5 a Minor Shapes on Guitar

Sometimes a guitarist just wants new shapes on their guitar fretboard. Simply chasing a chord voicing can give a new dynamic to a chord progression and over-all atmosphere to a song. Using a new chord shape can inspire creativity and launch a guitarist in new directions. That's where this lesson comes in.

It's based on the CAGED system. If you're not familiar with that, don't worry. Just think of the way of playing the same chord in different places on your guitar fretboard. If you do know the CAGED system then also don't worry too much about these shapes. A theoretical approach would be to play each of these shapes in triads only, but that just wasn't practical. So, we went with an approach that borrowed from the CAGED technique and gave some new shapes that should be relatively easy to learn, play and work into a guitarists songwriting approach. 

 a minor guitar chords

You can see clearly that each shape moves further up the fret board. At the 12th fret everything repeats. But, really, after the 15th fret playing any of these shapes is pretty difficult. It's also largely impractical. Fingering is given in the chords. It's the most sensible fingering and mostly you'll want to stick to it.

Note names are given to the left of each fretboard. The second chord (based on the G Major chord) is the hardest to finger, but is great sounding. And... lastly, all the shapes are movable. As the chord is an a minor the root note of each chord is the 'A' note. Move and shape up two frets and you've got a b minor chord, and move any shape back 2 frets and you've got a g minor chord (obviously, can't do that with the first chord).

Want a starting idea. Try creating a two chord rhythm that is one of these combinations: am - c, am - G, c - am, G - am. Pick any of the a minor versions above but use your standard open chord version for your other choices. Some of these new a minor chord shapes might take a little practice, but stick at it.

 open C Major chord

Ok, that's your starters. Get creative!

 open G Major chord
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