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How to Play a Root Position Chord

G, C, and D at the 5th, 10th, and 12th frets

With this chord shape the root, or first scale pitch is the lowest pitch in the chord. This is the note that defines what the chord is called.

For this lesson, we're going to take a look at the root position G chord at the 5th fret. Your ring and pinky fingers of your fretting hand will push down behind the 5th fret, your index will be on the 3rd fret, 2nd string and your middle will be on the 4th fret, 3rd string. Push all of these notes down at the same time to create the G chord. This is a moveable closed position chord, which means you can move this exact shape anywhere on the neck to make other root position major chords. For example, if you wanted to find an A chord, just move your G chord up to the 7th fret. The root position C chord is on the 10th fret and the D chord is at the 12th fret.

The Root Position Chord Video Tutorial

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This practice tab shows you how to switch between root position G, C, and D chords. There's a bit of a ways to go between G and C, so play it slow enough for you to get your fingers there in time for the next right hand vamp pattern. A good trick for this is to barely lift your fingers off of the strings and then slide the chord up to the desired fret. Taking your hand off completely is inefficient and will slow you down quite a bit.

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