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Rock Guitar Lessons: E Major Chord

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One, two, three, four.
Hello, everybody.
It is time to learn the greatest chord in
all of rock guitar chord vocabulary.
It is the E major chord and you may be
wondering why I'm playing it upside down.
The reason is, I figure if I can play it
upside down.
That makes me feel like the first day that
I played guitar,
my hands don't know what to do.
It's really uncomfortable and I wanna make
sure that I show you something
that you can do right away and I know you
can do this E chord because
you're gonna be playing right handed and
I'm gonna go back to playing right handed.
And the thing that I noticed from playing
left handed is ouch,
I don't have calluses on this finger
because I'm not used to playing that way.
So, that's one of the things, one thing I
want to introduce you to is the idea that
you've got to build up some calluses and
I've done a scientific experiment on
my own hand to see how long it takes and
it takes six weeks.
So start counting, play a little bit
You don't want blood, you don't want too
much pain.
Just a little bit and you'll build nice
And six weeks, you'll have pro-level, you
know, ready to tour stadium calluses.
All right.
with that out of the way, let's play this
E major chord.
There's gonna be a diagram you can look
and it will show you right where to put
your fingers.
Now you have to decide which fingers go
where, so
since this is your first chord I'm gonna
show you in, in some detail.
We're gonna use our first finger, [SOUND]
on that note, third finger,
[SOUND] and second finger.
[SOUND] And then you can strum down,
[SOUND] and get a glorious E chord.
Another thing that I love about chords and
this one in particular,
is every note is a good note.
They all sound good, they all sound good
together, [SOUND] when you play them.
So, you, you don't have to be careful.
You can play the high strings.
[SOUND] You can play the low strings.
[SOUND] You can play all the strings.
[SOUND] You can play one string.
[SOUND] You know, no matter what you do
with your right hand, you,
you can just sort of bash away and, and
everything is good.
[SOUND] It's just a nice sound.
All right.
So, the next thing that I want to do, now
that we have our chord,
[SOUND] is I wanna install a rhythm inside
of it.
I already kind of tried to play it left
handed, but
let me do a right handed version and get
it in your ear.
So it sounds like this.
One, two, three, four.
All right that's it.
So I think already just by ear you can
tell the sound of those accents,
but I want to explain a couple details
about it.
First of all, we're starting on one.
And what does that mean?
Of course, you know, I'm counting to four.
One, two, three, four.
And if I keep doing that and, and loop the
four count, I end up on one again.
One, two, three, four, one.
And this, you know, you'll hear musicians
talk about that all the time, like,
where's one or, you know, it starts on
That just means one, two, three, four,
[SOUND] right there.
That's where one is.
That's a really good thing to know.
Now the next accent,
[SOUND] is on the and of two.
And this is, this is musical language that
tells you where accents are located and
it's really easy and it's really useful,
so I'm gonna show it to you.
If you count to four, one, two, three,
Those are all downbeats, that's the name
of one, two, three, four.
If you put notes in between, the,
the standard musical terminology for that
is an and, the word and.
So you count one and two and three and
four and and
if you want to say this beat one and two
and one and two and,
[SOUND] then I would just say I'm playing
a chord on one.
And I'm playing a chord on the and of two.
One and two and.
One and two and.
One and two and.
That's where the exits are.
So now, you can tell your drummer, if you,
if you get in a band, I want the accent to
be on the and of two.
One and two and.
And he knows right, what you're talking
So, one, two, three, four.
in a lot of cases those and's, which are
also called syncopation,
I'll plant that big word in your head are
played with an upstroke,
that works well if you have a strumming
motion going on.
So, I'm gonna do the downbeat, the one,
[SOUND] with a down stroke, and
I'm gonna do the and of two,
the syncopation [SOUND] with an upstroke
so check this out.
One, two, three, four.
[SOUND] All right, that feels good.
Now the last thing, is I'm muting [SOUND]
that's ringing chord.
I don't want it to ring, I want to control
it and I want to stop it and
there's an easy way to do that which is to
take this part of your picking hand and
just gently, [SOUND] rest it on the
strings and those strings stop ringing.
[SOUND] What a good technique that is.
[SOUND] You've got control, [SOUND] of the
All right.
You can even, [SOUND] you can even hit it
kinda hard, it makes a little thump, but
that's okay, it's a rhythmic thump.
All right.
Let's try it again with the stop.
One, two, three, four.
another thing, I like tapping my foot.
I think it really sounds good and it just,
let's you know where all the rhythmic
actions are if you keep that going.
And if you do that, if you want to get
into tapping your foot,
I recommend the left foot, this one.
And that's because if you do the right
one, your guitar is gonna bounce up and
down while you're playing and
then it's hard to control it because it's
like a bucking bronco.
So if you do the left foot, your guitar
can just stay right there if
you're sitting down and if you're standing
up it's good too.
It still gives you, you know, nice control
of the guitar.
So let's try that if you can.
One, two, three, four.
All right, that feels good.
Again, it's gonna take you about six weeks
to get those callouses.
But in the meantime, just play a little
bit every day, enjoy that E chord,
every note is good and keep that foot
going if you can, so you stay in time.
One, two, three, four.