Learn to play chords on the guitar, visually. Know how the different intervals are found on nearby frets with respect to roots on any string. Then you can find and play any chord on the fly, without having to struggle and remember by rote. 

In this article, we will have a look at 6th chords, minor 6th chords, 6 add 9 and minor 6th add 9 chords, starting from roots on the 1st, 3rd and 6th strings.

Chords with root on the 1st 3rd and 6th strings

The above figure shows the roots and the frets in the vicinity, that we can find the needed intervals. On the guitar, we need to make sure that the notes are on frets close enough for a normal human to be able to physically play the pattern, with the restrictions on the number of fingers and finger span.

6th chord – 6th string root

Start with the root on the 6th string. Find nearby frets to play the major 3rd, 5th and major 6th notes to get the following chord pattern for the major 6th chord.

6 add 9 chord from the 6th chord

In the previous chord, change the Major 3rd note on the 3rd string to a Major 2nd note to play the 6 added 9th chord as shown below.

The above finger pattern plays on all the 6 chords by playing the root on the 1st string also.

Minor 6 add 9th chord – 1st string root

In the above chord, change the major 3rd note to a minor 3rd note to play the minor 6 added 9th chord:

Minor 6 add 9 chord with two small barres

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The same chord in the previous diagram can be played as shown below using barres with both the second and 3rd fingers.

Minor 6th chord

In the above figure, shift the Major 2nd note on the 3rd string to a minor 3rd note to play the minor 6th chord.

Minor 6th chord – all strings used – root on 1st and 6th string

Add the root on the 6 string also, to play the chord using all the strings. This chord pattern can be shifted anywhere on the fretboard to play the minor 6th chord with root on the 1st and 6th strings.
You can play the chord on just the 1st 2nd 3rd and 4th strings too, because it covers all the needed notes: root note on the first string, 5th note on the second string, minor 3rd note on the third string and Major 6th note on the 4th string.

6th chord – 1st string root

Shift the minor 3rd note on the 3rd string to a major 3rd note to play the major 6th note. To be able to physically play it, leave the 5th and 6th string notes and play the chord on the remaining strings as shown below.

Roots on different strings

Similarly, try moving around the notes to make chords, starting from roots on different strings.

  • Start with roots on 1st and 4th string
  • Start with roots on 2nd and 5th string
Keep the basic notes in place, move around the other interval notes in the vicinity to comfortably remember and play any chord you wish.
Gain More Freedom? The chord for Guitarists (once on the page, click on the tab for the guitarist's version)