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Alternate chords

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Alternate chords

Postby mreisz » Fri Dec 26, 2014 5:20 pm

I thought it might be helpful to have a thread where we share favorite alternate chords. Sometimes just a neat chord can pave the way to an entire arrangement. Doc made a post the other day listing two chords he enjoyed. When shortly thereafter there was a desire to do "What child is this" in Em, those two chords set the tone for the whole backing. Here's one of the verses we did:

phpBB [video]


The two chords Doc listed were an Em9 played 0 2 4 0 0 0
and Cmaj7 played X 3 2 0 0 0
Mike

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Re: Alternate chords

Postby TNTaylor414 » Sat Dec 27, 2014 7:39 pm

Really nice performance Mike! Those are some great sounding chords you were playing.

I'll have to think on some good alternate chords. Bit under the weather the last few days.
Shawn
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Re: Alternate chords

Postby mreisz » Sat Dec 27, 2014 9:07 pm

TNTaylor414 wrote:Bit under the weather the last few days.
Same thing at our house. My wife finally got Christmas and Christmas Eve off and she spent most the time asleep in bed. Now I have the cold/flu as well. Fun times! I've been meaning to write out the various chords I used and post it, but pushing these keys takes more energy than I remember. I'll get them posted before too long.
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Re: Alternate chords

Postby jbsjr » Sun Dec 28, 2014 6:24 am

Sounds great. I truly enjoyed it. Impressive


Hope you all feel better
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Re: Alternate chords

Postby Bulldog » Mon Dec 29, 2014 4:24 pm

Another fine performance sir! Nice job by the fiddler/violinist also. Haven't you posted a clip with her before? Maybe I'm thinking of someone else.
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Re: Alternate chords

Postby mreisz » Mon Dec 29, 2014 8:21 pm

Yes, I believe I have when I used one of Ben's arrangements for "Jesus loves me." That is Delaney. She is very talented... I just provide a little backing and she does all the magic. Thanks for the kind words and I'll pass along the compliments to her.

Sorry I still haven't gotten around to writing out the chords.
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Re: Alternate chords

Postby ldpayton » Mon Jan 12, 2015 7:51 am

A lot of the bluegrass guys I play with start to give dirty looks if too many chord substitutions are used, but I do work in a few passing chords here and there, depending on the song. D aug in the open position (X X 0 3 3 2) is handy. I also use two diminished chords forms, (3 x 2 3 2 X for G dim, X 3 4 2 4 for C dim) sometimes. I also regularly color open chords by adding a 2nd, 6th,or 7th to basic cowboy chords.
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Re: Alternate chords

Postby mreisz » Mon Jan 12, 2015 10:10 am

Thanks Larry. I also use alot of 2 (or 9) chords and minor 7 chords in place of the "normal" major or minor chords. These are kind of like salt... they can be used often and just add a little flavor:
G5 3 X 0 0 3 3
D2 X X 0 2 3 0
C9 X 3 2 0 3 3 or X 3 2 0 3 0
Em7 0 2 2 0 3 3
A2 X 0 2 2 0 0
Am7 X 0 2 0 1 0
Those changes and similar ones are simple changes but often can radically alter the sound of a song. For I while I played along with Alison Kraus Union Station album "So long so wrong." When I used the above chord forms, it fit great, but when I used the "normal" chord forms it just didn't sound right. I think that playing along with AKUS pushed my ear to what typically sounds preferable (to me), and most of those chords are my default shapes.

I also use chord variants for punching an accent at the end of a phrase or to simply add a different color than some other guitars are adding. Examples of those that come to mind:
D5 X X 0 7 10 10
D2 X X 0 9 10 10
G9 X 10 9 0 10 10
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Re: Alternate chords

Postby ldpayton » Fri Feb 13, 2015 3:41 pm

I also use alot of 2 (or 9) chords and minor 7 chords in place of the "normal" major or minor chords. These are kind of like salt... they can be used often and just add a little flavor:

Yep! I also use 6 chords like this.


Here's a couple of chords that I've noticed TR using:

F2 1 3 3 0 1 1 or X 3 3 0 1 1
I've also noticed he sometimes likes using this D9 in place of a D7: X X 0 5 5 5

And speaking of D7, I've recently started using: X X 4 5 3 2 instead of X X 0 2 1 2 most of the time.
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Re: Alternate chords

Postby mreisz » Sat Feb 14, 2015 1:23 am

ldpayton wrote:And speaking of D7, I've recently started using: X X 4 5 3 2 instead of X X 0 2 1 2 most of the time.

Cool, I hadn't seen that. I'd have to do that a while to get used to it, but it's a nice closed chord once you learn it. While we are on D7, I occasionally use the following after a "normal" D7 if the song hangs around D7 for a bit:
X X 0 7 7 8

I like the TR F2s. I am guessing on the first one he wraps the thumb for the low F?

On a different note... Last week we played a song and and having the major 7 in the F chord made all the difference in the world (just leave the high E open to get the maj7). I guess that chord was made famous in "Stairway to heaven."
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