Expanding Chords (Guitar Lesson)

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Mark Lincoln

Expanding Chords

Mark introduces a few more minor chords. He also provides a monster chord exercise.

Taught by Mark Lincoln in Basic Guitar with Mark Lincoln seriesLength: 16:36Difficulty: 1.5 of 5
PLEASE NOTE: Mark is tuned a half step down in the lesson.

Chapter 1: (03:25) Lesson Review This first scene features a quick review of previous lesson materials. Before you move on to the next scene, make sure to do the following:
Review the names of the strings
Review the major chords (A-B-C-D-E-F-G).
Review the minor chords (Am-Bm-Cm-Dm).
Chapter 2: (03:25) More Minor Chords

Let's continue with the remainder of the open minor chords.


This chord is played by placing the first finger on the A-string second fret, and the second or middle finger on the D-string second fret. Or, the second and third fingers can be used instead. Remember to leave the strings with "0's" open. Hold down the strings hard enough to produce a a clean sound when you strum. Assuming that your guitar is set up properly, you should hear no buzzing notes or muted notes when strumming an Em chord. If you are not getting a clean sound, then you may be touching the fret (the metal piece in between the frets), not holding the string down hard enough, or your guitar may need to be adjusted. Don't use the latter as an excuse for not playing well. The player is often the problem! Try the Down Down Up Down pattern when you strum this chord.


Please note, this is not a true F minor chord. A "true" F minor chord is very difficult to finger since it requires a barre. For now, an F5 "power" chord is substituted. A power chord can be used in place of a major or minor chord since it is harmonically ambiguous. Play F5 by placing the first finger on the low E-string first fret, the third finger on the A-string third fret, and the pinky finger directly beneath the third finger on the D-string third fret. Try to strum only the strings you are holding down! This may be challenging at first, but developing right hand accuracy early on will definitely pay off in the future. Develop an awareness of which strings you are strumming and realize that not all of the strings are strummed in most chords.


Like F5, G5 is not a "true" G major or minor chord. Generally, the G minor chord is played as a barre chord. In future lessons you will see G5 reappear as part of the Gm barre chord, which is why Mark is teaching this chord shape now. This chord is played in the same positioning as the F5, only two frets up. (Try the finger glue technique here to move your hand in place, rather than lifting all of your fingers and re-placing them on the fretboard.) Again, play only the strings that you are holding down. Listen to your strum and try to detect if you are playing more strings than you should be. The sound of the guitar will usually tell you if you are playing the right strings or not.

Chapter 3: (01:30) Chord Limitations It is very important to realize that most chords do not use all six strings on the guitar. You must remain aware of this when strumming any chord. Strumming all 6 strings when not necessary is a bad habit that will harm your playing in the future.
Chapter 4: (02:56) Strumming

Now that we've gone through the major and minor open chords, let's talk a little more about strumming them Here's a new strum pattern to get acquainted with: or down up down up down up.

Rubber band technique: think about the downstrum and upstrum as one fluid motion rather than two separate actions. Close your eyes (yes again!) and think of a huge rubber band attached to your strum hand. As you strum down, the rubber band brings it back up in one smooth motion. Try it!!!

Chapter 5: (04:46) Exercises

Use the down up strum with A, A minor, and A-Bm then C to Em. Don't be afraid to mix up the chords you know and develop your own chord progressions. Vary the combinations to train your fingers to switch between all of the open chords. Don't forget to review this info from the last lesson:

1)Breathe! Make sure that you are relaxed and in a comfortable position before practicing. Remember that playing guitar should be a fun activity.
2) Relax your fingers and wrist. Let the pick flow over the strings and listen to the sound of it. It should sound pleasing to the ear.
3) Strum from the wrist - keep using the wrist-between-the-knees technique to strum from the wrist and not from the elbow.
*Important-I can't emphasize enough the importance of creativity and self-discovery. Don't ever be afraid to try new chord progression because you may not be sure if they are "right" or not. Jimmy Hendrix, whether you like his music or not, played the guitar upside down because he was left-handed. Great things come from experimentation. Trying different ideas on the fretboard is extremely beneficial to the learning process.

Video Subtitles / Captions

Supplemental Learning Material


Member Comments about this Lesson

Discussions with our instructors are just one of the many benefits of becoming a member of JamPlay.

Ktpse61Ktpse61 replied on May 24th, 2018

FYI there was only audio for this video...

