Spooky guitar chords: 4 to learn in time for Halloween

Halloween guitar scene
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Most of the chords we hear in our day to day music listening, or playing, adventures tend to be guitar chords that have a full feeling of resolution. They are made up of a series of intervals that all harmoniously sit together to give us that good feeling we want from music.

But what if we start adding some strange, and unwanted, intervals to these chords… things can get pretty creepy!

In this lesson we’re going to check out four spooky sounding guitar chords.

E5#11 (E5add#4)


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This chord has a few different names depending on how you want to view it. The #11 note can also be viewed as a #4 (augmented) or b5 (diminished). Whatever you choose to name it, it has a sense of unease about it.

You can hear this in the clean, picked pre-verse from the Slayer song Seasons In The Abyss.

Gb5 (Tritone)


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One of the most sinister sounding chords was the framework for the self-titled track off Black Sabbath’s self-titled debut album. This Gb5 tritone chord is evil sounding. 

This is a form of diminished chord, but to be truly diminished the chord would need a b3 interval whereas this chord only has a root and b5. 



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Metallica’s instrumental track Call Of Ktulu is full of creepy sounding chords, but this chord from the intro is definitely one of the stranger chords used.

This is an Am chord with an add9 interval and a D# in the bass. The Am9 chord itself is quite a nice sounding chord but the D# is the b5 interval of the Am. This creates a tritone style dissonance inside a more complex chord voicing.



(Image credit: Future)

This chord is so creepy that it’s been dubbed the Hitchcock Chord. It’s a chord that crops up many times in various Alfred Hitchcock movies, but most notably in the movie Psycho.

This chord is a minor chord with an added Maj7 interval on the top which creates a feeling od dissonance inside a familiar sounding chord. This can instantly add a sense of unease to anywhere you choose to place it.

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