Lick By Neck

GSCC Lesson 17

Past Lessons Summary and Links

If you are new to this series, here’s the links to past lessons:

Lesson 1

Lesson 2

Lesson 3

Lesson 4

Lesson 5

Lesson 6

Lesson 7

Lesson 8

Lesson 9

Lesson 10

Lesson 11

Lesson 12

Lesson 13

Lesson 14

Lesson 15

Lesson 16

We had covered all the family chords and their siblings in key of C and G Major:

Key of C Major
Key of G Major

Key of C major and G major are common keys used by guitarist to play sing-along guitar.

We also looked at the guitarist best friend – CAPO , and it’s application.


When we use the CAPO in conjunction with chords from C and G keys above , we are able to play almost every pop songs we wanted to play.

We have also looked at some basic strumming patterns:

1One strum per beat
2Up-stroke strumming
3Strumming lightly on first few strings
416 beat strum
5Campfire Strum
6“Chuck” Strum
73/4 Strum
86/8 Strum

And we had explored some basic pluckings.

18 beat pluck #1
2Double string pluck
33/4 Pluck
4“Alternate Bass” Pluck
56/8 Pluck
6Slap Rhythm

And of course, we had fun learning all these songs !! They are specially produced “Karaoke for Guitar” videos (only vocal and metronome count) for you to practice your strumming / plucking:

Lesson 1Song #1 (English: Because I Love You) Lesson 1
Lesson 1Song #2 (Chinese/Cantonese: 喜欢你) Lesson 1
Lesson 2Song #1 (English: Happy Birthday)
Lesson 2Song #2 (Chinese: 月亮代表我的心)
Lesson 3Song #1 (English: Let It Be – Beatles)
Lesson 3Song #2 (English: Perfect – Ed Sheeran)
Lesson 3Song #3 (Cantonese: 海闊天空)
Lesson 4Song #1 (English: Deperado – Eagles)
Lesson 4Song #2 (Chinese: “最长的电影” – 周杰伦)
Lesson 5Song #1 (English:”Creep” – Radiohead)
Lesson 5Song #2 (Chinese: “你要的愛”)
Lesson 5Song #3 (English: “Last Christmas” – Wham)
Lesson 6Song #1 (English: “Reality”)
Lesson 6Song #2 (Chinese: “刻在我心底的名字”)
Lesson 6Song #3 (English: “Auld Lang Syne”)
Lesson 7Song #1 (English: “Country Roads”)
Lesson 7Song #2 (English: “Time of Your Life”)
Lesson 7Song #3 (Cantonese: “朋友”)
Lesson 8Song #1 (English: “Sweet Child O’ Mine”)
Lesson 8Song #2 (English: “I’m Yours”)
Lesson 8Song #3 (Chinese: “简单爱”)
Lesson 9Song #1 (English: “Hey Jude”)
Lesson 9Song #2 (Chinese: “小幸运”)
Lesson 10Song #1 (English: “Sway”)
Lesson 10Song #2 (Chinese: “可可托海的牧羊人”)
Lesson 11Song #1 (English: “Edelweiss”)
Lesson 11Song #2 (English: “Que Sera Sera”)
Lesson 12Song #1 (English: “What A Wonderful World”)
Lesson 12Song #2 (Chinese: “新不了情”)
Lesson 13“Happy Birthday” melody on guitar in key of C and G Major
Lesson 14“Happy Birthday” Solo Guitar Playing
Lesson 15“Can’t Help Falling In Love” Solo Guitar Playing
Lesson 16“月亮代表我的心” Solo Guitar Playing

Last week, we looked at one of the most important concept in guitar playing, “CAGED” system.

It is a system based on “C” chord, “A” chord, “G” chord, “E” chord and “D” chord, thus C-A-G-E-D 😉


And how to link CAGED system to notes:

We also used what we learned to solve the wrong octave issues of the previous 2 songs.

Click here to ask a question …

How about minor and 7 chords? Can you move them across guitar fretboard as well?

Last week we looked at the “CAGED” system , which we can move all the major chords across the fretboard to “create” new chords.

Can we do the same things to other chords we learned so far?

YES!!! In fact , we can move any chords. As long as we can barred the chords (use index finger to function as a capo), we can move them! Thus, they are called barred chords.

Barring Minor Chords

Let’s start by looking at Am chord:

Original Am chord

Let’s use our index finger as “capo” abd barred the chord, move it up one fret:

Bbm chord

Up another fret:

Bm chord


Cm chord

We can keep doing it up the fretboard and create more chords.

Notice that, this chord shape is the variation of the A chord shape, so they are referred as “A” shape.

Next , let’s try another important minor chord shape we already know, Em:

Originla Em chord

This is similar to the “E” shape chord we seen last week.

Let’s use our index finger to bar it and move up one fret:

Fm chord

We got a Fm chord.

Let’s move up one more fret:

F#m chord

And , another:

Gm chord

There’s another minor chord shape we had learned, Dm:

Dm original chord shape

This is the variation of “D” shape chord.