Bradley.ConwayBradley.Conway replied on June 5th, 2018

Hello Ktpse61!! I just checked on Mark's lesson and the video seems to work just fine. I'd recommend changing your video to a lower resolution by clicking the "HD" icon in the lower right of the lesson video player. If you still don't have any luck you may want to try a different browser. That way if it works you'll know that it's an issue with your current browsers settings or version. I hope this help! HAPPY JAMMING!!

Travis4199Travis4199 replied on February 21st, 2018

I was wondering why my chords sounded different to his, and seeing these comments about him being turned down a half step makes a lot of sense now, I almost surely thought something was wrong with my guitar for a second, Mark should’ve at least let us know he was turned down, great lesson regardless.

Jason.MounceJason.Mounce replied on February 21st, 2018

Yes there were a couple lessons he did that he forgot to tune back up to standard. We thought we had notated all of them, but it looks like we missed this one. I added a note to the "About" section referencing the instruction being a half step down. Thank you for commenting!

LSCalgaryLSCalgary replied on February 5th, 2018

Hi Mark, I'm going to play my chords!! 10,000 times!! :) Thanks for the great lessons!

srenardsrenard replied on January 4th, 2018

The rhythm of this strumming pattern makes no sense in the context of learning how to play rhythmically as a beginner and learning how to play for a 4 beat bar. It is being shown WAY too fast of a pace for someone learning how to play

j_freaks04j_freaks04 replied on January 5th, 2018

I start with 80 beats and try to play without any mistakes over and over. When I can do that then I'll jump up 10 more beats and keep going until I can do what he wants us to be able to play. Hope this helps.

Jason ClarkJason Clark replied on December 1st, 2016

Hi Mark, Obviously your playing a Martin, But which one ? sounds great !

hopestreethopestreet replied on October 5th, 2015


socalrockrsocalrockr replied on February 10th, 2015

Another great lesson. I gotta admit,I cheat on A maj. & A min.chord.That is I'll form A min. chord and rock back between C & C# maj.On B string between 1st and 2nd fret.I found developing ability to cement fingers on fret board enables fast,accurate chord changes in pitch.Same applies to all chords you taught.Awesome teacher.I'm eatin' this stuff up.

herrekenherreken replied on January 21st, 2015

Maybe I missed it. Are there any indications which lessons are in standard tuning and which are tuned down a half step?

stratpaulstratpaul replied on July 25th, 2014

Why do you instruct us on tuning guitar with standard tuning, but then conduct the lessons with everything a half step lower? All your chords do not sound like mine, which is confusing.

hasstar16hasstar16 replied on January 16th, 2014

This lesson was confusing. Lack of structure. Jumped from you can play this chord this way but also this way. Come on Mark up date your lessons, its been a while. Also, do you think you can demonstrate chords a bit slower. You sound somewhat bored with the whole thing, very monotone. It would be nice to show some excitement in what your teaching. Best advise is to go slow get the previous lessons down. Don't think it might be time for a change instructors, Jam Play you disappoint me.

mustard4allmustard4all replied on January 25th, 2014

Why in the world would you play a half tone lower??????? This is NO way to help train our ears. Please redo the videos the are not in perfectly tuned!!!!!!

skankinpickleskankinpickle replied on April 29th, 2014

wow you are stupid just tune a half step down then your self

russellrockerrussellrocker replied on February 12th, 2014

I agree. He is tuned a half step down which is irritating. Some bands like U2 do this, partly to reduce vocal strain on hitting the high notes. But this lesson is not the place for that.

mustard4allmustard4all replied on January 25th, 2014

I think he is very structured. He does not explain everything to beginners and for good reason. I am having difficulty with his tuning. I check both my kong and snark tuners and his guitar is NOT in tune It makes it hard for me to play along.

mustard4allmustard4all replied on January 25th, 2014

Korg tuner German made

mustard4allmustard4all replied on January 25th, 2014

Enter your comment here.

gtzantoniogtzantonio replied on October 15th, 2013

I liked the part when you invite us to come up with our own exercises, I think that is a great way for everyone to develop a weakness, for example, I had a little trouble with the C Major Chord, so I made up an exercise of going through every open major chord with the C Major Chord in between, after 30 minutes the problem with that chord was over.

bjayhawkbjayhawk replied on September 9th, 2013

Mark, I'm very new to playing guitar, and my guess is that finger dexterity and flexibility come with time. I find it nearly impossible to stretch out my fingers wide enough to shape certain chords, i.e., F minor, etc. Any extra advice on finger dexterity and reach? Or, is it just work, work, work? Many thanks!

lordspudlordspud replied on April 21st, 2013

what lesson do you talk about the slanting a chord

brianricobrianrico replied on February 14th, 2013

I'm a bit confused, the initial Fm and Gm chords you showed us look/sound a lot like power chords...? Am I missing something?

