10 Reggae Chord Progressions pdf

Print this page

Secrets of Reggae Guitar Chords 

Reggae guitar chords can be as complex or as simple as you make them. However, most reggae guitarists don't use complex reggae guitar chords unless they are playing reggae jazz or some kind of melodic phrase. It's not that it can't be done, but experience has show when playing reggae, simple reggae guitar chords are more effective and they generally sound better too. Reggae Guitar Chords

In this written lesson and hopefully a video lesson soon, I will show you the basic reggae guitar chords. The secret as you will see is in the simplicity of the technique reggae guitarists use. Keep in mind I am form the school which believes that there are only 3 types of chords, majors, minors and dominants. For this lesson we will focus only on the majors and the minors, the dominants will come at a later date, so you don't get too confused. Enjoy!

Bar Chords

Early reggae guitar players came from Ska, therefore the chords they used were big, fat and chunky sounding bar chords which included your typical major and minor chords.  A simple A minor reggae chord progression could look something like this, A major - B minor - F# minor - E major.  The bar chords for these reggae guitar chords are shown below.

 

A Major                               B Minor                       F# Minor                    E Major 

E|-----------------5--|-----------------7--|-----------------9--|--------------7---| 

B|--------------5-----|--------------7-----|-------------10----|-----------9------| 

G|-----------6--------|-----------7--------|---------11--------|--------9---------| 

D|--------7-----------|--------9-----------|-----11------------|-----9------------| 

A|-----7--------------|-----9--------------|--9-----------------|--7---------------| 

E|--5-----------------|--7-----------------|---------------------|------------------| 

 

All the notes of these reggae guitar chords would have been strum together to give that fat sound we mentioned earlier. For practice, strum these chords to get familiar with them. To give your strumming some kind of melodic pattern or to make it more rhythmic, strum each chord twice before moving to the next one. For this exercise avoid the up stroke, just concentrate on the down.

You should be getting a big bright reggae guitar sound. Make sure you are using the neck pickup of your guitar; quite a few guitar players use the neck pickup. After you have master how to hold and play these reggae guitar chords, you can then incorporate up strokes, while varying your stroke pattern, by playing slightly behind or ahead of the beat.

Triads

As time moved on, reggae guitar as an art form evolved and so did the playing style. Reggae guitar chords to a very large extent move from sounding big, fat and chunky to a more refined melodic tone. This in part is largely due to the ever increasing skill of the players, but the extensive use of triads also contributed greatly.

For those who do not know, triads are three note chords which can be found all over the guitar for any single chord. The advantage of using triads when playing reggae guitar are, they give the guitar its own frequency range, thus staying out of the way of other instruments and allowing the sound to cut through the mix without sounding muddy, they make playing a lot easier, since triads are just three notes chords and many of them are near to each other, they allow different voicing and make comping easier.

An example here would be helpful. Below I have given the guitar tabs for the triads, for the reggae guitar chords used earlier.

   

A Major       B minor          F# Minor         E Major 

E|--------5--|--------7--|--9-----------|--7--------| 

B|-----5-----|-----7-----|-----10------|-----9-----| 

G|--6--------|--7--------|---------11--|--------9--| 

D|-----------|------------|-------------|-----------| 

A|-----------|-----------|--------------|-----------| 

E|-----------|-----------|--------------|-----------| 

 

The key to leaning these triads or reggae guitar chords is to practice them the way you did earlier. These chords can be found all over the guitar fret board and it's really up to you to figure them out. Learning them can help take your playing to another level. Remember too that these triads are inversions and can sometimes be substituted for other reggae guitar chords. Well I use them as substitutes anyway and you can too.

Well done! You have made it this far. The secret to a good reggae guitar rhythm section are triads my friend. They are easy to hold and can be played all over the guitar for variety. Peace and love!  For more reggae chords

 

Bookmark this page
Delicious Twitter Technorati Stumbleupon Facebook Digg

 

 

 

 

 

Dwayne Griffiths

Dwayne Griffiths New Album is out!