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How to play a E/B chord

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Apr 7, 2020 - 9:48:32 PM
5 posts since 1/24/2018

Not to be confused with an Eb, this chord has been giving me some trouble. I know it consists of a B, an E and a G# though I'm not sure of the order. Any help is appreciated

Apr 7, 2020 - 11:13:10 PM

242 posts since 4/14/2017

This specifies that the b note, which I'm sure you know is in the E chord already, will be the at the bottom of the chord.

Apr 8, 2020 - 4:02:29 AM



123 posts since 5/27/2004

Indicates B is the bass note

Apr 8, 2020 - 5:59:11 AM
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241 posts since 7/7/2005

To make a E chord, make a regular D chord and move it up the neck 2 frets to make it an E. To get the B in the bottom, don't play the 4th string. IOW, xx456.

Apr 8, 2020 - 7:29:14 AM

10789 posts since 4/23/2004

Barre @ 9th fret = E/B if you wish to use all 5 strings...and assuming gDGBD tuning.

Apr 8, 2020 - 9:11:15 AM

10697 posts since 6/2/2008
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E/B means a "second inversion" of E major with B (the 5th) as the bottom note. Since the open B string, and its identical note at 3rd string 4th fret and 4th string 9th, is the lowest sounding B in G tuning, there's not really a fingering of E/B that gives the musical effect probably intended by whoever specified that chord -- presumably for guitar.

Simply do as suggested in the previous 2 messages. Both options put E at the bottom, but the sound is far from bass.

Apr 8, 2020 - 2:17:49 PM
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1698 posts since 2/10/2003

What type of picker are you. If you play 3 finger/Scruggs style, inverted chords really don’t matter. You are never really playing a chord top to bottom (or bottom to top?) due to the rolls and the chord position used. Just play a regular E major chord. If the B is really needed in the bass due to a walk down or passing between chords, it is probably a melody note and you will pick it up anyway, doesn’t necessarily need to be in the bass.

Apr 8, 2020 - 8:32:50 PM

10697 posts since 6/2/2008
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Excellent points.

Maybe something to do is hit the B first in whatever roll you do over the chord and maybe hit it at least one more time to emphasize it.

This is just a guess, offered up without knowing the tune or context.

Apr 9, 2020 - 7:30:07 AM

3399 posts since 3/28/2008

And if you're playing in a group, it's probably not the banjo's responsibility to hit that B on the bottom. That job will likely fall to the guitar or bass. You can just play whatever voicing of an E chord you want.

Bass players have a saying, "The chord is whatever I say it is."

Apr 9, 2020 - 8:26:55 AM
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40428 posts since 3/7/2006

I agree with Ira Gitlin. The B in bass is not essential for the banjo, it is more an instruction for the rhythm guitar and bass.

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