Warm Up Exercise
Transitioning between Em7 - D/F# - G
Get the educational PDF(2 pages)
- Support me on Patreon.com to get access to this and 200+ other educational PDFs I've made, plus new PDFs I make going forward (1-2 added each week).
- The cost is $3/month (one month minimum, cancel anytime). Annual plans also available. Here's a free sample if you're on the fence. Thanks!
After clicking the button and logging in to Patreon, look for the PDF attached to the bottom of the post.
In this lesson, I want to share a recent trick I stumbled on to when playing the D/F# chord shape (spoken as “D over F sharp”) - and transitioning from D/F# to either an E-minor or G-major chord. The cool thing about this trick is you’ll be keeping your left ring finger on the same exact note for all the chord shapes I show - so, the transitions become much easier. This will be helpful in various different songs that need the D/F# chord shape. Let’s check it out!
How to play the chord shapes
Two things are very important to recognize here. First, understand that your left ring finger will stay on the 3rd fret of the B string for all of these chord shapes. Second, understand that your left index & middle fingers are what’s playing all other notes (on the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th string). Together, these two tips make these 4 chords much easier to approach.
E –––––––––––––––––––––––––––– B ––––3–––––3–––––3–––––3––––– <== left ring finger stays here, G ––––0–––––2–––––0–––––0––––– on the 3rd fret, for all four D ––––2–––––0–––––0–––––2––––– of these chord shapes! A ––––2–––––0–––––2–––––3––––– E ––––0–––––2–––––3––––––––––– Em7 D/F# G Cadd9
The first exercise you may want to try, as part of getting comfortable with these chords, is using a simple fingerpicking pattern. For example, you could use this pattern, which goes uses the 6th, 3rd, and 2nd strings in a repetitive manner. Even though the left-hand chord shapes change, your right-hand picking pattern will stay the exact same.
E ––––––––––– B ––––––x–––– <== left middle finger G ––––x–––x–– <== left index finger D ––––––––––– A ––––––––––– E ––x–––––––– <== left thumb
Using this pattern, we could go through the chords in this repeating pattern (Em - D/F# - G - D/F#). Play this as slow as you need to in order to retain consistency… and as you get more comfortable, try speeding it up or altering it as you see fit.
E ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– B ––––––3–––––––––––3–––––––––––3–––––––––––3–––––– G ––––0–––0–––––––2–––2–––––––0–––0–––––––2–––2–––– D ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– A ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– E ––0–––––––––––2–––––––––––3–––––––––––2–––––––––– Em7 D/F# G D/F#
To take things even further, here’s a fun little fingerpicking exercise inspired by the song “Shallow” from the 2018 film version of “A Star is Born”. The timing is a bit more tricky here – see my video lesson for reference. The full riff, which repeats, looks like this:
E ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––0h2p0––––– B ––––––3–––––3–x–3–––––––––––––––––––––––––3–––––––––3–x–3––––––3–––– G ––––0–––0–––2–x–0–––––––––––––––––––––0–––––0–––0–––0–x–2––––––––2–– D ––––––––––––––x–––––––––––––––––––––2–––2–––––2–––––––x–0––––––––––– A ––––––––––––––x–––––––––––––––––––3–––––––––––––––––––x––––––––––––– E ––0–––––––2–––x–3–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––3–––x––––––––––––– Em D/F# G Cadd9 G D 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +
A tip with this one, if you want some advice: first, practice going between the chord shapes along with the proper rhythmic counting. Here’s the same chord positions (minus fingerpicking), with the changes happening at the proper beats:
E ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––2––––––––––– B ––3–––––––3–––––3–––––––––––––––––3–––––––––––––––3–––––3––––––––––– G ––0–––––––2–––––0–––––––––––––––––0–––––––––––––––0–––––2––––––––––– D ––2–––––––0–––––0–––––––––––––––––2–––––––––––––––0–––––0––––––––––– A ––2–––––––0–––––2–––––––––––––––––3–––––––––––––––2––––––––––––––––– E ––0–––––––2–––––3–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––3––––––––––––––––– Em D/F# G Cadd9 G D 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 +
From there, once comfortable with the timing, you can bring in the fingerpicking and perhaps find it a bit more approachable.
I hope all this was helpful
Please let me know what other chords you’d like to see lessons made for! In the meantime, best of luck with your playing.
Get my lessons in your inbox!
Every couple weeks I send out an email newsletter with links to whatever new lessons I've made. Sign up here and stay in the loop!
Enjoy my lessons? Buy me a beer!
If this and my other lessons have proven helpful to you, please consider making a one-time donation to my tip jar. Contributions of any amount help make this project possible (including the many, many hours I put into it).
Subscribe to my YouTube channel
Be sure to never miss a lesson by subscribing on YouTube. I put out 2-3 new videos every week. These include full song lessons, as well as covers, practice tips, behind-the-scenes updates. Thanks!
Recent video lessons:
📝 My "song" PDFs are now individually purcasheable! I've arranged a licensing agreement with Musicnotes, a service that lets you buy sheet music. Patreon suppoters get 50% off each purchase. Get the latest info here » (last updated July 1, 2021)
October 14, 2021
A quick guide to tuning all your strings down 1/2 step (E-flat tuning), which is a very common alternate tuning used in many songs.
October 2, 2021
A quick inventory of 8 different ways to play the dreaded F chord, 7 of which are easier than the dreaded six-string barred version.
September 28, 2021
A quick exercise where I share over 10 riffs based on a single arpeggio shape, using major 7th chord tones. Backing track included!
September 19, 2021
A deep dive into everything you need to know when playing in the Key of C: notes, chords, fretboard map, tips & tricks, easier ways to play the F chord, and plenty more.
September 12, 2021
A deep-dive into the common positions of the major scale, and how they each relate to the CAGED chord shapes... which makes it all easier to understand!
August 29, 2021
I recently got my 1st electric guitar, and was surprised how many things immediately confused me. Here's a quick inventory, in case it helps anyone else starting out!
Browse my all lessons
By lesson type
By song decade
By musical genre
By guitar technique
By musical key
By popular artist
- Johnny Cash
- Tyler Childers
- Tom Petty
- Neil Young
- Lynyrd Skynyrd
- Willie Nelson
- John Denver
- Guns N' Roses