Week 6: Language of Chords (Guitar Lesson)


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Chris Liepe

Week 6: Language of Chords

In this final lesson, Chris teaches how to put a name to the face of all the different chord shapes you have created in the past 5 lessons.

Taught by Chris Liepe in Expanding Your Rhythm Playing seriesLength: 12:06Difficulty: 3.0 of 5
Expanding Your Rhythm Playing
Naming Chords

"sus" chords:
"sus" chords are created by removing the 3rd of the chord and replacing it with either a 2nd or a 4th. A chord with the 4th instead of the 3rd would just be referred to as a "sus" chord. A chord that has a 2nd rather than the 3rd would be specifically referred to as a "sus2" chord.
Examples: Asus2, Gsus, Dsus

Extensions: If you are adding a note to a chord other than the Root, 3rd or 5th, you are adding "extensions". When the 3rd is present in a chord and you add a an extension other than a 7th, you add 7 to the note degree you are adding. For example, the 2nd becomes a 9th, the 4th becomes an 11th, and the 6th becomes the 13th. This is common chord language for adding extensions.

"add" chords:
When a chord has the third and extensions other than the 7th are added to the basic triad, you'll see the word "add" or a "/" in the name of the chord.
Examples: Eadd9 would be R, 3, 5, 9. Am /9 would include: R, b3, 5, 9.

Altering a chord: When you raise or lower the 5th tone in a chord, it is considered an "Altered"chord.

Incomplete chord: A chord with no 5th tone.

Using multiple extensions: When the 7th is present with other extensions, the term "add" is not used.

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Member Comments about this Lesson

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


L-JayL-Jay replied on June 7th, 2014

Excellent set of lessons!

nlonguk02nlonguk02 replied on November 27th, 2013

Very good lesson, Chris! Thank you for your easy explanation.

cadcocadco replied on October 24th, 2013

I a C add 11 the same as a C add 4?

foxboyfoxboy replied on November 6th, 2011

Hi, so an A13 would mean playing A C# E G H D and F# altogether, which means a complete G maj7 chord over an A chord? (which would not be playable on a 6 string guitar...) Or are some of the notes usually left out? Like a Gmaj7/A, which would leave out the third and the fifth of the A chord? (From a keyboarder's point of view, i would consider the fifth the least important note.)

Expanding Your Rhythm Playing

Found in our Beginner Lesson Sets

Chris takes his 6 week series technique into an "Expanding your Rhythm Playing" session.



Lesson 1

Week 1: Series Introduction and Theory

Welcome to lesson 1 in this 6 week series on expanding your rhythm guitar playing! Here, Chris introduces you to what will be taught in the series and starts breaking things down in the key of E.

Length: 48:36 Difficulty: 3.5 FREE
Lesson 2

Week 2: In The Key Of A

In week 2 of his 6 Week Rhythm Guitar Series, Chris breaks down the key of A major.

Length: 13:56 Difficulty: 2.5 Members Only
Lesson 3

Week 3: In The Key Of D

Week 3 of this 6 week series presents a deeper understanding of the key of D major.

Length: 13:45 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 4

Week 4: In The Key Of G

Following in suit with the last 3 lessons, Chris explains some rhythm guitar ideas in the key of G.

Length: 15:28 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 5

Week 5: In The Key Of B

In Lesson 5 of this 6 week series, Chris breaks down the final key of B.

Length: 7:30 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only
Lesson 6

Week 6: Language of Chords

In this final lesson, Chris teaches how to put a name to the face of all the different chord shapes you have created in the past 5 lessons.

Length: 12:06 Difficulty: 3.0 Members Only

About Chris Liepe View Full Biography Chris Liepe was born on September 17th, 1981 in Portland OR. His first instrument was piano which he pursued until discovering his love for the electric guitar in high school. He became fans of such groups as Soundgarden, Collective Soul and U2 inspiring him to start singing, songwriting and helping others in their musical endeavors with teaching, co-writing and album production.

Having moved to Colorado with his family, he began gigging, recording and teaching in a number of music stores as well as out of his apartment until deciding to pursue music full time. He moved to Denver, CO to complete a Bachelors in Music Technology and was then hired on by Sweetwater Productions, a division of Sweetwater Sound and one of the largest, most successful recording studios in the Midwest.

Chris spent nearly 4 years at Sweetwater as a producer, recording engineer, studio musician and writer. During this time he had the privilege of working with many artists including Augustana, Landon Pigg, Jars of Clay, and Mercy Me. He also wrote for and played on numerous independent albums and hundreds of radio/TV commercials.

Wanting to get back to his favorite State in the world (Colorado) and feeling the urge to 'go freelance', Chris moved to Greeley, CO and opened his own recording and teaching studio. He continues to write and produce music for artists and agencies and is happy to be among the proud JamPlay.com instructors.

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