G Em C D in 5 Positions
This is a session sharing a series of voicings for a progression. It is also a challenge for students…an assignment. Even after decades of playing, I still find a new way to voice these same chords. And, there have been many occasions where students bring back new voicings which I have never fretted. They met the challenge!
So, our core challenge: voice G-Em-C-D in P1, P3, P5, P7, P10. We are talking general position zones and chords don’t have to absolutely fall into these positions exactly. So, to start, use any voicings that you know [bar chords are fine], and play the progression in all 5 positions. Can you do this?
Following the challenge, check out my choices. My 3 criteria → 1. no barring 2. open strings in the mix 3. pick-able (anything can be), yet also strum-able.
A next level challenge would be to play all 5 positions in a row; making it as musical as possible (as I’ve attempted in the video – to make an exercise musical). Or, play any tune with these chords and re-voice them from what you usually play.
The voicings shown in the videos, follow.
Another P1 example – more commonly used chords – are included below.
The chord form that these chords can be viewed to be based on, are below each chord. Some of them aren’t just triads, but we won’t identify them as anything but their triadic name.
Modify voicings to fit your hands. And, neighboring tones can add color.
As you know, the same chord can be played in numerous ways up and down the fretboard. We have options for how we map and expand known chords. A blend of all of them is the best medicine [learning systems, no maps, learn songs, CAGED, linear versions, chord scales].
Choices for voicings are dictated by the style & techniques that are happening in the moment. Also, just a reminder that a chord symbol is a scale symbol as well. When a chord is extended completely – R-3-5-7-9-11-13 – these are all of the tones of some type of scale, arranged in 3rds.