Chord Help In Open E Tuning For Slide | The Canadian Guitar Forum

Chord Help In Open E Tuning For Slide

Discussion in 'Theory and Technique' started by colchar, Jan 6, 2020.

  1. colchar

    colchar Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2010
    Location:
    GTA
    I wasn't sure if this post would be seen in the slide thread so I decided to create a new one.

    Please keep in mind that I know nothing at all about theory, or the technical aspects of playing. I am a complete moron when it comes to that stuff.

    I am finally making an proper effort to learn slide, and am currently going through an Andy Alerdot course. In it he discussed Open E tuning and talks about the I-IV-V chords. Now obviously the I is an E chord with all strings strummed open.

    The IV is an A chord and he shows it being played with the middle finger on second fret of the fifth string and the first finger on the first fret of the third string (he also says that if you want a more straightforward A chord you would add your third finger on the second fret of the second string).

    The V chord is a B chord and he shows it being played with the middle finger on the second fret of the fourth string and the first finger on the first fret of the third string (he also mentions that you can play the B chord by placing your ring finger on the third fret of the first string).

    Now I get why he is saying this, because everything is nice and compact and you can switch chords simply by moving the middle finger down one string (or up if you are going from the B to the A). If you use the three finger versions you would need to move two fingers. Obviously anyone playing with the slide on their ring finger would need to use the two finger versions of those chords, or use their pinky in place of the ring finger in the three finger versions.

    But since this is Open E tuning you can form major chords simply by barring at any fret. So considering that, would it not be easier to play the I-IV-V progression by playing everything open, barring at the fifth fret, and barring at the seventh fret?

    Or would you choose to barre when not playing anything else with the slide, and use Andy's method when you had other stuff to play with the slide in and around the first couple of frets?

    Or am I just being a complete idiot here?
     
  2. cboutilier

    cboutilier

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2016
    Location:
    Halifax, NS
    You can do both. I typically play around the barred position for each chord, or slide around the 1 position by ear
     
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  3. colchar

    colchar Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2010
    Location:
    GTA
    I had posted the same question on a slide guitar group on Facebook and people there mentioned that the chords can be played either way, depending on what you want, and that having more than one way to play them gives you options as to which voicings to use. To be honest, I had never even considered voicings but once they pointed this out it made perfect sense and I feel like an idiot for not having thought of it myself.
     
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  4. Cardamonfrost

    Cardamonfrost Gold Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2018
    Location:
    Barrie, ON
    I suspect the long term goal of any instruction is to get you learning as many chord shapes (ultimately Triads) in as few frets as possible. It would make it a lot easier to find close chord tones for better solos, faster.

    I would go as far as writing out the fretboard in open E and look for the triad notes in first position (EG#B, AC#E, BD#F#). Make your own chords if possible.

    Easier said than done of course. I cant do it, but I wish I could.

    C
     
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  5. Swervin55

    Swervin55 Gold Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2009
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    something doesn't make sense with the V chord (B) in your OP. If your open E tuning is: E-B-G#-E-B-E then by the description above, fretting the first fret of the 3rd string and 2nd fret of the 4th (assuming all strings are strummed) the notes would be: E-B-A-F#-B-E.
    A B chord needs B (1), D# (3) and F# (5) to work. What am I missing?
     
  6. colchar

    colchar Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2010
    Location:
    GTA

    Sorry, I forgot to write out that for the A and B chords the sixth string isn't used so you would be strumming from the fifth string for both of those chords.
     
  7. bw66

    bw66

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2009
    Location:
    Uxbridge, ON
    I think of Open E as E-B-E-G#-B-E. In that case, the middle four strings would be a B7. Adding the open high E makes it a B7add4 chord, which is a common substitution in the key of E.

    Edit: Just realized that you are starting from the first string... everything after the first sentence still applies.
     
  8. colchar

    colchar Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2010
    Location:
    GTA

    That is the tuning (E-B-E-G#-B-E) and he actually calls it a B7sus4 chord in the tab which accompanies the lesson.
     
  9. bw66

    bw66

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2009
    Location:
    Uxbridge, ON
    Actually B7sus4 is more accurate than B7add4 because there is no third (D#).
     
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  10. Swervin55

    Swervin55 Gold Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2009
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Thanks for the clarification. This makes sense to me now (considering the low E is not played). I must admit my theory is weak as well.
     
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  11. DaddyDog

    DaddyDog Gold Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2017
    Location:
    Mississauga, ON
    The chords described in your OP are exactly what Luke Doucet of Whitehorse uses in the song Broken:


    There's also a video where he describes in detail how he plays it. If you like the song and need help finding it, let me know. It's out there somewhere in the ether.
     
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