rperrottrperrott replied on March 2nd, 2013

While its true that he is only playing the root and the 5th here, as he explains, this is because the true voicings are a little too advanced at this stage of the lesson plan.

samy101samy101 replied on January 20th, 2013

something is bothering me here, the f minor and the G minor played on the lower E string sound just like major chords to me, to me that is not a minor chord, it sound exactly like a major chord, can you please explain me why mark?

lewislc3slewislc3s replied on October 13th, 2012

please explain this chord A/E., can you play this chord as a A chord or a E chord.

rivdillrivdill replied on February 1st, 2012

Enter your comment here.

rivdillrivdill replied on February 1st, 2012

hey mark im average at this I know 6 songs on the acoustic and am able to switch back and forth with my chords from youtube and my mom haha also my armored fingers get annoying and i bite them off, but I'm still learning haha I used to get so fustrated but now im chill and relaxed when I play thanks-White River :) P.S. im native American by the way.

tarocattarocat replied on November 5th, 2011

I kinda' like this idea of detuning a half step to match Mark's guitar. Makes me realize I don't have to be locked into doing everything "the standard" way. I can think/play outside the box. That's a great lesson in itself. Thanks, Mark...

BlueDjangoBlueDjango replied on November 16th, 2011

I agree, but don't forget to make sure that your intonation is still good after having tuned down. Sometimes, playing higher up on the neck can sound rather odd in this tuning if your guitar hasn't been set up for it.

oasis888oasis888 replied on October 24th, 2011

Hi Mark! I currently have a Yamaha F-310.It is ok but the neck seams a bit narrow and I have wide long fingers which makes it hard to play some cords like the A cord. I am looking at buying a Seagull S6 Original. I have read alot of good things about them having a wide neck and the playability is excellent on them. What do you suggest. Looking in the under 500 range.

1stdrdan1stdrdan replied on December 26th, 2014

Hey, bought a Seagull 6 two months ago. New tp this, but listened on youtube to comparison of guitars and liked the sound better than the two other much higher priced acoustics. Aldo, it looks very sweet.

jcrogers82jcrogers82 replied on October 22nd, 2011

if we have a little of experience with the guitar in the past is it ok to go ahead and get u use to transitioning to the barre chord. i can make barre chords i just have a hard time going from open to barre?

night hawknight hawk replied on March 22nd, 2013

He has his guitar tunes a half cord down but that's not a mistake that's a play type is what I guess I'm trying to say

karen winterkaren winter replied on August 23rd, 2011

Mark, This lesson was EXTREMELY helpful. I seem to have short term chord forgetfulness. So, after doing a few of the chord exercises I was able to play along with my friends and only had to fake a couple of the chords. AWESOME! I also have been trying the A slope on some of the other chords just to try something different and that worked well. Thanks.

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on August 31st, 2011

You're very welcome Karen I'm really glad this stuff is helping you:) Take care, Mark

mofosoandsomofosoandso replied on August 26th, 2011

I am a little confused about the chord charts for Fm and Gm. It shows that first finger on the low E and then the arch marking over to the first finger on the G,B and high E. Is this showing two different ways to play the chord?

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on August 31st, 2011

The arch simply indicates that you need to barre over all of those strings from the low E to the high E string. Mark

lindseycorlisslindseycorliss replied on August 26th, 2011

Mark, can you PLEASE make sure that your guitar is ALWAYS in tune? It's getting REALLY annoying how you're always tuned down a half step. You're confusing a lot of people, me included.

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on August 31st, 2011

For the record Lindsey, my guitar is in tune,it's just that I was tuned down a half step as you indicated. Thanks for keeping me on my toes though:) Mark

josh9999josh9999 replied on January 31st, 2011

I need to tune my guitar right because its kind of new and i dont have a tuner.I dont know if im getting the notes right.

pipespipes replied on May 29th, 2011

josh, go to website on line chromatic tuner its great

abesterabester replied on May 17th, 2011

I like marks lessons and I'm reminded that practice makes perfect, as an artist I remember spending hours teaching myself and taking what I learned in school until I perfect in my aquiring the skills I needed, now when I practice guitar or piano I use this to become better at what I do. thank you mark for bringing me back to the basics.

cando1944cando1944 replied on April 4th, 2011

hey mark, you are telling use to do ,down,down ,up...but you're really doing ,down,down,down, up.......what gives ,you're confusing me..............

