Shapes of things… B/A

Larry carlton

Larry carlton

ABOVE: One of MJ's guitarists Larry Carlton in 1979 © Clayton Call / Retna Ltd./Retna Ltd./Corbis

The chord: B/A

Used by: Michael Jackson

Song: She's Out Of My Life

Context: As the chord over "to think for 'three' years that she was here".

Low to high strings: 5 X 4 4 4 X

Did you know?

This chord is often found, as in the Jackson number, as a deliberately tense chord between A and Ab m7 (or the equivalent in other keys). Play these chords and notice how sweet the Ab m7 sounds after the uneasy B/A. This is a popular chord in ballads and film music - can you hear where it comes in the ET theme…

Also spotted in:

Barbra Streisand's Evergreen, as the verse's second chord: "Love, soft as an 'easy' chair". Low to high strings: X 0 4 4 4 X

The Beatles' Eight Days A Week: this time E/D as the second chord in the intro. Low to high strings: X X 0 7 7 5

In Extreme's Hole Hearted, as the intro's second chord - E/D again, but note the different fingering, low to high strings: X X 0 4 5 4