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Chords in the Key of E part 2: Alternate Voicings

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In the Part 1 of this lesson, we learned how to play the chords E, A, B, and C#m. In this lesson, we’ll learn different voicings of E, A, and B.

The two basic shapes

The E shape

To play these different voicings, we’ll move two basic shapes around the fretboard. The first shape is the basic E shape.

This is the regular E major chord, played on the 2nd and 1st frets. We can use this shape to play both an A and a B chord. To play an A, slide the shape up to the 7th and 6th frets:

To play a B, slide it up two more frets to the 9th and 8th frets:

The B Shape

The next shape we’ll use is the B shape. This is the open B shape on the 4th and 2nd frets:

To play a C#m, slide it up to the 6th and 4th frets:

To play an E, slide it up to the 9th and 7th frets:


In conclusion, you can use the E shape to play the chords E, A, and B:

And you can use the open B shape to play B, C#m, and E:

Songs using these chords

Hosanna by Brooke Fraser (Hillsong) is a great example of using these alternate voicings.


13 Responses to Chords in the Key of E part 2: Alternate Voicings

  1. Allan Lund Tolberg Aug 15, 2012 at 8:40 pm #

    Love it! 😀

  2. Brian Wahl Band Aug 15, 2012 at 8:40 pm #


  3. Johnny James Cartin Aug 19, 2012 at 9:45 am #

    Thanks Brian Your the Man! 🙂

  4. Steve Vorster May 16, 2014 at 1:49 pm #

    This is great ! Thanks Brian !

  5. Penny Aug 17, 2014 at 11:16 pm #

    Hey Brian!! I’m confused with the amazing love tutorial. You give the whole strumming pattern, but not the strumming for each chord you play. Could you please show me!!!! Thank you I would SO appreciate it

  6. Leandro Jul 12, 2016 at 9:45 pm #

    Hi how do you get the notes to play in different ways.

    • Brian Aug 2, 2016 at 1:00 pm #

      Hi Leandro – I’m not sure I understand what you are asking exactly.

  7. Crystal Aug 14, 2016 at 8:30 pm #

    Let me just say, HALLELUJAH!!! Before this vid, I was thinking that I would NEVER be able to play without crippling my fingers trying to contort them all over the fret board!!!! I’ve always wanted to learn guitar, but could never afford to take lessons!! As a vocalist, and strings player wannabe, with five kids and a tight budget, I searched the web for FREE guitar lessons, and found YOU!! Thanks for all you do in Jesus name, Brian Wahl!!!!

    • Brian Aug 22, 2016 at 11:04 pm #

      Thank you so much, Crystal!

  8. jeremiasbaez Aug 19, 2016 at 9:04 am #

    Hey, awesome chords and i love playing them i just have 1 question, Where are the root note or name of those chrods because i am looking at the fret position and it does not match the note, i dont know if i am doing something wrong please help 🙂 God bless

  9. Mike Feb 9, 2017 at 10:03 pm #

    I was trying to find the part 1 of this lesson, but it is MIA. my real interest is about C#m and how it is played… I am trying to use the barre chord but it sounds off on all the songs I’ve tried it on. love the lessons though, please keep it up!

  10. Paul Szakacs Jun 6, 2017 at 12:18 pm #

    Incredible! Finally a clear explanation of various ways of playing chords. Thank you. GBY

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