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on April 18th, 2011

Hey Cando sorry about the confusion.Keep in mind that when strumming it's more important to grasp the feel of the strum rather than the exact strum pattern so if you're slightly off of where I am don'tn worry too much about it. ML

the chupacabrathe chupacabra replied on March 21st, 2011

Hey Mark, Any reason not to play the Gm and Fm here with my pinky (4th finger) on both the pinky A and D string. I am getting less of a scratchy sound when I move up when I use my pinky. Thanks

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on March 24th, 2011

Keep doing what you're doing Chupa but make surre and work the slanting A technique as well and you should be good to go!

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on March 21st, 2011

I'm confused Chupa...you mean you're playing both the A and D strings with the pinky? ML \

the chupacabrathe chupacabra replied on March 22nd, 2011

Yes, playing both with my pinky. As I slide between the two chords, it is is less scratchy.

jarls1jarls1 replied on March 21st, 2011

I've finally completed 9500 times of practicing the changing chords exercise and I still have 500 more to go. I just can't take it anymore. May I please go to the next lesson?

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on March 21st, 2011

Yes Jarls move on move on!!! Really you just want to make sure you've got a pretty good handle on stuff before you advance lol Mark

josh9999josh9999 replied on February 13th, 2011

it's hard to not accidentilly be holding down another string and even when i try to fix it i dont always succeed.STRESSFUL

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on February 15th, 2011

Hey Josh what's up? Over time you'll get better and better at string precision and at holding down specifically the strings you want to hold down at any given time. Hang in there bro! Mark

josh9999josh9999 replied on February 21st, 2011

now i am just going back to other lessons to memorize the chords.it makes it a little bit easier to memeorize the chords butr now that im back trying to do this lesson again i realize istill need alot more practice memorizing and knowing how to get from one chord to the other quicker to make it so i can change chords alot faster.

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on February 21st, 2011

Hey Josh, I'm really glad that you're into this and giving it your all! Keep in mind that if you can identify the root of the chord (often the lowest note, especially in barre chords) then you can find chords all over the neck. Don't give it! Mark

josh9999josh9999 replied on January 31st, 2011


Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on February 4th, 2011

and btw....don't stress too much about memorizing all of the chords, your energy is better spent in learning how to play them little by little and then you'll know them automatically. Also,learning chord construction, or which notes make up each chord can also be very helpful. Mark

josh9999josh9999 replied on February 21st, 2011

it is getting a little bit easier to hold down the right strings.I hope it gets easier later on as you said

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on February 4th, 2011

Yes Josh,youmay want to invest in an inexpensive tuner although I would consider getting a chromatic tuner if I were you, it can make tuning easier down the road! Mark

josh9999josh9999 replied on February 13th, 2011

i got my guitar tuned but it is hard to not accidentilly be holding down another string and even when i do try to fix it i don't always succeed.STRESSFUL

gordoncgordonc replied on February 13th, 2011

Hi Mark - have a question about the "A slope" = when I try to use my third finger there isn't enough flexiblity to lift it clear of the high E string. However - my pinkie finger is MUCH more bendy at that joint and gives me a much better sounding chord. Can I use my little finger to play these chords instead of my third?

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on February 15th, 2011

Hey Gordo some people do use the pinky to do the "slanting A" but....by using the pinky you are, in effect, rendering your third finger useless to be able to use it to play blues or use it for other accents. So the answer to your questrion is yes but you should continue to develop strength and agility in your third finger. Make sense? Mark

iceman55iceman55 replied on February 13th, 2011

it would have helped if you told us that you were half a step out at the beginng. someone new at guitar would have a problem

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on February 15th, 2011

Yes Iceman some of the earlier lessons had a different tuning, thanks for the great feedback! Mark

josh9999josh9999 replied on February 13th, 2011

i tottaly agree and the reaspn i say that is because i actually am new to this .

kellykellykellykellykellykelly replied on January 18th, 2011

Mark - Your lessons are great! Thank you! Do you by chance have a one page reference sheet of the chords from the first four lessons including simple fingerings? Making one from the chord library on jamplay would take foreever and the supplemental materials info prints out on eight pages, doesn't include some of the simpler finger positionings, and has some errors in the graphics so not everything shows. I've downloaded a few chord charts on line but none seems to have major/minor for all seven notes. kelly

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on January 28th, 2011

Hey Kelly Kelly Kelly K-E-L-L-Y! All of the supplemental content that is available is already posted and I understand that it might take you some busy work to get all of this together. My humblest apologies! Mark

labfourlabfour replied on January 14th, 2011

Your tuning is off, maybe half step, at what lesson will it be corrected?

jboothjbooth replied on January 14th, 2011

The tuning really isn't off per se as mark plays a half step down most of the time. All the shapes and stuff are the same though so no worry! You can either tune down for the lesson or just practice the shapes with him on pause so they don't sound funny. We might reshoot this at some point tuned up to standard but the information is all still good!

jodyzupancicjodyzupancic replied on November 21st, 2010

this major to minor chord change excercise is a great way to learn the chords. i never thought to do this before. thanks!

