Colorful Chord Tension (Guitar Lesson)


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Brad Henecke

Colorful Chord Tension

Adding open strings to a barre chord shape that doesn't ordinarily contain them creates a strange new chord. These new chords are commonly used in the rock and folk genres.

Taught by Brad Henecke in Rock Guitar with Brad Henecke seriesLength: 9:09Difficulty: 2.5 of 5
Chapter 1: (9:15) Colorful Chord Tension Brad demonstrates how to achieve fresh new sounds by adding open strings to chord shapes you already know. Often, guitar teachers classify chord shapes into two different categories: moveable chord shapes and open chord shapes. However, some “open” chord voicings can be moved to different areas of the neck. When this is done, strange new chords are created. The open strings combined with high fretted notes add “colorful chord tension” to a basic three note triad.

Two chord shapes work especially well with this concept. Both the E major barre chord shape and open C chord shape are examined in this lesson.

Creating New Chords from the Open E Shape
In lesson 3, Brad demonstrated how to transform the open E chord shape into a moveable barre chord. (Review this lesson now if necessary.) This particular barre chord has its root on the sixth string. This chord shape is the basis for the following chord shapes:

Fmaj7(#11)
Begin by forming an F major barre chord at the first fret. Now, instead of using your first finger to barre all six strings, use it only to fret the low root note. This leaves the B and E strings open. A brand new chord has been created. This particular F chord has a strange and mysterious sound. This is due to the manner in which the open strings interact with the basic F major triad.
F#7add11
This chord shape (open strings included) can be moved to different areas of the fret board. Slide the F chord shape up one fret. Your second finger is now playing F# as the root note of the chord. This new chord has a totally different sound. Once again, this is due to the addition of the open strings. This particular chord has a dominant sound.
G6
Slide the shape up another fret. This forms a new G chord. Take a look at some chord progressions you know that use a G chord. Try substituting this new form of the G chord for the old open G or G barre chord.
Aadd9
Not all root notes work with this chord shape. Notice how there is no chord shape for the root note G#. This is because the open B string clashes with the sound of the chord. Play the chord shape at the fourth fret to see just how horrible it sounds. As a result, the next available option is the root note A at the 5th fret. This forms an Aadd9 shape.
Badd11
This chord has a very unique sound. The D# on the G string is only a half-step away from the open E string. These notes rub together to give the chord its unusual sound.
Cmaj7
This is probably the most normal sounding chord presented in this lesson. The Cmaj7 voicing sounds like a normal Cmaj7 barre chord with a heavy chorusing effect applied to it.
D6/9
The final available chord shape occurs at the 10th fret. The root of this chord is D. At the 12th fret, the pattern of chords begins again in a higher octave.
Intro to Chord Theory
Note: The following information is taken from Matt’s Phase 2 Jazz Series.

It is possible to know a vast number of chord shapes without knowing the theory behind them. However, I highly recommend you do not take this approach. The process of determining the individual notes in a chord may seem confusing at first, but it is a relatively simple task. Study the instructions below.

1. Start with the major scale corresponding to the letter name of the chord. For example, if you want to figure out the notes in C7, start by writing out the C major scale. Even if you are spelling a minor chord, you must start with the major scale of the chord name.

2. Determine the "triad type" of the chord. A triad is a chord containing three notes. It is also the base structure of any chord that contains more than three notes. There are four types of triads: major, minor, augmented, and diminished. Each of these triads is spelled using a different formula.

Note: The symbols that are frequently used to abbreviate these triad types are: ?,-,+,o respectively. Thus, a Cmaj77 chord may be abbreviated as C?7. Here are the formulas for these triads:
Major triad: scale degrees 1,3,5.

Minor triad: scale degrees 1,b3,5.

Augmented triad: scale degrees 1,3,#5

Diminished triad: scale degrees 1,b3,b5
Remember to start with the MAJOR SCALE regardless of whether the chord is major!

