6 Chords

I watched this steel tutorial the other day. Some useful stuff on there. One thing it touched on, something that I’d heard players do but hadn’t got around to trying myself was 6th chords.

A sixth chord is simply a chord with the 6th scale tone added into it.

e.g. C maj contains C, E, G. if you add A then you’ve got a 6 chord.

Not to diffficult.

What John was saying in this video is that when you have your A and B levers down, you effectively have an A6 tuning on your open strings.

Playing Lines with 6th Chords

Playing strings 6-7-8 at the third fret (to make the example in C) give you C, A and G.

The nice thing about this is that this inversion of C6 puts C at the top so it is a great candidate for playing melodies harmonised with a 6 chord.

Using this little three string chord (2nd inversion C6 with C on top) you can use the top note as your melody note and play tunes with the chord by moving up and down the fret board.

This seems to be a big part of the steel guitar idiom, particularly lap steel.

Another C6 shape you can use is dropping your Es (means something different in Brixton). This gives you a B6 chord on your open strings(excluding the 9th string). If you play strings 5-6-7 in the same position as the A and B lever shape, you get the same 6 chord, but up a tone.

Now I can use a little more lateral movement and dont have to run up and down the fretboard to find your notes.

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