The key of A flat
This is the 9th installment of this
article-designed to help the beginner/intermediate guitarist learn guitar
chords, as they apply to each given key. We ended our last installment
with the key of E. In this installment we will cover the wonderful key of
A flat. Now
everybody has a different method that they may apply when attempting to
teach what Iím about to. If this doesnít work for you, accept my
apologies and donít let it discourage you. If it does work for you, then
my life will have had some meaning. Letís start with the basic chords in
the key of A flat.
The Basic chords in the key of A flat
Now let me
explain the chord charts in case you donít understand them. They
represent the guitar neck, as you would look at it sideways.
From right to left are the six strings of the guitar and the
horizontal lines represent the frets. Got it? Good. Each finger is
represented by a number from 1-4, with 1 being the index finger, 2 being
the middle finger, 3 being the ring finger and 4 being the pinky. The ďxĒ
means that the string isnít played, plucked, strummed or touched.
Leave it alone! Whenever you see a line connecting the dots, it
means that all of the dots are pressed down by the same finger. Which is
called ďbarringĒ the chord. Simplified: One finger lays across the
strings. You may have noticed that most of the chord diagrams in chart 1
have a number to the left of them. Letís use the C Minor as an example.
The 3 to the left of the diagram means that the first fret
displayed is to be regarded as the fourth fret on your guitar.
Okay? Above, Iíve shown the basic chords for the key of A flat. Below
are some additional chords that I refer to as substitute chords.
Some substitute chords for the key of A flat
In chart 2, I have listed what are called substitute chords.
Letís say you played the first chords listed in chart 1, in the
order that they were listed. For
the A major chord, you can substitute an A major 7th chord. The
C minor chord can be replaced by the C minor 7th chord. The
same is true for each of the remaining. Play them. Has a jazzy ring to it,
doesnít it? Some people refer to substitute chords as orchestral chords
but it doesnít matter. A rose by any other name still has a thorn.
Iíve included additional substitute chords so that you can
improve your chordal vocabulary. Youíll
be the life of the party and the envy of all your peers.
You will be on your way to achieving greatness. The sky is the
limit. Letís move on to some more substitute chords.
now weíll close by saying that we hope you will find this article useful
in the process of improving yourself as a guitarist. If there is something
you think we should add, just send a letter or E-mail and weíll be happy
to give your suggestions some consideration.
Any feedback you give will be appreciated.
We want to make improvements on the web site wherever possible. We
covered 17 chords in this issue and in each installment weíll cover 17 more.
See you next time.
Next installment: The key of