Open Position Chords in 5 Keys: A Guitar Lesson for Songwriters & Worship Leaders (Part 2)


In Part 1 of this lesson series we looked at 5 open position chord families based off of the keys of E, G, A, C and D.

In Part 2 we'll look at a couple ideas for application of these chord families.

For the first application, we'll see how a chord progression can be played in one key in all 5 positions (E, G, A, C and D chord families) across the neck using a capo and your knowledge of the Nashville Number System.

For this demonstration (and throughout this lesson) we'll be using the following chord progression, notated in Nashville Numbers.

1 6- (1/3 ^4) (^2- ^5)

To play this progression in the key of E in all 5 positions, we'll have this:

  • Open, E chord family - use the following chord shapes:
    E C#m (E/G# ^A) (^F#m ^B)
  • Capo 2, D chord family - use the following chord shapes:
    D Bm (D/F# ^G) (^Em ^A)
  • Capo 4, C chord family - use the following chord shapes:
    C Am (C/E ^F) (^Dm ^G)
  • Capo 7, A chord family - use the following chord shapes:
    A F#m (A/C# ^D) (^Bm ^E)
  • Capo 9, G chord family - use the following chord shapes:
    G Em (G/B ^C) (^Am ^D)

    For the second application, we'll see how changing keys can be a simple process using our 5 chord families and a capo. Any song can be played in all 12 keys in open position, capo 1 or capo 2.

  • Key of C - Open, C chord family
  • Key of Db - Capo 1, C chord family
  • Key of D - Open, D chord family
  • Key of Eb - Capo 1, D chord family
  • Key of E - Open, E chord family
  • Key of F - Capo 1, E chord family
  • Key of F# - Capo 2, E chord family
  • Key of G - Open, G chord family
  • Key of Ab - Capo 1, G chord family
  • Key of A - Open, A chord family
  • Key of Bb - Capo 1, A chord family
  • Key of B - Capo 2, A chord family

    To take this a step further, you could take any song you know and play it in all 5 positions using a capo. Then try to play the song in all 12 keys in either open position, capo 1 or capo 2.

    If you have any questions or comments drop a line in the box below. I'd also love to hear your ideas for more free video lessons!


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