By Key ◊ All ♦  A & AmA FlatB FlatD FlatE FlatF# 

Guitar Chords in G Major

guitar chords in g major in grids

Numbers in the dots are suggested fingerings. Empty strings are muted or not played [most likely muted!].

The little 1 on the first string in B minor's shape is an optional fretted tone. We would bar with the one finger to make this happen. Yet, the inside four strings are dense enough in sound to be Bm. This tone can also be a changing tone [toggled on and off using a hinge bar - the toggle would be fretted, then the open string]. The Bm shape is similar to an A minor chord (A form moved up 2 frets - with a flat 3rd) - check it. When fretting this chord [at the start], try fretting the first finger, then add the 2, then the 3 & 4 [layering].

guitar chords in g major in tab

Numbers in brackets are optional tones. Also, some of these chords are technically slash chords. Slash chords have a different tone in the bass than the root. In this set, if C has the 3 fret on the 6 string, the chord is called C/G [and will often actually be called this]. For D, the bass tone shown is an A, yet we rarely see it written as a D/A [yet, we typically let this open string ring for D]. The F#o also has an A ringing in the bass, yet we rarely see F#o/A [or even F#o for that matter].

x = mute, or don't play.

7th chords in key of g major in grids

7th chords in key of g major in tab

The 7 for each chord is in blue.

7 = Maj7 = Major 7 = 7th that is 11 half steps away from root.
7 = 7th is 10 half steps away from root.
If the 7 is in a Major chord, it is a Dominant 7 [just 7].
If the 7 is in a minor chord, it is a minor 7 [m7 or min7 or -7].
m7b5 = minor 7, flat 5 = half diminished 7 [half diminished 7]

The following is the Roman Numeric scheme for the chords in G Major and the 'fixed position' cycle of chord forms. For the numbering, G, C, and D are the I, IV, and V chords; Am, Bm, and Em are the ii, iii, and vi; F#0 is the vii0 [know this!]. The cycle of forms are in blue. For more on this, see Chord Cycles.

Chord NumberingI ii iii IV V vi viio
Triad Name/SymbolG Am Bm C D Em F#o
7th Name/SymbolG7 Am7 Bm7 C7 D7 Em7 F#m7b5
Chord FormG A A C D E E

G Major Scale

g major scale in tab

The G scale can be viewed as the C scale with the F's moved to F-sharps. Notice that there is one sharp (F#) in G. This scale is one tone different than C Major. All of the tones in the chords come from these maps. Check it!

g major scale on a grid

As with all Major key centers, there are 7 tones in the scale (key). A chord can be built from every tone in the scale, thus giving us 7 chords. Chords are built by selecting a root and adding every other tone [see EON] until there are three tones [for triads].

A triad is a three tone chord built every other 'note'. 7 chords are 4 tone chords, taking the every other note process one tone further.

In a Major key, there are 3 Major triads [I IV V], 3 minor triads [ii iii vi], and 1 diminished triad [viio]. Upper case Roman Numeral means Major, lower case means minor, and lower case with a degree sign means diminished.

In a Major key, when chords include the 7's, the I and IV become Major 7's [IMaj7 IVMaj7], the V becomes a Dominant 7 [V7], the ii, iii, and vi become minor 7's [iim7 iiim7 vim7], & the viio becomes a minor 7 flat 5 [viim7b5 - also known as half diminished]. 7th chords are taking the EON principle until we have 4 tones.

The vii0 triad can be written as paralling to a minor triad and that would make it a minor flat 5. If it is a 7 chord, paralleled to minor7, this could be called minor 7 flat 5. Minor 7 flat 5 is also called half-diminished 7 and that is indicated as the degree sign with a slash through it. We see the min7b5 written more often than the degree sign with a slash. Just be aware that this type of chord has two ways to be written. They are the same thing.

1. We first get all of the chords in our hands. We take our time, fretting with confidence.

2. We then play the triadic chord scale ascending [and descending].

We play chords as we do scales [alphabetically]. We can use any beat count [4 is shown below] and any motor hand technique [strumming, fingerpicking, or arpeggio picking].

chord scale in roman numerals

3. And then we play 7th chord scales after playing the triads with ease.

7th chord scale in roman numerals

4. Next, we play progressions and/or songs that are in the key.

We keep in mind that the voicings shown in this lesson are but one way to play any particular type of chord. See the CAGED cluster for more options. Different styles favor certain voicings, and in a way are defined by the types that are used.

5. And, as always, we write progressions.

This process of arranging chords in our own order, and/or common sequences, is the genesis for writing our own songs. Start this process from the beginning.

We aren't limited to just the chords in a key for writing. Any chord can go to any chord. For understanding how other chords relate to a key center, check out Harmonic Map.