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Guitar Chord Construction and Connection - Cheat Sheets With Shapes and Intervals

This page provides a collection of cheat sheets explaining in a simple and effective way how guitar chords are built and how they are connected one to the other. The idea is to understand where are located each chord tone of a specific voicing and how to connect these chords them by moving only one note at a time. Notice that this page is regularly updated with new shapes, don't forget to subscribe the newsletter to stay informed.

 

Shape 1 - min6, min7, minMaj7, min.

This first shape show the connections between minor 6 (R-5-6-b3), minor 7 (R-5-b7-b3), minMaj7 (R-5-7-b3) and minor (R-5-R-b3) chord voicing shapes with the root (R) on the fifth string.

Starting from the minor shape, you see and hear that when moving the root (R) a half-step below you get a minMaj7 chord. When moving the 7th of this minMaj7 chord a half-step below you get a min7 chord and so on.

Guitar chord construction chart

Shape 2 - Dim7, m7b5, dim

You see in this second diagram how to connect a drop 2 diminished 7 chord (R-b5-bb7--b3), a half-diminished chord (R-b5-b7b3) and a diminished chord (R-b5-R-b3) by moving only one note at a time.

Let's take the dim7 chord as a starting point, to get a m7b5 you need to move the bb7 a half-step above to reach the b7. Then, raise the b7 with two semitones to get a diminished voicing.

 

Guitar chord connection

Shape 3 - min6, min7, minMaj7

This third diagram explains how minor 6, minor 7 and minMaj7 chords are built. The voicings used here are : R-6-b3-5 (min6), R-b7-b3-5 (min7) and R-7-b3-5. These three chords have the root note on the A string. Notice that only one note moves at a time.

Guitar chord voice leading

Shape 4 - 7sus2, 7, min7, 7sus4

This fourth diagram includes four distinct voicing shapes connected by moving one note at a time on the second string (the B string). These chords are : 7sus2 (R-b7-2-5), min7 (R-b7-b3-5), dom7 (R-b7-3-5) and 7sus4 (R-b7-4-5). 

Guitar chord charts

Shape 5 - 7, 7b9, 9, 7#9

This fifth shape helps you figure out how to build a 9, 7b9 and 7#9 chord starting from one of the most popular dominant 7 guitar shape (R-3-b7-R). As you can see in the diagram (and of course hear it), when moving up the highest root (R) semitone by semitone, you get a dominant 7 flat ninth chord (R-3-b7-b9), then a ninth chord (R-3-b7-9) and a dominant sevenht sharp ninth chord (R-3-b7-#9).

Ninth guitar chord construction

Shape 6 - Sus2, min, maj, sus4

Here in this diagram you can see how to connect four important basic types of chords by changing only one note at a time. The first chord is a suspended second chord voiced R-5-R-2 that goes to a minor chord (R-5-R-b3), going to a major chord (R-5-R-3), going to a suspended fourth chord (R-5-R-4). Notice that suspended chords have no third, this one is replaced by the second or the fourth.

Guitar chord shapes
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