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Guitar lesson: learn 6 great chords for folk

Ben Howard
(Image credit: Venla Shalin/Redferns)

Guitar skills: Notice that a few of these chords feature a D on the 3rd fret of the second string. This gives a flow to the chords when they appear in sequence. 

If you don’t want this on every single chord, why not break it up with a Cmaj7 or Bm7 as shown? And perhaps experiment with playing the shapes with a capo on the 5th or 7th fret. You’ll change the key but the higher pitch is great for a modern indie-folk vibe. Just add ukulele!

Chords

(Image credit: Future)

Chords

(Image credit: Future)

Folky rock track  

Folk-style fingerpicked chords often include fragments of melody or bassline to help the arrangement gel – artists like Ben Howard, Benjamin Francis Leftwich and Ed Sheeran use these devices all the time. You could play our example fingerstyle or with a pick. The former is the folkier option, but flat-picking has a strident feel you might prefer.

Click on the top right of the tab to enlarge it 

(Image credit: Future)

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