For D Major, we will first play a linear version. We’ll use 3 fretted shapes on the same strings [3-2-1]. These are some sweet sounding chords.
We will use the D Form to play a the diatonic triads (on the 3-2-1 strings). This means that the Major chords will be fretted like a normal D chord, the minors, like a D minor, and the diminished may be a new fingering for you.
Get into Drop D
To get the most resonance out of this exercise, we will first drop our low E – the 6 string – to a D tone. D is 2 half steps down from E, so -2.
In contrast to playing in or around a position, we can use a chord form, in this case D, and move it up its string set. To keep the I ii iii IV V vi viio, we flat the 3rds for the minors, and flat the 3rd and 5th in the diminished chord.
Majors: like a regular D chord.
minors: like a regular D minor chord – with 3 or 4 finger on the 2 string.
diminished: like a regular D chord with the 3 finger [or 4] up one fret. Or, bar at 12 with the 1, 3 finger [or 4] on the 14 fret.
The roots are on string 2, the 3rds are on string 1 [the change for the minor – down one half step – b3], and the 5ths are on string 3 [lowered one half step for the diminished – b5, with the b3].
By dropping the low E to a D, we can let the string ring open. This is Drop D tuning [D-A-D-G-B-E]. If the 6 string stays at E, mute it out [I mute/control it in the in the video].
The open D and A strings change the technical names for some of the chords, but we aren’t overly concerned with this. We are simply working with some sweet sounds and naming them based on the fretted tones [strings 3-2-1].
Once we have the chords in our hands, we play the chord scale. Strum it. Ascend and descend. Always plan the next chord before moving. See it. Pre-feel it.
Next, a couple of cool sounding progressions.
If either of these work for one of your songs, use them. And, as always, make up your own. Write them down. Experiment.