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on November 23rd, 2010

Great to hear from you Jody and I'm glad to know this stuff is helping you!~ Keep it up! Mark

hammerboy75hammerboy75 replied on July 15th, 2010

Hey Mark, great lessons so far but on the last exercise (Scene 5) i'm not as fast as you when switching between chords, so should i keep practising that exercise till i get it completely right, and can switch chords easily before starting the next lesson or is chord switching something that builds over time? Thanks, James

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on July 16th, 2010

Hey James how are you? Yes chord switching comes with time and practice so you'll need to continue on with the lesson series and then maybe revisit certain (or all) lessons after you finish the series. Mark

rudemartinezrudemartinez replied on May 17th, 2010

Hey Mark great lesson! Thanks for all the good stuff your teaching me. I seem to be having a problem getting in tune with you though. I have an easier time following along if were tuned to the same key. It would be great if you could write me back and let me know. Thanks!

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on May 18th, 2010

Hey Richard thanks for the great feedback! Just so you know, a couple of these early lessons I was tuned a half step down or Eb tuning. So if you're having trouble matching up with me, try to tune down and see what happens. Thanks bro, Mark

thortronthortron replied on April 8th, 2010

Mark. I must have broken my ring finger or somthing in the past. There is a bulge just in front of the first joint and it will absolutly not allow me to bend it back for the slope. I have tried to pull it push it bend and it just stays straight. Any suggestions or should I use my middle finger which I am able to do without much difficulty.

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on April 9th, 2010

Hey Thor how are you? I have talked with a number of people who have a similar problem and really the only way to deal with it is to just use the ring finger as well as you can. If you start to use the middle finger it can create other problems when you're playing like not being able to use the other fingers for chords that may require their use. Good luck though and don't give up! Mark

tom62tom62 replied on February 15th, 2010

mark, your lessons have helped me very much to learn the cords that i never thought i could.

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on February 18th, 2010

Thanks Tom I'm glad you're getting a lot out of the lessons! Keep it up, Mark

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on February 15th, 2010

Thanx Tom glad I could help you my friend! Thanks for writing in, Mark

benrod78benrod78 replied on October 11th, 2009

great lesson

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on October 14th, 2009

Hey Ben: thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks thanks and thanks! Mark

musikkikiesmusikkikies replied on July 22nd, 2009

Mark, I appreciate how concise your lessons are. Not really any fluff, but right to the meat and potatoes... complete with a nice dessert homework lesson. Thanks for not wasting our valuable practice time with having us hear more of you talking.

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on July 22nd, 2009

Hey Musik, I think there's a compliment in there somewhere! Yes I really do try to keep things as neat as possible so I'm glad you're enjoying the lessons, keep it up my friend! Mark

paul2020pkpaul2020pk replied on June 20th, 2009

No problem with the stretches as my fingers are quiet long BUT they dont bend back at all so Im struggling with the barre. Is the purpose of the practice to get more flex in that joint or more to just find a position that works even with a straight finger? I try and chase down but the high E is muffled everytime

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on June 22nd, 2009

Hey Paul what's up?!? The purpose of the slanting A technique is to get that pesky and immovable finger to relearn how to bend. Many people struggle with this facet of playing the Type II (A-shaped) bar chords but over time you should gain more flexibility and ability in that finger. Also, many people do mute the high E string when playing that type of bar chord so it might be helpful to focus on getting a clean sound in your A, D, G and B strings. Thanks for writing in and keep working at it, you'll get it! Mark

rngrckrngrck replied on May 21st, 2009

Those Bm and Cm chords are tuff on my strecht for right now. My fingers don't want to cooperate. Is it a matter of just doing more excercises and hopefully eventually I can work it??

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on May 24th, 2009

Hey Rick how are you? Yes, over time your fingers will learn to cooperate even when it comes to those ever-challenging bar chords. You may want to spend a little more time during your practice sessions to work on those exercises that are giving you the most trouble. Thanks for writing and I'll see you in Q and A. Mark

altopelirrojoaltopelirrojo replied on March 23rd, 2009

Mark, I'm one of those you mention whose left ring finger doesn't bend very far. I tried playing the B-chord the way you mentioned (with finger 3 fretting three strings), but basically in order to make a good sound on the B-string (the only 3rd in the chord), I have to mute the high E-string. If my hand shape makes me unable to play these chords the way you do, will that make it harder for me down the road?

