Dominating The D Chord

Looks like I'm not the only one getting bored with this one...

If you’ve watched the chord diagram walkthrough’s in the song lessons, you’ve probably heard me refer to the “Plain Old D Chord”.  It sticks out like a sore thumb.  G2sus, Cmaj7add2, Em6, D.  Oftentimes we find ourselves hanging on that chord for a few measures at a time.  Sure we can get “creative” by throwing in a D2 or a Dsus but that gets old.  In this post I’ve put together a collection of chord shapes that you can try when you see the ubiquitous D on the chord chart.

Keep in mind, sometimes these will fit and sometime they won't.  This isn't meant as a theory lesson, simply a "spark your creativity lesson".  Let your ear be your guide.  If you need some ideas, here's a domonstration of these chords in action.  The first half of the video is vamping on the 'D' while the second half frames it in a G C D progression.  Get crazy!


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

Dominating The D Chord

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the guitar...

Loving the mix up and chord shape videos. What kind of a guitar is it that your playing in those? love the shape and the neck seems smaller... is that just the video or my imagination? I have what one might call "squatty hands" so I'd love to find an acoustic that I can reach more than three frets on!

Keep it up, love the site. It's a blessing to worship with you while learning.

Your eyes do not deceive you.

I'm playing a Martin 000-28ec. It has a slightly shorter scale. The neck has a V shape profile and took me awhile of playing it in a few stores before I decided I loved it. Gibson guitars also have a slightly shorter scale and would be worth looking into it. Here are the specs on my Martin:

PS. Your last sentence is one of my favorite on the site...

Variations of Chords

As I would consider myself an newbie in the guitar playing scene (2 years under my belt), I appreciate posts like these. Simple little variations of these "standard" chords take the sound from simple to dynamic. I have not had much opportunity for instruction or lessons due to time and money in the past. This website has been a valuable/affordable resource for me and has opened my eyes to the world of worship music on the guitar. Thank you for your efforts on this website. Please keep up the great work and additions to the "101" section and the Green Room. I visit almost every day! God Bless!


I've got plenty more like this in the hopper, new 101's as well. Glad it's a resource you can use. Don't hesitate to hit me up with any questions you may have.

D addition

Thanks for offering some new ideas on the d chord. It is easy to get in a routine doing the same thing over and over.

D addition plus

A chords and E chords would be great. It would give us 1,4,5 progression in the key of A with open root notes.

Martin Retro strings

Hi Jason, I found the Worship Artistry website researching the Thalia capo. I use Shubbs for 6 & 12 string, just checking out the new kid in town. I couldn't help notice the dark spruce top on your Martin, sounds great. (resembles my '74 Guild D-40 lefty).
I have a lefty Martin DC-Aura-GT that I can't put down. I have been using the Tony Rice medium gauge monel strings and love the overall response and they last a long time. I play a lot and have tried the coated strings, but these surpass all of them in tone response and long-life. Not sure how they would sound on another make guitar, but certainly sound great on the Martin.
For His Glory!!

I'll have to check them out.

I've stuck with elixirs nano webs because of their long life but the brightness in the beginning drives me crazy for a few days. Next broken string...