Colorful Chords for D Major Scale in Guitar

This is the 4th Scale that we are going to tackle and I hope that you incorporate the chord voicings I shared to my other articles. And today, I will share to you some colorful chord voicing for D Major Scale in guitar. This key is not really to my liking because I don’t have many unique chord voicings that I can use for this key. But still, what I am going to share is still usable and sounds amazing when you do it in the key of D. So take your time studying and familiarizing yourself to the chords I am going to share.

A D7 Chord in the fingerboard of a classical guitar

The Chords of the D Major Scale

These are the 7 chords for the D Major Scale and I recommend that you familiarize yourself with this or memorize it if you can so that you will not have a hard time dealing with this key.

D – Em – F#m – G – A – Bm – C#dim

I, myself, gave time and memorize all the keys and it really helped me a lot when playing because you’ll understand the connection of these chords when you are familiar with them. It will be hard at first but when you became familiar, you can naturally play by ear because you know what chords will suffice the melody.

Don’t worry about the diminished chord. They are useful for jazz but not much for the popular songs right now. And you’ll notice that there are 2 barre chords (except the diminished) and we’ll not use barre chords anymore when dealing with it.

The Importance of 1st Note and 5th Note

In every key, you have to, at least, know the 1st note and the 5th note. They are the core notes and helps establish the key you are in. The 1st note is the root note or the key, while the 5th note is strongly related to the 1st note that its sound is trying to resolve to the first note. One jazz pattern that supports this theory is the ii – V – I progression.

1st note = D
5th note = A

These two notes will be present to the chords I am going to show you. By doing this, the chord voicings now strongly represents the key of D and will sound connected to each other because they particularly have at least one same note.

Different Chord Voicings for the D Major Scale in Guitar

While these chords sound perfect for the D Major Scale, it may not sound good to other scale. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t use it to other keys. Just make sure that you try it first and judge if it will sound good in whatever situation you have.

Dadd9 Chord

A hand showing a different voicing of D Major Chord played in an acoustic guitar
Dadd9 Chord

How to do it?

  1. Do a normal D Major Chord
  2. Remove your middle finger in the 1st string and making it an open string.

How do I describe its sound? It sounds open and perfect when playing in a band. It may not sound good when played solo but it depends on the music. The open string at the 1st string reduce the brightness of this chord and perfect for those sad and slow songs you know. Try it and let your ears be the judge if you are going to use it.

DM7 Chord

A hand showing a different voicing of D Major Chord played in an acoustic guitar
DM7 Chord

How to do it?

  1. Do an A chord
  2. Move every finger one string lower
  3. Or you can just use your index finger and flat the strings from 3rd to 1st on the 2nd fret.

This chord voicing adds a different color to your music. A little jazzy and a good variation especially for sad and slow songs. It is also a great alternative if you use the D Chord for a long time. Technically speaking, you just changed one note but the sound is so different and beautiful.

Em7 Chord

A hand showing a different voicing of E minor Chord played in an acoustic guitar
Em7 Chord

How to do it?

  1. Put your index finger and middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 5th string and 4th string respectively. Don’t mute the 3rd string
  2. Put your ring finger and pinky finger on the 3rd fret of the 2nd string and 1st string respectively.

If you have read my other articles then you have seen this chord already. This is much better, in my opinion, and works better in the music I am playing. The normal Em sound too open for me given that it has a lot of open strings.

D/F# Chord

A hand showing a different voicing of F# diminished Chord played in an acoustic guitar
D/F# Chord

How to do it?

  1. Do a normal D Chord
  2. Make your thumb extend above the neck and then fret the 6th string on the 2nd fret.

Contrary to the normal F#m which is a barre chord, I prefer to do this in the key of D when I encounter F#m in the song. Especially when the progression is from D to F#m, it has lesser movement (just the thumb) and sounds better too because you have removed the barre.

Gadd9 Chord

A hand showing a different voicing of G Major Chord played in an acoustic guitar
Gadd9 Chord

How to do it?

  1. Do a normal G chord
  2. Remove your index finger and mute the 5th string using your middle finger
  3. Place now your pointing finger on the 2nd fret of the 3rd string

This chord voicing is perfect for the key of D because if you’ll notice the position of your pointing finger and ring finger, it is the same with the D Chord. More same notes requires less movement when changing chord and it sounds connected than doing the normal chord voicing.

Asus4 Chord

A hand showing a different voicing of A Major Chord played in an acoustic guitar
Asus4 Chord

How to do it?

  1. Do a normal A chord
  2. Move your ring finger from 2nd fret to 3rd fret

This chord voicing may sound perfect or unresolved depending on the situation. If you think that the sound is unfinished and there is a chord that you need to go to but you don’t what chord, just do a normal A chord and it will be resolved.

Bm7 Chord

A hand showing a different voicing of B Minor Chord played in an acoustic guitar
Bm7 Chord

How to do it?

  1. Place your index finger on the 2nd fret of the 5th string
  2. Place your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 3rd string
  3. Place your ring finger on the 3rd fret of the 2nd string
  4. Mute the 1st string using your ring finger

This chord requires a little time to learn because it is different from the Bm chord that you used to know. Not only it sounds better, the barre was removed and it’s easier to pluck it. This requires less movement and effort compared to the normal Bm chord.

D/C# Chord

A hand showing a different voicing of C# diminished Chord played in an acoustic guitar
D/C# Chord

How to do it?

  1. Place your index finger on the 2nd fret of the 3rd string
  2. Place your middle finger on the 3rd fret of the 2nd string
  3. Place your ring finger on the 4th fret of the 5th string
  4. Mute the 4th string using your ring finger

This is a little hard to do at first but you’ll get used to it if you use it always. This is a substitute to the chord A/C# and I don’t used the A/C# Chord often because it is a barre chord. So I experimented and I came up with this chord that is not particularly easier but more open sounding than A/C#

All these chords are placed depending on my own preference. You can always change the way your fingers are positioned as long as you are fretting the right notes as seen on the images I provided.

Some popular Chord progressions

I will not include the proper names. Just do the chord voicings I showed above and listen for yourself on how it drastically change the tone of the chords.

1. D – A/C# – Bm – G
2. G – A – Bm – D/F#
3. D – D/F# – G – A
4. G – A – Bm – D/F# – Em – A
5. Em – A – Bm – F#m
6. G – D/F# – Em – A

Conclusion

These chords are just small change from what you used to know but it can add beautiful color to your music. Take your time to familiarize yourself with these chords and try doing it when you are in the key of D. You can also my other articles showing different Chord voicings also in different keys. In this way, you’ll be able to achieve different color and that can drastically change your music. Professionals often use different chord voicings rather than the basic one so I highly recommend that you try it, too.

If you have any question regarding these chords, feel free to leave it in the comment box and I’ll gladly answer you.

>>Check the E Major Scale<<

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