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on March 24th, 2009

Hi Alto thanks for writing. Most people have trouble with that particular problem quite frankly and the only way to get past it is keep practicing at it. If you are muting the high-E for now then that's okay just try not to play that string when you're strumming. Positioning your strum hand near the G and/or D strings can help you to avoid strumming the highest strings and will subsequently improve your sound regardless of your tendency to mute the E. Keep at it! Mark

sean.egansean.egan replied on December 19th, 2008

Are you tuned down a half step? I'd like to tune my guitar to match yours so I'm sure I've got it right.

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on March 8th, 2009

Hi Eganse, thanks for the input! Yes, we have done a couple lessons a half step down by accident but are making sure to record in standard tuning in the future. Thanks for keeping on top of things though! Mark

jagnoffjagnoff replied on March 3rd, 2009

I'm with everyone else. The tuning isn't the same. I'm at 440 and it seems at least a halk step to a full off. I have not retuned to find out. I want my ear to get used to the real deal. What up dude?

Mark.LincolnMark.Lincoln replied on March 8th, 2009

He Jag, my sincerest apologies! I have done a couple of the lessons tuned a half step down by accident and will make sure to stay in standard 440 tuning in the future. Thanks for the input, Mark

haraldoharaldo replied on January 6th, 2009

Hi you dont play the Bm and Cm as barred chords.? Isn't it an A shape barre chord like shown in the supplementary matrial? Dont you play the A string?

jboothjbooth replied on January 6th, 2009

You can. The reason we show the full a shape barre chord in the supplemental content is so people can see how they are related. Some people like to play what mark refers to as a "mini barre (talks about in later lessons)" to make the chord easier to play and faster to transition too. Since the chord still has all of the notes it needs without the a string if it is easier for you to play without it you sure can!

stikmanstikman replied on November 23rd, 2008

It would be convenient if you would tune to standard pitch for these.

jboothjbooth replied on December 7th, 2008

Noted and done for future lessons.

bondtechbondtech replied on December 6th, 2008

I'm was thinking the same thing - that the chord sounds as played in the video didn't sound the same as coming out of my guitar, even though the fingers and frets were the same.

Basic Guitar with Mark Lincoln

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Learning the basics of the guitar, the building blocks if you will, is an extremely important step in learning and mastering the guitar. This series is all about the basics.

Lesson 1

Guitar Basics

This lesson is all about the basics. Mark explains guitar parts, holding the guitar, and more.

Length: 13:12 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 2

Tuning, Gear, and Chords

Mark begins by discussing equipment every guitarist should own. Then, he introduces chords and proper tuning methods.

Length: 17:28 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 3

Chords and Strumming

Mark finishes his discussion of the "open" chords. He applies these chords to basic rhythm and strumming concepts.

Length: 17:33 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 4

Minor Chords and More

Mark reviews the major chords and introduces the minor chords. He also covers strumming techniques in greater depth.

Length: 25:48 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 5

Expanding Chords

Mark introduces a few more minor chords. He also provides a monster chord exercise.

Length: 16:36 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 6

Strumming Exercises

Mark Lincoln continues his discussion of chords and strumming. He introduces several new exercises in this lesson.

Length: 19:30 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 7

Music Theory and Barre Chords

Mark covers several topics in this lesson. He explains scales and barre chords. He also demonstrates how to find notes on the fretboard.

Length: 21:45 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 8

E Shape Barre Chords

Mark Lincoln covers E shaped barre chords in greater depth. Mark refers to these chords as "Type 1" barre chords.

Length: 15:12 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 9

A Shape Barre Chords

Mark covers the A Shape / Type 2 barre chords in greater depth.

Length: 17:12 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 10

Minor Barre Chords

Mark introduces minor barre chords that utilize the shape of the "open" Em chord.

Length: 13:10 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 11

A Minor Shape Barre Chords

Mark introduces minor barre chords based on the shape of the "open" Am chord. He refers to these chords as "Type 2 Minor" barre chords.

Length: 12:36 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 12

Mini Barre Chord

Mark demonstrates abbreviated versions of the "Type 1" and "Type 2" barre chords. He calls these "mini barre" chords.

Length: 17:43 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 13

A Shape Mini Barre

Mark teaches the "mini barre" version of the A major shaped barre chord. He also explains dissonance.

Length: 20:29 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 14

Minor Mini Barre Chords

Mark Lincoln applies mini-barre chord concepts to minor chords.

