A Guide To Guitar Chords

5 Guitar Tips and Tricks for D Chords

 

Every guitar chord has its own characteristics and depending on how a chord looks on the fret board each has its own little tricks you can use to embellish the chord or start a song on it.

In this guitar lesson I'll show you 5 things you can do with a D chord.

Trick #1

Listen:

What Happens:

Three chords are used in this chord progression and all chords have a D in the bass: D, Dmaj9 and G/D (this means a G chord with a D as bass note). The finger picking that is used is called Travis picking (learn more about Travis Picking...)

Play:

Travis Picking in D

 

Trick #2

Listen:

What Happens:

This chord progression uses 1 chord: the D. What changes are the bass notes, they go from D to C# to C to B to Bb and finally to A. These kind of lowering bass lines are used a lot in music and convey a sense of sadness.

Play:

Lowering bass line in D

 

Trick #3

Listen:

What Happens:

These are some easy chord embellishments you can use on D, the only note changing is the note on the top string. These kind of embellishments are usually used for strumming.

Play:

Strumming in D

 

Trick #4

Listen:

What Happens:

The following technique is called "constant structure". While strumming, the shape of the D chord stays unchanged, but climbs higher and higher on the fret board. The bass note D stays the same.

Play:

Constant structure in D

 

Trick #5

What Happens:

There is this thing called Drop D Tuning, alternatively known as slack key or drop tuning. To achieve a drop d tuning you tune your 6th string (the lowest one) one step lower to D (instead of E).

This kind of tuning is often used in metal because it makes playing power chords easier. Drop D tuning has been used in a lot of songs over the years, including Dear Prudence (The Beatles) and All Apologies (Nirvana).

Learn more about Drop D Tuning...