5 Chord Tricks that Change Everything

If you have been searching for the greatest chord tricks that work to do more with guitar chords, you would welcome an easy way to find the coolest ones! In this video, I’m going to show you 5 chord tricks that attack the most common guitar chording flaws to give you nice, smooth, groovin' chord jams sooner than you think... 

In this post I’m going to show you 5 tricks for chords that work on how to modify the bass and internal intervals, add arppegiated lines, include high register chords, layer chords, phrase melodic passing lines, and build thicker sound with adding in substitutes.

When you apply the tricks shown here you will start to play better rhythm guitar jams almost instantly and these ideas will work towards permanently fixing your boring rhythm guitar sound with a killer sound!


Chord Tricks that you can start using in your guitar playing - immediately. 

We all know that Chords are incredibly important on guitar, (after all, the guitar is primarily a rhythm instrument), and that makes the skill that you develop for playing chords an obvious priority.

In this lesson, I’m going to cover 5 chord tricks to make your rhythm guitar not just sound better, but it will give you a formula to apply - to all of the other ways that you’re implementing chords - in every rhythm guitar situation that you will use chords in.

So, let’s get started with the first idea - of five ideas, (and just a quick heads up, you’ll really like number five – so stick around till the end), but the first chord trick is actually quite easy, and it’s all about learning to pay more attention to how you arrange chord-tones when you’re performing chords from a song section.

Song sections (like verses and chorus’) need to flow smoothly and have a strong connection from one chord to another.

But, when most guitar players are given a group of chords to perform they generally revert to the chords that they know best.

For example; let’s say that you were asked to play this progression... you'd probably play a lot of really basic chords like these...

Now, notice the difference that comes out of altering the bass and upper tones...

Another Interesting trick can be based upon adding broken tones through arpeggiated ideas. Let’s say we had a progression that was pretty thin, like if we only had two chords…

By simply arpeggiating each chord we end up with a strong and very positive boost to the overall impact of the chord changes...

Something popular that works as a great trick in the recording studio is layering upper register chords, so they can punch through in a brighter way.

Below is an example of the "Em to D" progression from our previous study. However, below the chord harmony is applied with upper register chord punches.


We still have a couple more chord tricks left, but I wanted to take a minute out to let you know that, if you don’t know your keys, and you don’t understand your chords (well and good enough to implement all of these chord tricks), then I’m gonna make you a great offer.

With any donation over $5, or any T-shirt or merchandise purchase from either my Tee-Spring, or my Zazzle store, I’ll send you a free copy of THREE of my digital handouts.

One is called, “Harmonized Arpeggio Drills” (it’ll train you on developing your diatonic arpeggios), another is my Barre Chord handout which includes a page showing all the key signatures and a chord progression that applies Major and Minor barre chords.

Plus, you’ll get my Notation Pack! It has 8 pages of important guitar worksheets for notating anything related to; music charts, guitar diagrams, or TAB.

Just send me and email off of the contact page of CreativeGuitarStudio.com to let me know about your donation or your Merchandise purchase and I’ll email those digital handouts to you within 24 hrs.


When scale phrases are applied around the chords in a piece we get a popular trick that’s known of as “Passing Lines.”

These are scale passages that offer up a melodic statement between the chord changes.

Look over the example below. These three chords are background chords that sustain and operate to fill the harmonic backdrop.

 Now, check out how the line can be expanded by using passing line phrases.

I’ve essentially saved the best for last with trick number five. This one is another trick that involves layering, except we’ll approach the layer with diatonic substitutes. Here’s how it works…

The progression consists of two chords, a "G" Major and an "F#" Minor.

Over these chords we can layer diatonic substitute chords.

Play "Bm" and "Em" over the "G Major" chord...

Play "C#m" and "A Major" over the "F# Minor" chord...

Performing songs in most of the top 40 hits on guitar from styles like; Pop, Country, Blues, Folk music, Rock, Soul and Funk music – will definitely require that you get good at learning MORE than just playing a lot of basic chords.

To really stand out (and especially to get hired playing in all kinds of different bands), you’ll want to have the skill to take chord progressions and be able to use some tricks on them like the ones I’ve gone over here.

Being able to alter the bass notes and control the internal voice leading, or arpeggiate chords, or knowing how to layer your chords in different ways will be extremely helpful.

And, if you compose your own music, you’ll find that your original pieces will sound more sophisticated and your recordings will do better on the different music sites where you post them.

So, learn how to apply all of these chord tricks, because once you get good at them, they really will start to change everything that you do!



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