Lick By Neck

GSCC Lesson 25

Past Lessons Summary and Links

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

Lesson 1– Chords: C, Am, Dm, G7
Lesson 2– Chords: Em , F
Lesson 3– Chords: G
– Basic Guitar Strumming – 4 beat strum
Lesson 4– Chords: C7, Fm, D, D7
– Up Down Strum
Lesson 5– Chords: E, E7, Gm7 ,Gm
– Strumming lightly on 1st few strings
Lesson 6– Chords: A, A7, G, G/B, Gm/Bb
– 16 beat strum
Lesson 7– Key of G Major
– Chords: Bm
– Campfire Strum
Lesson 8– CAPO; Other chords in G Major
– Chords: B7, B, Cm, Dm7, D/F#, Dm/F
– “Chuck” Strum
Lesson 9– Plucking
– Bass note of chords
– 8 Beat Pluck #1
Lesson 10– Chords: Bm7b5, F#m7b5
– Double String Pluck
– Plucking Pattern For 2 Chords Bar
Lesson 11– What is 4/4 time signature
– Intro to 3/4 time signature
– 3/4 strumming
– 3/4 plucking
– Alternate bass
Lesson 12– 6/8 time signature
– 6/8 strumming
– 6/8 plucking
– Alternate version of 6/8 plucking
Lesson 13– Create your own strumming / plucking pattern
– Searching for chord charts online
– Melody notes in key of C
– Playing 1st instrumental song on guitar!
– Melody notes in key of G
– “Happy Birthday” melody in key of G
Lesson 14– Slap rhythm
– Variation of slap rhythm
– “Happy Birthday” solo guitar
Lesson 15– Introduction to Chord Melody Guitar Playing (solo guitar playing)
– “Can’t Help Falling In Love” solo guitar
Lesson 16– Chord Melody Guitar of “月亮代表我的心”
– Issues in last 2 songs we learned
– Exploring beyond 1st 3 frets
– CAGED system
– Linking CAGED system to the notes
– Fixing octave issues of last 2 songs/ playing melody at correct octave
Lesson 17– Barring and moving minor and dominant 7th chords;
– Why are we learning barred chords?
– Faster ways to build chords
– “Let It Be” Solo Guitar
Lesson 18– Chords: Major 7th and Minor 7th
– Why 7th chords?
– Applying 7th chords to songs
– “What A Wonderful World” Solo Guitar
Lesson 19– Chord Melody Guitar GYM (intense workout)
– “Over The Rainbow” Solo Guitar in key of G
Lesson 20– Arrange chord melody guitar song in an optimal key/ put melody notes on 1st 2/3 strings
– “Over the rainbow” Solo Guitar in key of C
Lesson 21– How to create rhythmic flow for chord melody guitar arrangement
– The secret to chord melody guitar mastery
Lesson 22– Exam time!!!
Lesson 23– Revision before going to more advanced materials
Lesson 24-Chord Tones
-Chord Inversions
-Alternate Bass

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
Lesson 17“Let It Be” Solo Guitar Playing
Lesson 18“What A Wonderful World” Solo Guitar Playing
Lesson 19“Over The Rainbow” Solo Guitar Playing (Key Of G)
Lesson 20“Over The Rainbow” Solo Guitar Playing (Key Of C)
Lesson 24“Just The Way You Are(Billy Joel)” Solo Guitar Playing

We also learned how to put together and play chord melody guitar (solo guitar) song. Here are the main 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

Last week, we explored Chord Tones:

Chord Inversions;

And , Alternate Bass:

Lesson 24

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Further exploring other chords

In the past , we had look at the family chords and some of their sibling chords. Today , let’s explore some of the other common chord types.

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Diminished chords

This is a very unique kind of chords. It is built by stacking notes 3 semi-tones away (minor 3rd) above it

Here’s G diminished chord shape:

Because of it’s unique formula, the chord is repeated every 3 frets:

Remember the formula earlier on? The chord is built from stacking notes 3 semi-tones away.

