In this lesson, we'll be taking a look at the Eb Major chord, which consists of three notes: "Eb," "G," and "Bb." It's not what you'd consider the most popular of chords, and, depending on what genre you're into, you might run into it only occasionally.
Jazz players are a bit more likely to encounter Eb Major, but even if you mostly stick to rock, blues, and pop, you'll want to have this chord (and its many voicings) at your disposal, so you aren't caught unawares. Like most other chords, there are a few easy ways to go about Eb, and a few challenging ones as well, so let's get into it.
Unlike some other chords, which have a plethora of open position variations you can learn, there's only one go-to that most guitarists make use of for Eb in open position, and it'll require a bit of a stretch:
Avoiding the 5th and 6th string for this voicing shouldn't be too difficult. Keeping your 1st, 2nd and 3rd fingers in place while you reach up the fretboard with your 4th finger might post a greater challenge, however! Try to do some hand exercises and pinky drills to build your dexterity if you're having issues.
Now, while the voicing above might be the only open position variant you'll be using, it's not the only voicing period. It might not even be the most popular, as many guitarists prefer to play Eb as a barre chord. You've got two options if you choose to go that route, with the first being on the 7th fret:
You might notice this as the "A-shape" barre chord, a prominent option for Major chord voicings using 5 strings. You can also use the 6-string, "E-shape" barre chord for Eb, up at the 11th fret:
Those barre chords shouldn't pose much of an issue if you've already mastered how to play them (if you haven't, be sure to refresh your memory on how it's done and get to practicing).
With the basic versions of Eb Major out of the way, though, how about we move on to some more complex voicings?
The first we'll explore you can find at the 3rd fret:
Not only will you be reaching up the fretboard to play this chord, but you'll also be reaching across it -- hope you've been stretching and building your finger strength!
If you find the previous voicing too straightforward, however, and want to add some trickier muting patterns into the equation, you can try these two voicings, on the 4th and 5th frets, respectively:
If you're looking for a tight, compact version of Eb Major to play that avoids using your highest and lowest string, you can find that on the 6th fret:
Last, but not least, the mother of all stretches (as far as Eb is concerned), which you can attempt on the 8th fret:
This is a tricky one, so don't get discouraged if you can't nail it right away.
Eb Major has even more voicings you can learn, so we encourage you to keep exploring and adding as many to your repertoire as possible. With each new variant you bring to your arsenal, your dedication to learning them right will make the difference between sounding average and playing your chords like a pro. As always, good luck, and happy practicing!
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