Colorful Chords for G Major Scale in Guitar

When I was starting out, the first scale I learned is the G Major Scale in guitar. In my experience, I encountered a lot of songs that use this key. Some uses a capo in order to use the key of G because it is really easy to use compared to other keys.

A hand doing a G Chord on an electric guitar

In this article, I have several chord voicings that really enhances the flavor of all the chords in the key of G. The chords I am going to show you are mostly used by the songs you love. Those songs seldom use the basic chords we learned as a beginner, so you might be interested on how they do it.

The chords in the G Major Scale

Let’s take a look at what chords are in the G Major Scale.

G – Am – Bm – C – D – Em – F#dim – G

Just like what I said in my article about the C Major Scale, F#dim is not really popular in the modern songs so you should not worry if you do not know it right now. We’re gonna use the Slash chord instead because it sounds much better.

Diminished Chords are popular in jazz music so if your play that genre, you will encounter it a lot. But I’ll just assume that you’re not a jazz player so let’s just forget about the diminished chord.

The G Major Scale is an EASY scale for beginners because almost all the chords included are all natural, meaning they are neither sharps or flats. And it has no barre chords except the Bm and F#dim.

Make sure that you familiarize yourself with all the notes and chords included in the G Major Scale. It will be useful for you in the long run

The Importance of the 1st note and 5th note

The 1st note is equal to the root of the scale and the 5th note is the dominant note. These two notes are the pillars of the scale and are very important when establishing the key in every song. Most songs start with the 1st chord or the Root, while the 5th chord sounds like that you need to resolve to the Root chord. If you have studied music theory, you’ll understand what I’m talking about.

1st note = G
5th note = D

These are the notes that are important in the G Major Scale. If either of these two notes is present in the chords of this scale, it will sound better and connected to key of G.

So that’s how the following chords are done. By just adding either of the two notes, you can create a new flavor for your music when you are in the key of G.

Why do we need these chord voicings?

1. It adds different color to your playing
2. Chord changes will be easier.
3. Experts seldom use the normal chord position. They are doing different chord voicings that’s why even if you play the right chords using the basic position, it sounds different.

Different voicings for the G Major Scale in Guitar

Just for clarity, these chords may not sound good in other scale. But I am sure that these chords will be better than the basic chords when used in the key of G

G Major Chord

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

G Major Chord

How to do it?

1. Do a G Major Chord (Basic)
2. Remove your pointing finger and mute it with your middle finger

These voicing will add clarity to your chord. By muting the 5th string, the muddiness of this chord will be reduced and will sound much better especially in the recording. I’ve doing it for a lot of time and it always sound better especially when playing with a band.

Am7 Chord

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

Am7 Chord

How to do it?

1. Do an Am chord
2. Remove your ring finger making the 3rd string an open string.
3. Put your pinky finger on the 3rd fret of the 1st string

By removing your ring finger and adding your pinky finger on the first string, you have played both G note which is essential in the key of G. This reduces the sadness you hear in an Am and beautifully connects the sound when changing from G to Am

Bm7addb6 Chord

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

Bm7addb6 Chord

How to do it?

1. Put you pointing finger on the 2nd fret of the 5th string. Make sure that you are not muting the 4th string.
2. Put your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 3rd string.
3. Put you ring finger on the 3rd fret of the 2nd string.
4. Put your pinky finger on the 3rd fret of the 1st string.

This is really different from the barre chord Bm. By doing this, we have avoided the barre chord and made it much easier to play. It may not sound to your liking but when played in a song, it will sound nicely and will fit just right in the mix. I have always doubted this chord when I’m playing but when I heard my own recording, it sounds good rather than the barre chord.

G/B Chord

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

G/B Chord

How to do it?

1. Do a normal G Major Chord.
2. Remove the middle finger and don’t strum it.

This is very similar to the above chord, the only difference is that your middle finger here is not fretting any note. I also use this chord especially when I came from the G Chord. Your ears will be the judge, either you use G/B or Bm7add6, it will be up to you.

Cadd9 Chord

A hand showing a different voicing of C major Chord played in an acoustic guitar

Cadd9 Chord

How to do it?

1. Do a normal G Chord.
2. Just bring down your pointing and middle finger one string below.
3. Remove now your pointing finger and make sure that your muting the 4th string by your middle finger.

I believe that you have seen this before. It may be the C you have first known. This voicing sounds better on G Major and it is an easy chord change from G. The removal of your pointing finger has the same reason on the 1st chord I shown you in this article, it is to reduce muddiness. Your Sound man will thank you for that.

Dsus4 Chord

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

Dsus4 Chord

How to do it?

1. Do a normal D Chord.
2. Put your pinky finger on the 3rd fret of the 1st string.

This chord sounds unresolved that’s why the “sus” which means suspended. I often do this especially when I will spend a lot of time in the D Chord but resolve to a normal D Chord after. It just add another flavor rather than playing a D Chord for a long time.

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 pointing 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.

This is actually a normal Em in which you just added two notes on the 1st and 2nd string. The notes you have added is a D note on the 2nd string, and G note on the 1st string. I really don’t like the sound of a normal Em because it’s too dark for me, so by adding these two notes, there will be a slight darkness only which is good for my ears in the context of the key of G.

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.

This might be new to you because we are using our thumb in this chord. I am not inventing this chord because I’ve done this chord in a lot of songs. This is also a good passing chord when you are going from G to Em. Try adding the D/F# Chord when you have seen this two chords in succession.

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. G – D/F# – Em – C

2. Am – D – G – Em

3. C – D – Bm – Em – Am – D – G

4. G/B – C – D – Em

5. G – G/B – Am – C

Conclusion

There are still a lot of chord voicing out there. Some of these chords, I just accidentally discovered. By just adding a note or removing sound, you can discover new flavor of music that can be useful to your playing.

These chords are sure to sound better than the basic chords so I hope that you’ll use this in your playing and make some really good music. There are still other scales so stay tuned because I am going to write an article for other scales too.

If you have learned something, please do leave a comment. I love to know if you also have other chord voicings that I still do not know.

>>Check the C Major Scale Chords<<

2 comments on “Colorful Chords for G Major Scale in Guitar

  1. akshaysaxena

    Awesome post, Vincent. You have defined the subject in a very comprehensive and easy to understand way. I wish I had read this 3 years back while I was learning to play guitar.

    But I’m glad that I found it now. I can see that you have also written a post on the C-major scale. I’m very much looking forward to practicing it. Thanks a lot for sharing this useful information. Keep up the good work.

    Best Wishes

    Reply

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