Making Music with Marshall

Advanced chords

Posted: 28 January 2020

You've nailed the basics, but having lots of chord variations in your arsenal allows you to take your songs to the next level.

So you’ve got the major and minor chords covered, but did you know there’s 9 common chord types in music? As a songwriter/guitarist it’s important to get these down. Having all chord variations in your arsenal allows you to take your songs to the next level and add interest and emotion however you please. In this article we’ll go over the most commonly used chord types with examples of where you might recognise them from. Grab your guitar and a notepad.

Read time - 2 mins

Major 7th

Major 7th

The major seventh chord is predominately found in jazz and Neo-soul music. It’s overall a very upbeat and smooth sounding chord, which pairs wonderfully with a minor 7th and finds its way into modern pop and R&B frequently. The chord consists of the root note, a major third, a perfect fifth and a major 7th.


Diminished chords

An anxious and tense sounding chord, the diminished chord usually sits in a progression right before the contrast of a major chord. The chord consists of a root note, a minor third and a diminished/flat fifth.

Our example here is a Diminished Triad on the 3rd Fret.

There you have it

Once you’ve got these shapes down, learn them in different keys up and down the fretboard and you’ll be able to work them into your own songs. If your strugerling with the shapes, check out our video on them below!