3. If the chord contains more than three notes, consult the formulas below.
MA7: 1,3,5,7
MA6: 1,3,5,6
MA9: 1,3,5,7,9
MI7: 1,b3,5,b7
MI6: 1,b3,5,6
MI9: 1,b3,5,b7,9
Dominant 7: 1,3,5,b7
MI7(b5): 1,b3,b5,b7
o7: 1,b3,b5,bb7
For some practice, let's spell an E chord. We know from the Circle of Fifths that the key of E has 4 sharps.
1. The scale is spelled E,F#,G#,A,B,C#,D#,E.

2. The 1,3,and 5 chord tones are E,G#,and B. Thus, an E chord is spelled E,G#,B.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the chords discussed earlier in the lesson. The first chord is labeled Fmaj7(#11). How is this chord named? To determine how a chord should be named, determine the individual notes that make up the chord. From the lowest string down, this chord contains the notes F, C, F, A, E, B. From this we can see that the chord contains an F triad: F, A, C. Now, we must analyze how the other two notes fit into the chord. E is the major seventh. B is a #11 interval from the root. Thus, the chord is named Fmaj7(#11).
Chord Progressions Using These Chords
The chorus part to the Alice In Chains hit “Heaven Beside You” utilizes these new chord shapes. This progressions provides a great example of how these chords can be used in the context of a song. Here are the chord changes in the chorus section: Aadd9, G6, CMA7, Badd4.

New Chords from Open C Shape
The open C chord can also shift up the fretboard to create new chord shapes.

Note: Open “Colorful Chord Tension” in the “Supplemental Content” tab for fretboard diagrams of these chord shapes.

Dadd9,11 Fmaj9, G6, A7
Slide the open C chord shape up two frets. The two open strings in the C chord remain open. This forms a strange sounding new D chord. This chord also works with the following root notes: F, G, and A.
Experiment with Other Shapes
These are just a few examples of chord shapes that you can add open strings to. Brad briefly demonstrates how the A7 and D chord shapes can be applied to this concept as well. The Alice in Chains song “Brother” shifts the A7 chord shape to form new chords.
Experiment with all the chord shapes you know. The open chord shapes are the best place to start since they already contain open strings. You never know what you’ll come up with!


Video Subtitles / Captions


Member Comments about this Lesson

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outshinedoutshined replied on July 20th, 2013

Absolute Love the Alice in Chain examples! Nice! So cool to apply what we are learning to songs we love.

martymaymartymay replied on October 26th, 2009

Sounds so beautiful! Im gonna use them

dash rendardash rendar replied on January 1st, 2009

I'm a bit confused as to why the D6/9 played at the 10th fret is so-named. If you take the Add9 (played at the 5th fret), I can see that this is A Major, but also includes the 9th note of the scale, so this one makes sense to me. But if you apply the same rules to the chord at the 10th fret, why wouldn't you call it a D6add9, or even a Dadd6,9 or something like that?

dash rendardash rendar replied on January 1st, 2009

Another song full of these chords (especially the 'E-shape' ones) is "Rescue Me or Bury Me" by Steve Vai. (Although I'm more of a Satch fan myself!)

bvalbval replied on February 13th, 2008

Hey Brad, whats that lil lick there at the end of this lesson?

Brad.HeneckeBrad.Henecke replied on August 28th, 2007

you realy got me going on the rush thing ! check out all the Rush albums starting from the early albums.You can realy tell how the band progresses through time .What a change ! Theres a real story going on there .

bat21bat21 replied on August 27th, 2007

Do I see a new song coming to your lessons? LOL My ears aren't the problem, its my 2 left feet for hands that gives me troubles. No matter how hard I practice, they just don't want to play together.

Brad.HeneckeBrad.Henecke replied on August 27th, 2007

cool man! thanks for remembering that. I love that chord ! Now i Know what song that was .You got a great ear.

bat21bat21 replied on August 26th, 2007

You made a comment in your lesson about hearing the chord you were playing as a Rush song. The Rush song you mentioned is "Tears" from the 2112 album. A fellow rush fan. My hat is off to you. Very beautiful song. Someday I will be able to play it.

Rock Guitar with Brad Henecke

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

In this Phase 2 series Brad Henecke will school you in the art of rock guitar. You will not only learn how to play some of your favorite songs in this series, but you will also learn how to create your own.



