April 20, 2003

#50: Basic D chord

Stephen from West Kent, United Kingdom, writes:

Dear Dr. Banjo:

My query relates to page 10 and 11 of the book your examples of D chord show three fingers I M and P covering 3rd string 2nd fret 2nd string 3rd fret and 1st string 4th fret......where as other books also cover 4th string at 4th fret using four fingers?

Dear Stephen,

These are both D chords. I use the one with the open 4th whenever I can, as the low resonant D on that string supports the rest of the D chord more nicely than when it is fretted at the 4th. That note works fine in the chord, but it is not the strong, rich D that is the fundamental tone of the chord.

The 4-fingered version of the chord is very useful as a moveable closed chord position that can be used anywhere on the neck to make different chords. For instance, that D shape moved up to the 7-9 frets becomes a G.

I hope that helps.

Pete Wernick

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