27 January 2012

Guitar Chords – 6th Chords

This guitar chord lesson for intermediate players introduces sixth chords, shows you some fingerings to play them with and gives you an example progression to practice.

 

What is a Sixth Chord?

A 6th chord, also known as add6, is a chord built from a basic major or minor chord with a sixth scale degree added. The note formula is root, major or minor 3rd, 5th, 6th.

 

Sixth Chord Fingerings

The two chord diagrams below show a moveable fingering for the major and minor sixth chords. The root note for both is on the sixth string.

 

Both use four fingers and can be quite tricky, especially the major shape, so stick with it if it doesn’t come to you easily at first. Practice fingering both shapes up and down the fretboard using the fingers shown by the numbers on the diagrams.

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Alternative fingerings for the major and minor 6th chords are shown by the diagrams below. Both these fingerings can be moved up and down the guitar neck - the root note occurs on both the first and fourth strings.

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6th Chord Example

Here's an example progression from a rock song that uses major and minor 6th chords to create a nice walk down on the fourth string. The example is in Em and the chords are Am6 - G6 - F#m6 – Em. The progression can be transposed to any key using the chord formula: iv6 - bIII6 - ii6 – i.

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