Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Chord "Deux" Jour Challenge: F#m7b5 and F#m

If you've been tuning in, you know the spiel:  Challenge! Two chords. Daily. Missed any days? Go here. Fantastic!

Each chord "map" attempts to appeal to both beginners and intermediate/advanced guitarists and keyboardists. Simple chord voicings for beginners are provided with the following finger system:

1 index finger
2 middle finger
3 ring finger
4 little finger
o play open string
x do not play open string
( bar one finger over more than one string
T that rare occasion that I recommend you use your thumb to fret a note

OK, here's an F-sharp minor (minor) 7th flattened 5th, or F#m7b5:

Guitarists, illustrated above is a simple chord shape, as simple as I can diagram, for such a gloomy chord. I suppose you can also use your little finger as a barre behind the 5th fret of the G, B, and high E strings, for a fuller sound, but that might be quite a ... stretch.

Keyboardists, mash up the F#dim and the Am chords -- F#-A-C-E.

Today's second chord is F-sharp minor, or F#m:

Guitarists, if Bm was our first proper barre chord, then F#m will be our first barre chord that uses all six strings. It's basically an Em shifted up two frets. Your index finger acts as a capo at the 2nd fret. You could also use a capo at the 2nd fret, and play F#m with the Em shape, complete with open strings. If you don't mind me trying to sell you a capo, I recommend this one by Dunlop. Without going into much detail about the ins and outs of capos, just be sure the capo matches the width (wide vs. not wide) and curvature (flat vs. not flat) of your fretboard. I've tried several capos over the years, and I've been using the Dunlop consistently for about a decade.

Keyboardists, I will not try to sell you a capo. The notes F#, A, and C# make the F#m chord.

Two more tomorrow. Cheers!

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