3-String Sliding Guitar Chords

Sometimes, when you have a couple of guitar players playing chords, you want to find a different way of making the sound.
(or maybe you're just bored with your own method of playing...)

You try open chords or barre chords and various inversions, but you may find it is more satisfying to play less! That is, to accent only the basic three basic notes in major, minor, suspended, diminished and augmented chords.

To make that easy, I have decided to use only the 2nd (B), 3rd (G) and 4th (D) strings in my quest, leaving the others silent.

You may pluck them or finger-pick them or use any other method at your disposal as long as you don't hit the unused strings. To me they give a nice crisp accent to the chords without too much fill. Try them, if you like, and see what you think.

As a bonus, they generally require a lot less finger movement than other types of chords and there are fewer shapes to learn.

Once you have the root note for the shape, just slide the chord up or down the neck to get the named chord that you desire.
These can make a beginner sound much more advanced to his friends.
To my knowledge, these are the only 3-note chords.

Anyway, I like to fake it, so here are the shapes with a quick explanation:
The numbers in the red circles represent the root (1); the third (3) and the fifth (5) notes of the chord's scale.
(*** The root (1) note gives the name to the chord. ***)

A major chord is composed of  the root, third and fifth.

A minor chord is the root, flatted (half-step) third and fifth.

A (sus4) suspended fourth has a (half-step) raised third.

 A (sus2) suspended second has a (full-step) lowered third.

An (aug or +) augmented chord has its fifth raised (half-step)

and a (dim) dimisihed chord has both its third and fifth flatted (half-step).

(click on the examples below to enlarge to full screen)

c_major     c_dim     c_sus4
F_major    F_dim     F_sus4

G_major     G_dim     G_sus4


Copyright 2014 by Brian R. Baer