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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Chord Chart for Upper Frets

Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link:

jaxrabbit - Posted - 12/25/2018:  16:14:59


I am a new player (although I've played guitar for 40+ years), and I wondered where I might purchase or grab a chart that includes chords on the higher frets. Specifically, I'm looking to accompany a choir on a tune in D major, but the recording has the banjo player playing an octave higher than the basic chord structure.

My searches must be using the wrong terminology; I'm struggling to find anything.

Thanks for any guidance.

mbanza - Posted - 12/25/2018:  16:18:28

This one may be useful:

jaxrabbit - Posted - 12/25/2018:  16:24:46

Hey, now that just might work --- thank you very much!

Old Hickory - Posted - 12/25/2018:  18:00:38

All chord shapes repeat.  Both major and minor.  There are three shapes of each.  Even the lowest chords with open strings are just variants of one of the 4-string closed positions, with the open string being "fretted" at the nut.  

At the 12th fret (the octave) and above, the chords repeat relative to the 12th fret as the octave nut. So a barre shape at 12 is the same as open G. The D shape chord with 2nd string fretted at 15 (D note, 3 up from 12) is an actual D chord.

Just as on guitar, key to knowing your chords up the neck is knowing which string has the root/name note in which repeatable shape.  Barre shape: 3rd string; F shape: 4th and 1st string; D shape: 2nd string. So, make a D shape with 2nd string fretted at 8 and you have a G Major chord.

I've never heard the minor shapes given names. But the repeatable shapes are  A minor, 2-2-1-2, root on 3rd; F# minor: 4-2-2-4, root on 4th and 1st; E minor: 5-4-5-5 (root on 2nd) or 2-4-5-5 (root on 4th and 2nd).  This is the same as D minor: 0-2-3-3.

With this information, you can probably find the dominant and minor sevenths.

If you need extended chords, then that chord generator will be a shortcut. But as with the majors and minors, you only need to know one, since the shapes are used all up and down the neck.

Have fun.

thisoldman - Posted - 12/25/2018:  19:09:23  assuming you play 5 string.

kmwaters - Posted - 12/26/2018:  08:05:46

Here you go.

jaxrabbit - Posted - 12/26/2018:  08:26:42

@kmwaters -- you are a prince! I really appreciate this.

Thanks also to the others who responded; so glad I found this group of knowledgeable folks.

mmuussiiccaall - Posted - 12/26/2018:  10:33:31

Here's another PDF.


BTW if you want to make these into minor chords you would just lower the note to the right of the red dot. For the D SHAPE lower both the 1st & 4th strings.

Edited by - mmuussiiccaall on 12/26/2018 10:41:18

jaxrabbit - Posted - 12/26/2018:  10:37:57

Printed. Thanks much, Rick

Old Hickory - Posted - 12/26/2018:  20:07:40

The charts from Ken W. and Rick both show in their own way what I was saying: there are three shapes for major chords.  They repeat all up and down the neck.

In a vamping backup situation, you won't play the 5th string, so it's note not fitting all chords won't matter.

But in rolling backup, you'll probably find yourself having to make peace with one defining characteristic of the 5-string banjo's sound: a high G drone that's part of some chords, adds color to others (turning them into 6ths, 7ths, 9ths and what have you) and being fleetingly discordant in others. 

Since you expect to be making chords up the neck, learn the different ways you can thumb the 5th string to create pleasing sounds. It's particularly easy with F and D shapes. Experiment with thumbing the fifth string at the same fret your index finger finger is fretting, as well as one above or one below.

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