3 Chord Shapes and Riffs You Need To Be Using

Work your way up the neck.

We used some shapes in Paul Baloche's "O Come All Ye Faithful / We Adore You" that I thought I'd expand on a little.  Watch this video for the details and then check below for tabs and chord shapes.


For your major and minor chord shapes the root needs to be either the lowest or the highest note of the chord.  For example, to make a G major chord, you would play the major shape making sure the note on the D string and high E were G's.  Likewise to play an Am chord, you play a minor shape with notes on D and E both being A.  The slash root is on the B string with the bass on the D string so to play a D/F#, your D is on the B string and your F# is on the D string.  It makes sense in the video.


Here is a run up the scale with variations on the chord shapes as shown in the video.  You'll notice in the 4th measure I added the suspended note on the chord.  This doesn't always work in context but it's good to know you have the option.

As always, I'll take questions below if you've got them.

Jason Houtsma serves as Worship Pastor for Mosaic Church in Bellingham, WA, Husband to Alli, Father to Bjorn and Asher, and guitar instructor for WorshipArtistry.com

3 Chord Shapes and Riffs You Need To Be Using

Login to post comments


Thank you! I couldn't help

Thank you! I couldn't help laughing reading "It makes sense in the video"....

Have a blessed Sunday!

I hope it did.

It's way easier to show things than write them.

Quick question

I was wondering why you used slashes on the 3rd and 7th chords of the scale verses any other chords. I have a basic knowledge of theory but I have not run into this before and was just wondering why it works? Thank you in advance for the help.

I'd love to give you a really awesome theory reply

But truth is they just sound right. You can also use a minor on the 3rd and a diminished chord on the7th position but they aren't as common in pop and rock music.