Easy Lesson On Alternative Guitar Chords & Riffs

Check out this free beginner guitar lesson on alternative guitar chords and riffs from Guitar Control instructor Darrin Goodman. Be sure to get the free tabs to go along with this free video lesson on Alternative Guitar Chords & Riffs.

Alternative Guitar Chords & Riffs
Alternative Guitar Chords & Riffs


Hey how’s it going? This is Darrin with GuitarControl.com bringing you this video lesson. Today I have a lesson for all the beginners out there and I’m going to go over some Alternative Guitar Chords & Riffs that are really easy to play and they’re just kind of a substitution for some of the chords that you already know and like I said they’re really easy to play, but they sound really good. And then I’m going to show you some examples of songs that they’re used in. So be sure to click on the link in the description for the tabs and let’s get close up and take a look Alternative Guitar Chords & Riffs.

Alternative Chord Voicing’s

All right so the first thing I want to do for this Alternative Guitar Chords & Riffs lesson is just kind of go over some of these chord Alternative Guitar Chords and this is just a handful of ideas of things that you can do. So a chord that you probably already know you know, E minor, but there are some alternative ways that you can play this from the way that you traditionally play it like this… So one way we can do it is actually just fretting the second fret of the D string and then the G, B and E strings are open so you just kind of get the top end of the chord. Now a really easy way that you can play E minor actually just uses all open strings; so if we play the low E string, the G string, the B string and the high E string those actually the notes that make up E minor… if we wanted to make that E major we just fret the first fret of the G string, so E minor and E major. Now with that particular one too, this is just kind of a little extra, is that you can just you can just barre your finger anywhere. So like if I barre here at the fifth fret since this is an A now I have A minor and if I put my middle finger down here on the sixth fret of the G string then I have an A major; so that’s just a little extra that you can move around. We also can do E minor by coming up here to the seventh fret of the A string with your first finger and then the ninth fret of the D string, so it’d be like a power chord, but if you play all six strings that’s E minor and that’s just a nice alternative voicing to this… it’s the same notes, but I really like the way this one sounds. Now by taking that same shape and then putting your fourth finger onto the ninth fret of the G string we get an E5; so it’s the same just as this… but it’s just a nice big fuller sound. Now with these shapes here we can move this around so if we move it down a whole step so now we’re starting on the fifth fret this is actually D6 suspended two (D6sus2), but again it’s a very nice sounding chord. And then if we move that shape down a whole step again we get C major seven (CM7). Now you don’t really need to necessarily memorize what these names, but you can just use these as kind of an alternative to stuff. So if you had a song that went E minor, C and D… you can just substitute those chord voicing’s and it just kind of gives it a completely different sound. Okay and then the other couple that I wanted to show you here we have A minor add nine (Amadd9). So I’m on the seventh fret of the D string with my third finger, the fifth fret of the G string with my first finger and I’m playing the A, B and E strings open. And then one other variation on this I want to show you just because it’s going to be in a riff that we’re going to look at here in a minute is A minor add 9 over E flat (Amadd9/Eb) and I’m simply just keeping the same chord, but I’m putting my second finger down on the sixth fret of the A string… so now it’s like my root note or my lowest pitched note here is an E flat and like I said that’s for a riff that we’ll be looking at. So now that we have these alternative chord voicing’s let’s just look at some popular song riffs that actually use these Alternative Guitar Chords.

Alternative Chord Riffs

All right so the first Alternative Guitar Chords & Riffs we’re going to look at which is probably the easiest guitar riff of all time and that is Nothing Else Matters by Metallica. So for the intro to this song it uses that E minor shape that we that we looked at where it was just all open strings, the open low E, G, B and high E strings. So with this you simply play; E, G, B, E, B, G… so you don’t even have to do anything with your with your left hand and that’s just the notes that’s right out of an E minor chord, but conveniently you can just play all the strings open…

All right so then the next Alternative Guitar Chords & Riffs I want to look at is Killer Of Giants from Ozzy Osbourne. So for the beginning of this it just starts off with that E5 that we did up here and you simply go; E, A, D, G and then high E, B, G and D and that’s the first measure and then we move that down to our C major seven and just go A, D, G, B and high E… and then that just simply repeats…

All right and then another really easy Alternative Guitar Chords & Riffs that uses this same shape here, but it’s going to use all three of these ones that we looked at earlier and it’s the riff from Sleeping In The Fire by WASP. So we’re going to start off with that same shape, that same E5 that we just did, and the picking is actually the same we’re going to go E, A, D, G, E, B, G, D… just like that. So we have two measures of the E5… and then we’re gonna go to the D6sus2; so simply just take this shape move it down a whole step and now we’re gonna do the same picking pattern, but now our first note will be starting on the A string so we’re gonna go two measures of this… Then after that, you probably guessed it, we’re gonna move down a whole step again and that’s CM7 and it’s the same picking pattern that we just did… two measures of that and then back up to the top. So it starts with two measures of the E5 and it ends with two measures of the E5 and then it repeats and that’s like the intro and the first verse of the song…

All right so the last Alternative Guitar Chords & Riffs I want to look at is it’s another Metallica riff and this is just a segment from a Call Of Ktulu. So this is the one that’s going to use that Amadd9… So we play starting on the A string; A, D, G, B, E… now when we go back to the A string you’re going to take your middle finger, and this is because this can be a little bit a little awkward especially if you’re a beginner, but you want to keep your first and third fingers where they are on this chord shape. We’re going to take your middle finger and you’re going to come up here to the seventh fret of the A string and you’re going to pick that and then move it down a half step to the sixth fret and then just start the same picking process over again. Now this is all eighth notes; so we’ve got one and two and three and four and… and that’s basically the riff.


All right so there you have it, a lesson for the beginners out there on some Alternative Guitar Chords & Riffs. What’s nice about these is that they’re for the most part easier than a lot of the regular traditional chords so it makes it really easy to move them around and with the open strings it sounds really nice. So something that you can do with this is just kind of play around with it and move it around and just listen and if you like the way that it sounds don’t get too caught up worrying about the fancy names. Just try moving the shapes around and see if you like the way that it sounds and then adding other fingers in like we did here… adding an extra note here and there and can be something that’s easily done and it sounds really nice.

So if you like this Alternative Guitar Chords & Riffs lesson be sure to give me a thumbs up and leave a comment down below if you have any questions about this or other guitar related topics. If you’ve not already done so please subscribe to the channel and hit that notification bell so you don’t miss any of the content that we upload throughout the week. Well that is all I have for you today. Thanks for watching Alternative Guitar Chords & Riffs and have a great day.

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