On the guitar, the E Major chord (E, G#, B) might be one of the most recognizable their is, a staple of every guitarists' repertoire, and one of the first that most learn to play. Today, we'll be covering that classic E Major voicing that everyone likes to fall back on, but we'll also be showing you a few additional ways to play the chord that deviate from the norms -- in open position and up the fretboard. Here's what you'll need to know.
E Major is the kind of chord that gives you plenty of options in terms of different voicings, but we'll start slow, with the basics. This is the most popular version of E Major around, the very first chord that most guitarists learn:
This is an easy voicing to learn, and no matter your skill level, you should be able to play this version of E Major without too much difficulty. Just remember to push down hard on the strings, and keep your fretting hand from accidentally muting any of the strings that are supposed to be open.
Now, while we're still in open position, there are two additional voicings you might want to try on for size. Both use only 4 strings, but will also require you to make some substantial stretches across the strings to execute. Make sure you've been working on your finger control before giving them a shot:
Naturally, you'll want to know your barre chord voicings for E Major. You can find these on the 7th fret (A-shape) and 12th fret (E-shape) when you're ready to give them a shot.
Standard barre chord technique rules apply, so if you've taken the lessons of how to play these kinds of chords to heart, you should conquer these voicings with ease:
There's also a sort of "half-barre" version of E Major you can play at the 4th fret, if you're looking for an easy-to-remember voicing that's just a bit outside of open position. Be forewarned, though, you'll have to make a might stretch with your fretting hand while holding your 1st finger in place:
Lastly, if you want to try what might be one of the coolest versions of E Major out there, you can try the seldom-seen G-shape barre on the 9th fret:
And with that, you should have enough voicings of E Major to carry you through just about any song you want to play.
These E Major voicings shouldn't be too difficult to learn, even the trickier ones we covered. Once you've got them under your belt, be sure to start learning even more ways to play E Major (there are plenty out there). As always, good luck, and happy practicing!
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