the 2 Chord
How to get a Contemporary Sound with Your Guitar
One way of getting that thick contemporary sound is to use “2” Chords. Plain Old Major chords are being used less and less in modern music. So first let’s define a 2 chord, then let’s look at how to play them on the fretboard.
Major chords are defined as the three notes from the musical scale from positions 1-3-5. So for example, a C major chord would be composed of the C-E-G notes as shown below:
To create a 2-chord, you need to use this formula: 1-2-5. The “3’ is dropped because it does not sound good with the “2”. So a C2 chord would consist of the notes: C-D-G.
It is now easy to write out all the chords. Here are the most common ones:
A – A-B-E
B – B-C#-F#
Bb – Bb-C-F
C – C-D-G
D – D-E-A
E – E-F#-B
F – F-G-C
G – G-A-D
One nice way to play these chords is to use a 6-string bar chord. This is shown in the diagram below. Basically, it starts with an open chorded A2. Then use your first finger, barred across all the frets and drag this chord shape up the neck. At the third fret you will get a C2, at the fifth a D2, at the seventh an E2, at the eight a F2 and not shown; at the first fret you will have a Bb2 and at the second a B2.
Practice dragging this chord all over the neck until you can play all the notes cleanly.
One nice thing about this bar chord is that if you play all 6 strings, you are actually getting an inversion because the root is actually on the fifth string. The sixth string is adding a different tone so for example, the C2 at third fret is really a C2/G and the D2 at the fifth fret is actually a D2/A and so on. If you just want the pure chord, simply omit the sixth string by muting it or by not striking it.
As you practice dragging the chord up the neck, also memorize each chord name.
There are also open finger positions for most of these chords as well. These are shown in the following diagram:
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