Substitute guitar chords in E

Substitute Chords – part 4

After exploring some substitute shapes in G, C and D now let’s look at the key of E. In E some of the shape move away from the first position and start to explore the dusty end of the fret board.  For instance the very first shape (E) is actually the power chord shape we look at extensively in the Beginners Worship Guitar Course and if we slide it up and down the neck the E at fret 7 becomes C#m at fret 4, B at fret 2 and A at fret 0 with your index finger off the end of the board. (I’ve removed the full technical chord names to protect the innocent).


The trick with E shapes is to keep the 1st and 2nd (high E and B) strings ringing at all times so many typical barre chords don’t have to be barred any more. So F#m and G#m are dealt with without the need to barre but if you can play barre chords there is a great ‘A’ shape the just sounds rock! Anytime you see a white dot in a shape the notes are optional so experiment with both to see what fits the song best.

B/G# isn’t strictly a 1/3 chord but works well in the context of the shapes and persevere with the E/G# because if you slide it around, it’s the one shape that will get you through some complex 1/3 chords that commonly come up in song books like F/A or B/D#.

As in the last posts these shapes are taken from lessons with our Acoustic Intermediate Worship Guitar Course. Do check these DVDs out as we’ve tried to throw in as many ideas and techniques to help you expand your knowledge as a competent acoustic player. This lesson on E substitutes is also available as an individual 47 minute download.