Substitute guitar chords in D

Substitute Chords – part 3

In the last two posts we looked at alternative chord voicings in the keys of G and C. Now let’s look at my favourite set of shapes which is for the key of D. I’m a big James Taylor fan and many of his songs use these exact voicings so if you want to get his sound then this is a good place to begin.


The key here is to anchor your ring finger on the D note on string 2 (B) at fret 3. Then most of the other shapes are based around moving your index or middle finger to form the other chords. So the transition between Dadd9, Em7, G and A7sus4 just requires a simple ‘one finger’ change.

A/C# can be a bit tricky but the Bm7 is so much easier than the barre chord alternative. Also be careful with the last F#m which is a James Taylor special and purely barring your index finger across the entire second fret. Because he finger picks he completely avoids playing the A or D strings, and so should you or you will sound terrible!

Again, as well many other things you can do with these chords our Acoustic Intermediate Worship Guitar DVDs have a few choice James Taylor style licks designed for you to tastefully integrate into your worship leading and playing. This particular lesson on D Substitutes is available in a 20 minute download. See discount offer below!

Get the video lessons

All these shapes are taken from our our Acoustic Intermediate Worship Guitar Course so if you want to get loads more ideas and applications for them take a look at the DVDs. This particular set of substitute chords is available in this 35 minute downloadable lesson so if you want to get loads more ideas and applications for how to use these then take a look.