View post (Confusion about the B Major and B Minor Chords)

View thread

ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 8,346
ChristopherSchlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor
Joined: 08/09/05
Posts: 8,346
02/28/2022 12:35 pm
Originally Posted by: rmowens1977

Which is the right B major and minor chords? Please let me know. Thanks.

They are both right. They are simply different ways of voicing the chords.

There are many ways to play any given chord. All major and minor chords are formed by playing some combination of the 1st, 3rd & 5th scale degrees of their parent scale. Any place on the guitar you can find to play those 3 notes together is right

Which voicing is used or taught depends on the musical context or purpose. For example, a B major chord is formed by playing these notes any place you can find them on a musical instrument.

B (1st or root of B major scale)

D-sharp (major 3rd of B major scale)

F-sharp (5th of B major scale)

So you can play a B major chord like this:

|-----------------------|[br]|--4--(D#)------------|[br]|--4--(B)--------------|[br]|--4--(F#)------------|[br]|-----------------------|[br]|-----------------------|

Some beginner versions of open chords add the F# on the high E string in order to let the student strum strings from the D string all the way across without having to avoid strumming that high E. Just isolating 3 inner strings can be a tricky challenge for beginners. And using that high E also gives the chord voicing a little more high end sparkle with that F# on top!

|--2--(F#)------------|[br]|--4--(D#)------------|[br]|--4--(B)--------------|[br]|--4--(F#)------------|[br]|-----------------------|[br]|-----------------------|

However some teachers use the low B, because it's closer to the barre chord version students will eventually learn.

|-----------------------|

|--4--(D#)------------|[br]|--4--(B)--------------|[br]|--4--(F#)------------|[br]|--2--(B)--------------|[br]|-----------------------|

Here is one of the full barre B major chords.

|--2--(F#)------------|[br]|--4--(D#)------------|[br]|--4--(B)--------------|[br]|--4--(F#)------------|[br]|--2--(B)--------------|[br]|-----------------------|

As you can see all of these are simply ways of combining the same 3 notes over & again. They all have the characteristic sound of B major, but with variations. Some voicings double certain notes, some do not, the resutl is that some voicings have more or less bass or treble, a lower or higher timbre, more or less bright, more or less full.

Regarding why different versions are used, Lisa typically starts with the voicings that use the higher strings because they are usually easier for beginners to play.

The context for the essential chords chart is supposed to be a summary of what you will learn throughout the beginner courses. It's not supposed to be where you start. And all the voicings on the chart are variations with the root note as the lowest note on a lower bass string.

Keep in mind that these are 2 different contexts. Lisa is teaching from square one. The chord chart is a summary. There's no way a beginner can be expected to take a chart with no explanation & play all those chords. It's just a suppliment to use after you've worked through the courses & have practiced all the material.

Hope that helps!


Christopher Schlegel
Guitar Tricks Instructor

Christopher Schlegel Lesson Directory