Lesson 1

Basic Rock Guitar

This lesson covers the absolute basics of rock guitar. Learn about the electric guitar, pickups, amplifiers, changing strings, and more.

Length: 52:09 Difficulty: 0.5 Members Only
Lesson 2

Learning Chords

The first step of your rock guitar experience is learning some of the more popular chords and that is what this lesson is all about.

Length: 42:30 Difficulty: 1.0 Members Only
Lesson 3

Barre Chords and More

Brad Henecke introduces common strumming patterns and barre chords.

Length: 42:23 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 4

Your First Song

In this lesson Brad covers some of the more advanced barre chord shapes. He applies these shapes to the song "Hotel California."

Length: 41:31 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 5

Blues and Scales

Rock has its roots in the blues. Brad helps you explore the wonderful world of blues in this lesson. He also covers some chord theory.

Length: 48:14 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 6

Tricks and Lead

This lesson is all about specific techniques used by lead guitarists.

Length: 52:02 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 7

Jammin' with Scales

This lesson details how to improvise with the blues scale.

Length: 27:27 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 8

3 Songs

In this fun lesson, Brad Henecke teaches you riffs from 3 classic rock songs.

Length: 28:28 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 9

Power Chords

Power chords help give rock music that "punch you in the face" feel. Learn basic power chords in this lesson.

Length: 13:22 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 10

2 New Songs

Are you ready to learn "Ain't Talking About Love" by Van Halen and "You Shook Me All Night Long" by AC/DC? That's what this lesson is all about.

Length: 27:32 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 11

Pentatonic Scale

Brad teaches the first pattern of the minor pentatonic scale and explains how it relates to the blues scale.

Length: 14:30 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 12

Second Pattern

Brad covers the second pattern for both the minor blues and minor pentatonic scales.

Length: 9:07 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 13

Message in a Bottle

Learn the classic rock song "Message in a Bottle."

Length: 10:22 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 14

Third Pattern

This great lesson covers the 3rd fretboard pattern of the minor pentatonic and minor blues scales.

Length: 7:19 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 15

Colorful Chord Tension

Brad demonstrates how open strings can be added to chord shapes you are already familiar with.

Length: 9:09 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 16

The Fourth Pattern

Brad covers the fourth pattern of the minor pentatonic and minor blues scales.

Length: 8:28 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 17

Daytripper

In this lesson Brad demonstrates how to play the Beatles song "Daytripper."

Length: 15:21 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 18

The Fifth Pattern

Brad demonstrates the 5th pattern of the minor pentatonic and minor blues scales. He also discusses practicing and memorizing them.

Length: 13:05 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 19

"Brown Eyed Girl"

Learn the classic rock song "Brown Eyed Girl" in this episode of Rock Guitar.

Length: 11:23 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 20

Phrasing

Brad introduces you to the importance of phrasing. Quality phrasing is essential when performing any melodic line.

Length: 14:19 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 21

Basics of Tapping

Tapping is an idiomatic guitar technique that offers a unique sound.

Length: 14:34 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 22

Intro to Modes

Learning the modes is essential to the development of your scale vocabulary.

Length: 31:04 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 23

Understanding Chord Shapes

Brad further explains what chord shapes are and how they relate to barre chords.

Length: 10:15 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 24

Natural Harmonics

Learn the right and left hand mechanics involved in playing harmonics.

Length: 13:16 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 25

Advanced Harmonics

Brad covers more advanced harmonic techniques such as harp harmonics, pinch harmonics and tap harmonics.

Length: 16:10 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 26

The Dorian Mode

Brad moves on in his modal lesson series to explain the Dorian mode. This lesson includes 2 backing tracks.

Length: 22:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 27

Phrygian Mode

Brad explains and demonstrates the Phrygian mode.

Length: 13:33 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 28

The Lydian Mode

Brad continues his discussion of the modes. You will learn the Lydian mode in this lesson.

Length: 9:27 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 29

Mixolydian Mode

Brad explains the Mixolydian mode and its practical applications.

Length: 10:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 30

The Aeolian Mode

Continuing with his modal lessons, Brad Henecke teaches the Aeolian mode.

