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How To Write Your Own Guitar Chords

How to write your own guitar chords

How to write your own chords

Would you like to know how I came up with this composition?

You’ve just heard the melody, these are the chords and this is the way I play the chords. 

Why do I write the accompaniment?

I love to be lyrical on the guitar, every while and then I like to add some harmony…and I need the accompaniment to support what I do and actually help me play in this manner.

Generally the way we play, with big chords, lack of clarity, obscures my manner of playing, and it makes me want to play in a manner that I really am not comfortable with.

So what I do is, I write out the accompaniment. Let me explain what I have done in this song.

What chord shapes did I choose? 

In the1st four bars we have Em, C, F# dim and B. I chose not to play chords and I chose to define these chords with a bass line.

Perfect… the next 4 chords are E minor, D, C and B. I chose to play them in closed position. The Em, with a pedal tone on top,  which would be the dominant pedal, the b of the key of E minor, and …… I hold it, over the next chord D. I am also playing the chord in closed position.

The b pedal note

And I maintain this b pedal tone on top. I go to the next chord C, following the same sequence of descending thirds and on top I play the pedal.

I reinforce the pedal with the #11. I then resolve to the B chord, that sounds like this.

For the next 4 bars I follow the same pattern. I’ve go on the E minor chord.

Open position chords 

Now for the B, I go from closed position to open position. So instead of playing the B minor, and B major, it sounds nice, I open them up and it sounds like.

It really adds more space to the sound, a bigger sound without adding too much more tension

More chord shapes, 4th chords

On the next chords,  the Am, I chose to follow the melodic line of the B chord, that’s actually descending and I resolve on the 5th of the chord. 

I harmonize this fifth with a third,  and then I create a melodic line over the rest of the chords……. and I harmonize them of fourths,  which actually helps the melody by surrounding it by harmonics. And it doesn’t add harmony to it. 4ths do not add too much harmony. 

Hence the beauty of using such….. So it sounds like.

More chord shapes, combining triads and fourth chords

The G I play with the 3rd in the bass. The C…. now the D chord, I decide to create a succession of fourths, a chord from the C.

Again, it produces a distinct harmony that allows the melody that I play on top, to be played also with thirds.

They don’t clash, and the guitar you can hear it with clarity.  For the next 4 bars, for the Am, Bm, Cm and the D, I hold the pedal.

Allow the performers to develop freely what I have written 

So, once it is written out, and the other musician interprets it, they must do so with a bit of freedom.That way we can actually interact and change on the go.

This is a general guideline, the way I like the accompaniment to be, so I can develop develop my melody with ease.

Please view more of my how to videos on my you tube channel.

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