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Bluegrass Guitar Lessons: The "A" Chord Shape

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[MUSIC]
The last
shape we're going to look at here is the A
shape.
We're going to stay in the key of G, and
again, just a quick review,
it's the A shape because of how it relates
to its basic open position chord form.
[MUSIC]
In a, in a very simple three, you know,
three string position here.
F, A, and D.
[MUSIC]
So we're gonna move this to the key of G.
And so we're gonna continue to climbing up
the fingerboard.
[MUSIC]
Okay, there's that G there.
[MUSIC]
So,
that the big chord that's unlocked with
this position here if we,
if you right remember this the big closed
G bar chord.
What relates to that is the C.
[MUSIC]
There's a one, four,
five, in, in G, using those, those bar
chords.
[MUSIC]
So we're gonna move that up to G.
[MUSIC]
And that's-
[MUSIC]
That's where all those notes come from,
in as far as the shape is concerned.
[MUSIC]
And so the way that, translates now,
we've got two scale shapes.
Just as, we've looked at each one of these
shapes, as a bigger chord form and
unlocked two scale forms that allowed for
note choice and just acquisition of notes
on the fingerboard.
And so we're gonna look at the same thing
with this shape,
we've got this it's the closed position C
shape from the from the intermediate.
[MUSIC]
So
take your
C shape.
[MUSIC]
Okay.
And those exercises there in the
intermediate section will just kinda
get your fingers in that position as well.
The other scale shape that this kinda
unlocks.
[MUSIC]
Because we're kinda looking at anchor
notes again.
Well, we can use as a, as a connector
shape,
is basically the same shape from the D
shape we're gonna borrow.
[MUSIC]
As we, for
the key of G, we're gonna borrow.
[MUSIC]
Borrow that.
[MUSIC]
Because it gets our hands.
[MUSIC]
You know,
there's the way we're unlocking things
with these, with these shapes or
again getting our hands in, in a, in a
useful position.
And so, we're looking at all the
possibilities sort of above and below,
some of these anchor notes.
[MUSIC]
And here and this shape here it's
that we're gonna work out this low G, to
kind of work this way and this way.
You wanna kinda, you wanna feel like you
have options, when you improvise.
You wanna feel like that you're not just
locked into one specific scale,
one specific you know, little note pattern
kind of a thing.
You wanna, you wanna always feel like that
you, you're building a vocabulary of,
of being able to phrase, building a, a
vocabulary of, of kind of, note awareness.
Based on, you know, options and not, you
know, just keeping it in one spot.
So we're gonna at least, least look at two
and then how they connect.
So
[MUSIC]
That's what that.
[MUSIC]
We're gonna borrow that shape.
[MUSIC]
All right?
So there's all out of G.
[MUSIC]
Kind of unlocked.
I mean it's I don't mean to over, over
simplify this, but this is,
this is the way that I've used the, you
know, the fingerboard for a long time and,
and, a danger here is to make your soloing
sound too scale based.
But again the, the, the point to stress
here, is that these are these
shapes exist as keys to unlock not just
positions on the finger board, but
unlock your potential for being able to
choose what to play.
And not having to think so much about you
know, what is this, you know,
there is a lot of mode thinking that we
could get into, a lot of specific,
you know, heavy, heavy, heavier theory.
I think this is a good way, it has worked
for me,
as far as being able to have launching
pads, if you will of, of you know,
now it's just up to me just to think about
the kind of music I want to make.
It's up to me to think about the note
choice you know,
again, you sorta look at, what's
available, you know, for
bluegrass specifically is what we're
talkin' about here.
And you know, you want the bluesy side,
you know.
[MUSIC]
So a lot of the G minor stuff will work.
[MUSIC]
In that regard this is, this is a real
useful shape that this A shape, is really
useful when you put it in the key of E.
[MUSIC]
Because E-Minor relates-
[MUSIC]
-to G.
[MUSIC]
When you, when you think about,
blues based stuff
[MUSIC]
You can hear how that-
[MUSIC]
-using that basic thing which, you know,
employs that D shape and the, and the A
shape.
[MUSIC]
You, you see that a lot in Blues,
in Blues playing, that, that particular,
that kind of form right there.
[MUSIC]
And
now E can kind of again translate or work
itself back down the, to the open-
[MUSIC]
open stuff.
It's one of the powerful things about
learning to connect and
that's where a lot of the practice will
come from of,
becoming familiar with the shape, what
they unlock.
We've got you know, three shapes.
Each shape unlocks one big chord shape and
from that you have two scale shapes and
then just become familiar with them, it is
the matter of practice.
Committing to a lot of what we have talked
about to this point, of committing to big,
strong notes, the more you do that, the
more the more your hands will become
familiar with these positions, and again
like I mentioned a little earlier,
it is about having options, it is about
knowing that.
You know, if I feel like soloing here for
a while-
[MUSIC]
that's great, or
[MUSIC]
wanna go up there, that's fine,
[MUSIC]
you know, I feel, I feel,
I feel the options.
I feel like I am comfortable with those
positions and because you know,
we're limiting what we're doing to
bluegrass,
we're not gonna have to do this out of
A-flat.
You know, you can, you can use these open
strings, and you can use the whole finger
board you can use basically, you know,
this is all out of one key.
So the goal, then, is to, you know, become
familiar with all that in the key of G.
You can see in the intermediate section
how these shapes kinda work.
[MUSIC]
If that's
[MUSIC] the G shape- [MUSIC]
the C-
[MUSIC]
would be that A shape right there.
[MUSIC]
There's your D, and the D shape
[MUSIC]
So now you're not using any open strings,
and you've got you know, so many three
chord songs in bluegrass.
[MUSIC]
So there's there is there's things that we
can practice, and
what we gonna we have got here on the site
is a monthly improv study.
And I'm gonna use all these techniques,
all this theory of these three shapes to
build solos, and we'll so we'll constantly
kinda keep covering these things, and
I'll give you things to work on, and in
turn you can kinda give me your versions
of em we'll have songs every new songs
every few months to, to dive into and,
and, and three different solos every three
months.
Using, using this concept here, and, and
all the other things that we've talked
about on the site up till now.
This is really a really great, like and we
mentioned like this launching pad of using
everything that's in the site to really
start making your own music and, and
finding finding what you need to work on
working on it and applying it and
so again I can't wait to see how you guys.
Take this stuff and kinda run with it and
look forward to some great video
submissions.
So good luck with all that thanks.
[MUSIC]