Hello, everyone!
I'm posting this up in the hopes that I may glean some techniques on playing in certain keys a little better.

My favorite keys to play in are (in standard tuning) G, A (kind of, but not a whole lot), D, and E. I can sort of play in C a little bit, but I never really warmed up much to the sound of the conventional C major chord, though I do like playing the Fadd9, Gsus, Am7, and Badd9 a lot. It always seems kind of forced to me. I can play bar chords pretty well, but I've never liked them quite so much for playing in some of the keys like B and F. Of course, I normally would just use a capo to play these keys and also for any sharp or flat keys.

Does anyone have any tips on playing in some of these other keys? And what are your favorites? Does anyone use any of the "unconventional chords" to play in some of these other keys?
Share, share, share!!!!! (and if applicable, include diagrams for some of the chords you've come up with if you feel led)

God bless!

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Replies to This Discussion

I'll go first. That way the bar will be set real low for whoever goes second.

I play in D, A, G, E, C and F and the corresponding minor keys. I prefer them in the order you see. For 'F' I sometimes capo up from E or D, depending on the circumstances.

I hate Barr chords. I can sort of almost do them, but don't develop the talent because I need my A game every Sunday. Capo use? I carry two in my case, and use them almost weekly.

I like using the D chord and A chord a lot because it's so easy to switch in and out of the various sub chords (D2, Dsus4, Dmaj6, ...) and (A2, A7, Asus4, Asus7, ...) and you can make a real simple chord progression sound like you are really doing something amazing.
For playing in C and F, do you pretty much use the traditional chord voicings there? I kind of sparked my interest to see that F is one of your favorites (though it is at the end of your list, as you said). You say you don't like bar chords, though. How do you normally play in F then?
No doubt, with all the cool chords out there, my favorite key is still G. I love to use a G with an added D, Dsus, C2 and Em7 all with the D and G common tones on the E and B strings.
Yes! I'm addicted to that trick! You know you can do the same type of thing in E with leaving the B and E strings open? Take your A2 chord slide it up two frets and slap your index finger on the A string second fret to make the incomplete barre chord (leaving the top two strings open), and you have a Bsus. Slide it up two more frets, and you have a C#m7. Slide it up one more and you have a Dadd9 (if you like that country flare). Two frets down from there gives you the Cmajor7, and on the 7th fret, you have another E5 voicing! E is my favorite key because you have so many chord options due to having so many of the open strings already fitting into your key. I'd show more, but I'd be rambling too much, and I'm sure many people already know all these things.
Yeah, E & G are great for that open sound, and it is cool that the things that sound the best are the easiest! haha. I play around in E a lot. There are sooooo many fun things you can do with very little effort.
Yeah, I like G too. A little finger off and on here and there, without too much effort of stretching and straining. You can just relax into it and it sounds great : )
I seem to be playing in B a lot these days. (I know, not your typical guitar key) but many of the songs our band has been learning are in B. I like to capo on 4 and play in G formation. It just sounds fuller to me that way for some reason.

My favorites are D (I like to drop the low E string down to D for songs like Our God Saves and Be the Center) I also like E, standard formation and sometimes with a cut capo to get that nice, open sound.
Key of E with the cut capo is by far my favorite key to play in. The ability to easily do walk downs, add base notes and even inject leads over chords is amazing.
Wow, that sounds complicated, but sounds really exciting. Is it possible for you to explain in a little more detail for an amateur such as me.....what's a walk down?

Thanking you kindly. Lorraine
Lorraine - I did quick search on youtube to see if I could find an example for you. I did find quite a bt on the cut capo but no one using it like I described. If you are not familiar with the capo search on youtube for it so you can get the idea how it is used. Walk dows are just keeping the same base chord and walking down the bass line dow to transition to the next chord. I can record a quick video later to show you what I mean, and how I like to use it.
Thank you for explaining, much appreciated. I get what you mean, you have explained it very well. A quick video would be fabulous, but only if you get time, I don't want to you put yourself out on my behalf.

Thanks again. God Bless you and your ministry. Lorraine


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