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Chord Shape Improvisation, Part 2

Josh Graves (2401) · [archive]
Style: Theory/Reference · Level: Intermediate · Tempo: 140
Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6

"E Shape"
This is the standard movable barre chord with its root note based on the sixth string. In the CAGED system it is called the "E" Shape, and in this example it is an "A" chord. Most guitarists are familiar with this chord, and it could be called the "bread and butter" of basic movable guitar chords. I choose the fifth position so there will be notes available above and below the barre that defines the position of the chord shape.

This is a scale pattern that can be superimposed over the chord shape, with some ideas for passing tones. Passing tones are notes used between the chord tones to provide movement and color. The main purpose for this pattern is to help you visualize the effective passing tones and experiment with your ear to create nice melodic lines.

The key here is to get used to outlining the individual notes of the chord, to find interesting passing tones, and also to use creative hammer-on and pull-off ideas for speed and fluidity. Below I have an example of using the chord shape method to create interesting melodic ideas.
Chord Shape Improvisation, Part 2