Learn to play 4 awkward but awesome-sounding chords

Musician Prince performs during the Super Bowl XLI Half-Time Press Conference at the Miami Convention Center on February 1, 2007 in Miami, Florida
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Having a large chord repertoire is very, vey useful as a guitar player. It allow you to tackle pretty much any progression and also set different moods in the songs that you’re playing by carefully choosing specific chord voicings.

Unfortunately, along the road to having a large chord vocabulary, you’re going to encounter some chords that simply are just a pain to learn. But once you've nailed them, you'll move up a level in the great guitar stairway of knowledge. 

In this lesson we’re going to check out four chords that are awkward, but awesome-sounding, and are absolutely worth the hassle of learning them.



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This is a great-sounding chord with a HUGE stretch involved. You may recognize this chord from the Prince song Purple Rain. 

The five-string add9 chord is a very vibrant-sounding chord. It sounds great with lots of reverb and ambient textural effects.



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This is the perfect chord for funk. The add13 note on the high E string can easily be removed giving you a regular Dominant 9 chord. 

A great use for this chord is to move on and off the add13 note inside a funk rhythm for some instant James Brown groove.



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The six string Major 7 barre chord is essential to know, but is a finger twister!

If you’ve already mastered your standard six string major barre chords, you can work into this shape with a little adjustment, but getting your fingers into this shape fast can certainly be tricky in the early stages.

E Major (C form from CAGED system)


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The CAGED system is a system that allows you to play every major chord on the guitar with just five shapes. The C form of this is great for unlocking new voicings of chords you already know, but, this is a tricky shape.

You’re going to be doing a C Major shape with your middle, ring and little fingers, while barring with your index finger.

Leigh Fuge

Leigh Fuge is a guitar player and content creator with a love for all things '80s. When he’s not creating gear demos for his Youtube channel he’s teaching students via his online guitar course Right Notes Music Tuition. Off camera he spends most of his time travelling around the UK performing at functions and corporate events.  www.instagram.com/leighfugeguitar