Major 6th Chord Notation

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Example Chord Progression

Sometimes guitarists select chord shapes to create specific musical effects. These could be, for example, a bass line that moves up or down in steps, or a melody on the top string.

This concept is most often encountered in jazz, but can also be effective in other forms of music.

This week's example chord progression is made up of chords that all contain the same note (in this case an E). This means that, although the chords are changing, one note remains constant because it is present in all of the chords.

This is a nice-sounding effect that makes the chords sound less like a chord progression and more like a piece of music.

The progression contains a number of new chords, so we have provided diagrams for all of the chord shapes used. Make sure that you play the progression using these chord shapes otherwise the effect will be lost; they all contain the E at the 5th fret of the 2nd string.

6th Chord Progression Other Chords
6th Chord Progression Other Chords

Major 6th Chord Progression
Major 6th Chord Progression

This particular progression is quite jazzy, but this effect can be used in all kinds of music. The intro to 'Wonderwall' by Oasis, for example, uses the same effect.

Try creating your own chord progression in which one note stays constant throughout the chord changes. Experimenting with unrelated chords that contain common notes can lead to some great new sounds.

If you enjoyed learning about this chord, please subscribe to the Guitar Command newsletter for more free guitar information.

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