Length: 12:28 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 15

Guitar Technique

Mark Lincoln explains essential components of guitar technique.

Length: 15:59 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 16

Guitar Dynamics

Mark Lincoln explains how dynamics can enhance your playing. He covers topics such as volume, tempo, rests, and more.

Length: 27:48 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 17

Transistion Strums

Mark Lincoln explains more about guitar technique. This time around he introduces "transition strums" and continues his discussion of liquid chords.

Length: 26:12 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 18

Harmonic Technique

Mark Lincoln explains what harmonics are and how they are played.

Length: 15:31 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 19

Expanding Liquid Chords

Mark Lincoln expands on the concept of liquid chords. He explains new chord variations and how they can be changed in mid-strum.

Length: 16:21 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 20

Spicing up Chords

Mark demonstrates how chord progressions can be spiced up by adding hammer-ons and pull-offs.

Length: 12:21 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 21

Chord Fingering

Mark explains how chord fingerings must be altered when applying "liquid chord" concepts. He also provides a few new "liquid chord" exercises.

Length: 11:10 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 22

Precision Strumming

Mark returns to the land of chords. This time around, he provides an exercise that contains four variations on the A chord.

Length: 14:28 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 23

D to D in Six Steps

Mark provides a chord progression that shifts from one D chord to another in six steps.

Length: 15:20 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 24

Chord Voicings and Construction

Mark delves deeper into chord construction and alternate chord voicings.

Length: 13:36 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 25

Quantitative and Qualitative Changes

Mark tests your guitar knowledge with a pop quiz. Then, he discusses quantitative and qualitative changes.

Length: 22:54 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 26

Quantitative and Qualitative Review

In the 26th installment of his basic guitar series, Mark reviews the quantitative and qualitative changes he presented in lesson 25.

Length: 17:34 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 27

Rhythm and Guitar

Mark provides exercises designed to make you a better rhythm player.

Length: 0:00 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 28

Expanded Rhythm Exercise

Mark Lincoln expands on the rhythm exercise from lesson 27. This time around he incorporates several C based chords.

Length: 14:31 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 29

Hand Structure

Mark discusses proper playing technique. He provides a few exercises that facilitate right hand mechanics.

Length: 17:02 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 30

Cadd9 and Dsus2

Mark provides an exercise that features two new chords - Cadd9 and Dsus2.

Length: 0:00 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 31

Finger Glue and Flexibility

In the 31st lesson, Mark discusses his "finger glue" technique. This technique improves speed and accuracy.

Length: 21:31 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 32

Reviewing Chord Changes

Mark takes a step back in lesson 32 to explain how to make quick and accurate chord changes.

Length: 22:14 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 33


Mark explains how to use the slide technique between chords.

Length: 19:24 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 34

Keeping Time While Playing

Mark reviews qualitative and quantitative changes. He explains how to keep time while performing these changes.

Length: 21:17 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 35

A Minor Progression

Mark discusses qualitative and quantitative changes within an A minor progression.

Length: 19:56 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 36

Chord Transistions

Mark Lincoln discusses several techniques that can be used when transitioning between chords.

Length: 21:43 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 37

Chord Transistions Revisited

In this lesson, Mark once again covers the subject of chord transitions. This time around, he focuses on barre chords and includes several helpful exercises.

Length: 23:25 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 38

Playing Individual Notes

In lesson 38, Mark discusses how playing single notes rather than chords can spice up your playing.

Length: 22:56 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 39

Rocking Out

Lesson 39 is all about rocking out. Mark discusses some tips to take your playing to the next level.

Length: 18:08 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 40

Slash Chords

Lesson 40 takes a deeper look at slash chords. Mark discusses why they're called slash chords, and how they are formed.

Length: 14:42 Difficulty: 2.0 FREE
Lesson 41

Strumming from the Wrist

In lesson 41, Mark reviews the warm-up section and provides new tips on playing adequately from the wrist.

Length: 22:09 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 42

Raising the Barre

Mark builds further on barre chord techniques and liquid chords.

Length: 17:24 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 43

Building on Your Chord Knowledge

In lesson 43, Mark discusses additional skills related to learning and playing chords, specifically "liquification" of chords.

Length: 20:42 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 44

Experiment With Playing

Lesson 44 is all about trying new things. Mark discusses experimenting with your playing in order to take it to the next level.

Length: 17:20 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 45


In this lesson, Mark once again talks about changing up chord derivatives to create a more unique sound.

Length: 20:56 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 46

Shaping the Hands

In lesson 46, Mark explains how to maximize your options by maintaining chord shapes while playing.