Due to it’s symmetrical structure, we can called them as the inversions of G diminished chord, or name them as diminished chord of that lowest note :

Here’s another diminished chord shape with bass on 6th string:

G Diminished

Here’s 2 variation of diminished chord shape with bass on 5th strings:

Db Diminished
Db Diminished

And here’s 2 variation of diminished chord shapes with bass on 4th string:

G diminished
G diminished

Diminished chord repeat itself every 3 frets, thus we only have 3 diminished chords in the entire universe (kind of):

G dim = Bb dim = Db dim = E dimNotes Combination 1
Ab dim = B dim = D dim = FdimNotesCombination 2
A dim = C dim = Eb dim = F#dimNotes Combination 3

Here’s some chord progression example using diminished chords:

Example 1
Example 2

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Augmented chord

Augmented chord is taking a major chord, raising the 5th degree.

So, if we take C major chord 1,3,5 , which is C,E,G, we will have 1,3,#5, which is C,E,G#:

Augmented chord can also be written with a “+” symbol.

Here’s augmented chord with bass on 4th string:

Here’s 2 shape of augmented chords with bass on 6th string:

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“6” chord

If we take a major chord and add a “6th” to it, we have a 6 chord.

If we take C major, 1,3,5, which is C,E,G, and add a 6 which is A note, we have C,E,G,A.

Here’s the common C6 chord shape:

Here’s two 6 chord shapes with bass note on 6th string:

Let’s look at example of chord progression using both augmented and 6 chords.

Here’s excerpt from a very beautiful ballad which has this 2 chords in it:

Can you guess which song it is? 😉

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Chord degrees and extensions

We had looked at chord tones last week. We had learned for C major chord , we have C,E,G notes, which are the 1,3,5 degree of the chord. Let’s explore more.

We had learned that a chord is built by stacking the alternate note (from the scale) above it.

If we pick a chord, stack another alternate note above it (beyond the 5th), we get the 7th chord:

If we continue the number counting, we have this:

If we continue stacking the alternate notes using this new structure, we can create new chord types! But 8,10,12 are repeats chord tone from the lower octave, so we have to skip them:

with this , we have:

Chord degreesChord types
1,3,5Basic Triad (Major,Minor)
1,3,5,77th chord
1,3,5,7,99th chord
1,3,5,7,9,1111th chord
1,3,5,7,9,11,1313th chord

These are called the chord extension. They are used extensively on dominant chord, eg. G7,C7, D7 …

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Dominant chord extensions

Let’s look at the extension of dominant chords:

Here’s chords with bass on 6th string:

These extended chords produce lush sounding color and make an arrangement more interesting.

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Major chord extensions

Here’s some common major chord extensions:

C Major 9 (CM9)
G Major 9 (GM9)

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Minor chord extensions

Here’s some common minor chord extensions:

D minor 9 (Dm9)
D minor 11 (Dm11)
A minor 11 (Am11)
G minor 9 (Gm9)

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Altered chords

In jazz music, some of the chord degrees are being altered (sharped or flated) to create some exotic jazz flavoured. The degrees frequently being altered are 5th and 9th,

Here’s the altered 9th chord shapes:

Altered 9th chords

Here’s altered 5th chord shapes:

Altered 5th chords

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Add 9 chord

Sometimes we wanna add the 9th note but we don’t want the extension kinda feel, so we just add a 9th note to the major or minor chord. We called this kind of chord “add9” chord.

Here are a few “add9” chord shapes:

C add9
C add9
G add9
F add9
D add9
Gm add9

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Suspended chord

If we omit the 3rd of the chord and replace it with 4th degree, we get a suspended chord. This kind of chord create some kind of “opened” sound. Try it out!

Here’s are a few sus chord shapes:


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Practice makes PERFECT! Let’s try to arrange and play another Chord Melody Song!!

Remember, couple of lessons ago, I disclosed the secret to Chord Melody Guitar mastery – that is to make your own chord melody guitar arrangement, as much as possible.

So, let’s try another classic song : “安静” by Jay Chow

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

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Step 1: Play the melody

Let’s learn to play chord melody guitar of the song “安静” in the key of ? Major.

First, find out what key is the optimal one for this song.

Try ……..

A better will be C major:


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Step 2: Find out the chords

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

Verse 1

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Step 3: Combine The Melody And The Chords

Let’s combine the melody and the chords.

As we mentioned before, the trick is to play the chords “below” the melody notes. The melody note will be the higher notes of the “chord”. This means we are gonna play part of the chords, below the melody.

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

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