Skip to main content

How to Play Movable Chord Shapes in Country Guitar

Learn how to play movable chord shapes in country guitar from musician Boo Reiners in this Howcast video.


So movable chord shapes in country guitar are shapes that you can just move anywhere up and down the fingerboard, there are no open strings. If we play the cowboy chords as we called them before, there's a lot of open notes, a lot of unfrated notes that sound grate.

But sometimes, you might be in a key were you need to do playing movable shapes that don't have any open strings. So you've got some basic six string bar chords that you can use, or you can use just some on the notes. So here's one that I like to use, it's just the six string, the fifth string and the third string.

So I'm playing in A flat right now or a G sharp, I'm gonna go back to G, just for the sake of simplicity. The strings that I'm not really frating are getting muted by the grip that I'm using, so I'm pressing down again on strings three, five and six. Those fingers are gently touching the other strings that are not being frated, so that's creating the damping or muting effect.

I'm gonna go from this G chord to the D chord and a lot of people might just go to this for a D chord, basic D bar chord, or I can, again, reduce that to just three strings, for I'm frating the sixth string, the fourth string and the third string. And it's just a major triad because of where it's voice in the guitar sounds nice and fat but mellow, so on those lower strings.

Basically this is just swing guitar 101 Freddy Green, Count Basie Orchestra. It's often referred to as chord reduction where we're taking a chord that could have six notes in it, six strings rather, we're gonna reduce it to just three frated strings, for the rest of the strings like I say you get damped or muted.

We go to that D chord, we get easily turn that D chord in to the D seven chord, still just frating three strings. Suppose I needed to do a key change, that's quite easy using this fingerings. OK, so that's just one way of move chords around up an down the neck, you might try doing some chords that are on the upper strings, so I'm just using to top four strings here, there's a G four, which is just the top part of this bar chord here.

Then when I go do D, I can use this fingering here, and this is a cool fingering because I can use all around, and there are scales within this chord grip also. And those are really handy if you wanna move from playing chord to playing some melody stuff, maybe a little turnaround. You can also add another note to that.

So that's just a little introduction to movable chords forms on the guitar used in country music, you're gonna definitely be spending a lot of time discovering all the other options and all the different keys and tonalities, and so good luck with that and will see you back here soon.

Popular Categories