Length: 21:44 Difficulty: 1.5 Members Only
Lesson 47

Precision Strumming

Today, Mark takes in depth look at strumming.

Length: 23:57 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 48

Shine Like the Sun

Mark Lincoln teaches an original song entitled "Shine Like the Sun."

Length: 18:59 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 49

Changing Chords : Accuracy and Speed

Mark teaches some useful information on how to mix postures, "finger glue," and techniques to make your chord changes speedy and more effective.

Length: 30:56 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 50

Play Along with Mulitple Chord Voicings

In this lesson, Mark guides you through the world of alternate chord voicings. He teaches several shapes and shows how they can be used to enhance your playing.

Length: 23:06 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 51

Understanding Liquified Chords

Mark brings us a very appealing aspect to better understand the guitar. With his explanation of "liquified" chords, mark will explain how to move up and down the guitar to create different chord voicing.

Length: 25:32 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only

About Mark Lincoln View Full Biography Mark Lincoln was born in S. California but was raised near Portland Oregon in a town called Beaverton. When he was twelve years old, he began his journey into the realm of the creative by composing poetry and was later published in a journal called "In Dappled Sunlight." He wrote for four years until his older sister blessed him with his first guitar, an old beat-up nylon stringed classical guitar. Mark played that guitar for five years, continuing to compose his own lyrics and starting the process of matching his own words with chords that he was learning on the guitar. He learned to play chords from his friends and from music books that he both bought and borrowed. Mark cited his four biggest influences, at that point at least, as The Who, Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull, The Rolling Stones.

Mark cites his most current influences as Radiohead, U2, older music by REM, and Peter Gabriel amongst others. He performs with two acoustic guitars, one being a six-string M-36 Martin with a three-pieced back for increased bass response, and a Guild Twelve-string which is his most recent acquisition. Mark is fond of saying that the twelve-string guitar is better because you get two guitars for the price of one, but he still plays his Martin equally as much and with the same passion.

Mark ended up in Fort Collins Colorado where he currently lives, works as a Marriage and Family Therapist, and continues to write, teach and perform music. He currently performs with a group called "Black Nelson" as well as with a number of other seasoned professional musicians including his cousin David, a virtuoso lead-guitar player. Mark has performed in many of the smaller venues in Denver and Boulder, as well as some of the larger ones including the Fox Theatre, The Boulder Theatre, Herman's Hideaway, and also at The Soiled Dove where he opened for Jefferson Starship as a soloist. Some of Mark's originals are also available for your listening pleasure on MySpace.

Acoustic Guitar Lessons

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Mary Flower Mary Flower

Mary talks about the key of F in this fantastic lesson.

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Trace Bundy Trace Bundy

Trace Bundy talks about the different ways you can use multiple capos to enhance your playing.

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Welcome to the Phil Keaggy Master Course! In this series introduction, Phil shows and tells us what we can expect from this...

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JamPlay welcomes bassist and founding member of Godsmack, Robbie Merrill. In this short introduction lesson, Robbie showcases...

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JamPlay is proud to introduce jazz guitarist Peter Einhorn. In this lesson series, Peter will discuss and demonstrate a way...

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Miche introduces several new chord concepts that add color and excitement to any progression.

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Emil Werstler Emil Werstler

Emil takes you through some techniques that he uses frequently in his style of playing. Topics include neck bending, percussive...

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Eric Madis Eric Madis

In this lesson Eric talks about playing basic lead in the Memphis Blues style.

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Chris Liepe Chris Liepe

Chris brings his ingenuity to this lesson on the American folk song called "Where Did You Sleep Last Night?" Also known as...

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Kris Norris Kris Norris

Kris analyzes different pick sizes and their effect on his playing. Using a slow motion camera, he is able to point out the...

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David Ellefson David Ellefson

David Ellefson, co-founding member of Megadeth, explains his overall approach to teaching and learning bass in this introductory...

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Dave Weiner Dave Weiner

Dave "David J" Weiner returns with a lesson on how to play with style and attitude. He covers all the basic techniques you'll...

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Kenny Ray Kenny Ray

Albert Collins brought a lot of style to the blues scene. In this lesson, Kenny breaks down Albert's style for you to learn.

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Yvette Young Yvette Young

Welcome to Yvette Young's series! Join Yvette as she gets creative with open tunings.

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Braun Khan Braun Khan

In this lesson, Braun teaches the chord types that are commonly used in jazz harmony. Learn how to build the chords and their...

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Jane Miller Jane Miller

Jane Miller talks about chord solos in part one of this fascinating mini-series.

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