Length: 9:09 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 31

The Locrian Mode

The final lesson in our modal series covers the Locrian mode.

Length: 9:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 32

The Ace Zone

Brad teaches some licks inspired by Ace Frehley of KISS. Incorporate these licks into your own solos.

Length: 7:18 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 33

Learn Licks

In this lesson Brad Henecke teaches you some fun licks that can be used in your own guitar solos.

Length: 10:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 34

Blues Licks

Brad Henecke demonstrates some cool blues licks.

Length: 17:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 35

Modes and Scales

Brad Henecke provides an alternate way of comparing modes and scales.

Length: 8:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 36

A Different View

In the last lesson, Brad Henecke compared some scales that are major or dominant in quality. Now, he repeats this process with minor scales.

Length: 7:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 37

One String Scales

This lesson is all about 1 string scales. Learning scales on 1 string is essential to your knowledge of the fretboard.

Length: 8:34 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 38

One String Ionian Mode

Brad demonstrates a one string version of the Ionian mode. This lesson demonstrates the importance of horizontal scales.

Length: 7:27 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 39

Aeolian Mode on One String

Brad continues his discussion of single string scales. He explains how to play the Aeolian mode across a single string.

Length: 4:11 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 40

Octave Scales

Brad explains how to locate octaves within scale patterns. He demonstrates a cool lick that involves playing simultaneous octaves.

Length: 7:07 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 41

Using Octaves

Brad explains how to use octaves in the context of an exercise. Octaves can also be used to build effective licks.

Length: 5:18 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 42

Harmonic Minor Scale

Brad introduces the harmonic minor scale. He explains how it can be applied to the solo break in "Sweet Child O' Mine."

Length: 7:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 43

Learning by Ear

Brad Henecke provides valuable tips regarding the process of learning songs by ear.

Length: 23:00 Difficulty: 3.5 Members Only
Lesson 44

Ear Training Game

Improve your ear training by playing "The Tone Is Right" with Brad Henecke.

Length: 29:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 45

Diminished Arpeggio

Brad Henecke explains diminished chords and provides a fun diminished arpeggio exercise.

Length: 19:00 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 46

Understanding Time Signatures

Brad Henecke addresses time signatures.

Length: 10:00 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 47

Diminished Chords

Brad Henecke explains the construction of diminished seventh chords. He also provides a diminished chord exercise.

Length: 10:30 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 48

Open G Tuning

Brad Henecke introduces open G tuning in this lesson.

Length: 23:50 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 49

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Length: 12:57 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 50

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Length: 22:50 Difficulty: 2.0 Members Only
Lesson 51

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Length: 11:08 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 52

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Length: 6:56 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 53

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About Brad Henecke View Full Biography Brad Henecke was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on May 5th of 1963. He has been a fan of music for as long as he & his family can remember. You could always find him running around the farm wailing on his cardboard guitar, pretending to be a member of the rock band KISS. Additional inspiration came during his first concert when he got the chance to see Boston & Sammy Hagar in the early 1970's.

This opened up a whole new world of rock and roll music for him; his parents noticed his growing interest in music and enrolled him into guitar lessons when he was 13.

From there he jumped into two years of lessons at a local music store in Cedar Rapids. After discovering Eddie Van Halen, Brad knew that the guitar would always be a part of his life. He took his love throughout the city as he played as a pit musician & jammed at parties for friends.

This made him thirsty for more. He enrolled classes at Kirkwood Community College & also took lessons from the one & only Craig-Erickson (www.craig-erickson.com).

His love for music landed him a gig opening for Molly Hatchet in Cedar Rapids with a band called "Slap & Tickle". He has also played in the Greeley Stampede show for quite a few years with "True North".

Brad is currently playing in Greeley, Colorado with a rock band titled "Ragged Doll". They play a wide variety of music with an emphasis on classic rock from the 60's to present, with Brad playing electric guitar in the five piece lineup.

He currently jams on his all-time favorite guitar: a Paul Reed Smith Custom 24. Beyond guitar, he plays also plays drums & bass guitar. He has also been known to thrash a banjo from time to time. He is still actively playing & passing his 31 years of playing experience on to others (you!).

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