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Diatonic Chord Position with an A-String Root p.2

The IV Chord


The IV chord shape should be the only unfamiliar shape in this position. Be careful with the fingering. Play the root with your first finger and shift (don't stretch!) to play the 3rd of the chord with your fourth finger.

In the key of C major, the IV chord is Fmaj7, or an F triad.

One fretboard revelation you might have with this diatonic chord position is that you can go lower for notes or chord shapes. You don't always have to go up. At first it's easiest to think going up in order: 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. This revelation is similar to when you first learned about negative numbers. You mean there are numbers below zero?! If you become a professional musician, you might learn even more about negative numbers!

The V Chord


The V chord shape in this position is the same as the first dominant 7th (and major triad) shape we covered. In the key of C major, the V chord is G7, or a G triad.

The vi Chord


The vi chord shape is, again, the minor chord shape starting on your fourth finger. In the key of C major, the vi chord is Am7, or an Am triad.

The vii Chord


Finally, we have the vii chord shape. This is the half-diminished 7th (diminished triad) chord shape we've been using. In the key of C major, the vii chord is Bm7b5, or a B diminished triad

Explore the New Position

Now that you've learned a new set of shapes, start exploring them. You can play all of the same progressions as in the previous position: I-V-vi-IV, I-vi-ii-V, I-vi-IV-V, or any others you've come across.

Knowing this major scale position and the previous one, you can play the diatonic chords in all 12 keys. Try the new position for the keys of B, C, C#/Db, D, Eb, and E.

Applying this new position, improvise along with any songs you've learned using a diatonic chord progression.


Practice the exercises for this position. You can play them in order, or you can play them in diatonic fourths. Play the arpeggios to the progressions we've discussed.

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