Let’s do the same thing, barred it and move up one fret:

Ebm chord

Let’s move up another fret:

Em chord

And another:

Fm chord

So, we had looked at the 3 different minor chord shapes we know and barring them across the neck.

Click here to ask a question …

Barring 7 chords (dominant 7 chords)

Let’s look at the three 7 chords we know and bare them across the fretboard.

First, E7:

Original E7 chord

Again, this is the variation of the “E” shape chord.

Let’s bare it and move it up the neck:

F7 chord

Move it up another fret:

F#7 chord

And another:

G7 chord

Let’s examine another 7 chord we know, A7:

Original A7 chord

Do the same thing:

Bb7 chord
B7 chord
C7 chord

Finally, the last 7 chord, D7:

Original D7 chord

Do the same thing, bared and move across the fretboard:

Eb7 chord
E7 chord
F7 chord

So, that was barring the 7 chords we know.

Click here to ask a question …

Why are we learning those barred chords?

1. If we encountered a chord we never learned before, we can work out the chord ourselves.

Say, C#m:

First, we play a Am chord

Then we calculate the steps and move the Am shape to C#m

2.If we play in a difficult keys, we know how to play those chords

In key of Eb – Eb Cm Ab Bb7

3.For Chord Melody Guitar playing, we can find the chord which is closest to the melody

Let’s say the melody note is A

The chord is Dm

That is too far

We can use this Dm! Problem solved!

Another example. If the melody is C

The chord is F

That again is too far.

We can use this instead

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Is there a faster way to build the chords?

Until now, we build the chord by shifting the chords fret by fret.

Is there a faster way to do it?

Here’s a faster way:

  1. Find the bass note of the chord
  2. Locate it on the fretboard
  3. Build the chord on top of it

Let’s say we are gonna figure out how to play a Eb major

Here’s the Eb note:

Eb note on fretboard

Use that as the bass note of the chord. We know that bass note is the lowest note of a chord. So we can build a chord on top of this bass note.

Let’s put a “C” shape chord (from the “CAGED” system we learned before) on top of this bass note:

“C” shape chord build on Eb bass note = Eb major chord

Yeah! We got a Eb major chord just like that!!

We can also use the “A” shape from the “CAGED” system:

“A” shape chord build on Eb bass note = Eb major chord

You can decide which version you wanna play based on the situation.

Let’s try another example, say Bb chord.

First, locate Bb note

Bb note

Then again, we use that note as the bass note of the chord, and build chord on top of it.

Let’s put a “G” shape chord on top of it:

“G” shape chord build on Bb bass note = Bb major chord

Let’s use another shape, “E” shape:

“E” shape chord build on Bb bass note = Bb major chord

Click here to ask a question …

Yeah cool! But we still need to count the bass note fret by fret.. FRET NOT (pun not intended)

From the above example, we still need to count the bass note fret by fret.

Here’s another tips. We can establish a few landmark on the fretboard.

Here’s the notes on the 1st position we already know

Notes on 1st position

And we know that at one octave higher, the notes name repeat itself, but one octave higher. In guitar case, 12 frets above

Notes are the same but one octave higher at 12 frets

If we need to find the D note, we have 2 options now:

2 options to calculate D note

For this case, we can see the calculating from the high E note is the faster way to get the “D” note.

Thus, the more landmark we can memorize the better . Of course, if you can memorize all notes on the fretboard will be the best, but that will be a nightmare for now.

If you wish to go a bit further, here’s a few more suggested landmark you can memorize:

5th fret – A and D
8th fret – C and F

Here’s the visualization on 5th and 6th strings. Most bass notes are from this 2 strings.

Landmark notes on 5th and 6th strings

Let’s take a look at the example of locating notes on 5th strings with this new landmark method:

Let’s locate Eb note on 5th string

Locating Eb note on 5th string

And G note on 5th string

Locating G note on 5th string

Click here to ask a question …

Let’s try to play another song on Chord Melody Guitar

Let’s try it on a classic Beatles’ song : “Let It Be”

Again, we will go through the following steps:

Step 1: Play the melody

Step 2: Find out the chords

Step 3: Combine the melody and the chords

Step 4: Add in the accompaniment

Click here to ask a question …

Step 1: Play the melody

Let’s learn to play chord melody guitar of the song “Let It Be”.

First, learn and play the melody:

Verse 1
Verse 2

Click here to ask a question …

Step 2: Find out the chords

You can either get them online or use your ears!!

Verse 1
Verse 2

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Step 3: Combine The Melody And The Chords

Let’s combine the melody and the chords.

As we mentioned in last week lesson, the trick is to play the chords “below” the melody notes. This means we are gonna play part of the chords.

Verse 1 (The melody is in RED)
Verse 2 (The melody is in RED)
Chorus (The melody is in RED)

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Step 4: Add In The Accompaniment

Yeah! We have the melody and the chords!!

Let’s make it more complete by filling in the gap between the melody.

We can fill in the gap by playing the plucking accompaniment just like we are accompanying someone to sing:

Verse 1 (The blue box is the accompaniment)
Verse 2 (The blue box is the accompaniment)
Chorus(The blue box is the accompaniment)

Click here to ask a question …