Lead guitar players get all the glory, but it is the rhythm guitar parts that are the backbone of songs. In these guitar lessons you will learn about chords, strumming, fingerpicking, an even alternate guitar tunings.
Sometimes it’s fun to play songs from the artists you love. Sometimes it’s fun to create your own music. Whether that’s full songs, or just playing around with some different chord progressions.
In this video guitar lesson I’m going to show you some cool chords and a cool chord progression in the key of D you can use in your own music. Feel free to steal it as is, or change it around and make it your own.
(Video Guitar Lesson)
Cool Chord Progression in D
Below are the chords and chord progression that I cover in the video guitar lesson above. You might use the first 8 measures as a verse section of a song, and the next 8 as a chorus or bridge section.
Feel free to play around with different strum patterns and feels. Switch the order of the chords in anyway you like. What I play in the lesson is just a starting point.
A Closer Look at the Cool Guitar Chords
Well the first chord in the progression is maybe not so cool. It’s just a basic D chord. But the rest of the chords complement it nicely.
The next chord is a Gmaj7/B chord. Not a chord name you can shout across the room easily, but it just a fancier G chord. The /B part just means there is an alternate bass note. The bass note, or lowest note in the chord is a B rather than G.
They key thing with most of the chords in this chord progression is the top 2 notes stay the same. So the F sharp note on the 2nd fret of the 1st string and the D note on the 3rd fret of the 2nd string. Sometimes you have to change around what fingers play them, but they are what give this chord progression some glue.
For this chord you just need to move your first finger to the 2nd fret of the 5th string from the D chord.
Next up is a Csus2(♯11). Without going into all of the crazy music theory that makes this chord tick, you could just think of this as a way to spice up a basic C chord. Again the notes on the 1st and 2nd strings are the same as the D chord and Gmaj7/B chord. But for this chord you do need to switch around your fingers.
Starting on the 3rd line of the music is what could be a chorus section of a song. Here we have an Em7(9), or sometimes called an Em9 chord. Just and Em chord with a little more spice. It’s exactly the same fingering as the Gmaj7/B chord but this time you also have the 6th string open.
Next is D/F♯. A D chord with an F♯ note in the bass. You are just going to play a basic D chord but wrap your thumb around the neck and play the F♯ note on the 6th string at the 2nd fret.
We already had a Gmaj7/B chord as the 2nd chord in this chord progression in D. But next is just a Gmaj7.
A7sus4(13) is just a fancier way of playing an A7 chord. In fact the very next chord in the chord progression is A7. So this chord resolves nicely to it.
The last chord is just a basic A7. This is the only chord in this entire chord progression that does not keep the same top 2 notes. It helps give your ear a little break before returning back to the D chord.
Embellishing the Cool Guitar Chords Even More
Here is a way you can add even more spice to the chords in this chord progression. If you were to take a basic D chord and add your pinky to the 3rd fret of the 1st string (G), that would be a Dsus4 chord. If you were to play a D chord and let go of your 2nd finger (E), that would be a Dsus2 chord.
When playing a D chord you could embellish it by randomly putting your pinky down or letting go of your 2nd finger adding the G and E notes.
Since most of the chords in this chord progression use the same top 2 notes, you can use the same G and E notes to embellish all of the chords. Don’t worry about the names of them. Just use those notes to add a little extra color and movement to your chords.
Guitar Lesson Downloads
Below you can download a PDF with the music for this guitar lesson.
(Right Click the links below and choose “Save As” or “Save Target As” or “Download Linked Files As”)