Favorite Chords on the Guitar

A little spice for your guitar life

There are some chords I just love to use.

They are not always appropriate but it’s so satisfying when I can squeeze one in. In this post I’m going to show you a few of my favorites and some of the chords they match well with.


Sounds like: The F# being right next to the G gives it a little more dissonance but used in conjunction with the right chords it blends well together.

Works especially well with

Try it: Great I Am by New Life Worship is a great example of how these chords can blend well but add a little more character. Swap out the D Em7 and D2/B with D11 Em9 and Bm11.


Sounds Like: a jazzy transition from the 1major to 2m or 5major to 6m. You'll notice there are no open strings so it is movable. In the position showed above it would be a A#b5 and would be a passing chord between Amajor and Bm.

Works well with: any song where it doesn't clash with the melody.

Try it with: What A Beautiful Name by Hillsong Worship. On the first line of the bridge you hold an A for a full measure before transitioning to the Bm. Try adding the A#b5 on beat 3 over the word 'silence". It might throw your ear for a second but give it a chance. If you are playing with a band you'll obviously have to coordinate this with them otherwise it will sound terrible.


Sounds like: an open alternative to D2. Playing the higher voiced F# before the open D in the strum gives it a unique sound.

Works well with: Any song in the key of D with a transition between a D and Bm7 or D2/B.

Try it with: Glory To Glory by Bethel Music. You can slide from the Bm7 position into the Dadd9 for a nice effect.

Worship songs are written to be playable which is why they often default to common voicings. If you can get creative while still maintaining the integrity of the song it will be a nice boost to your fingers and your congregation's ears. Don't be afraid to get creative in practice! What's the worst that can happen?


Jason Houtsma is the co-founder and guitar teacher at Worship Artistry, where he is helping musicians of every level answer the call to worship with passion and confidence. Jason has been leading worship and writing music since he was 15 years old and currently serves as Worship Pastor for Mosaic Church in Bellingham, WA. He is husband to Alli and father to Bjorn and Asher.

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C# or F#?

Love the post. Looks like some cool stuff to try and work in.

I have a question, though. Regarding the Dadd9 chord you say, "Sounds like: an open alternative to D2. Playing the higher voiced C# before the open D in the strum gives it a unique sound."

Isn't the note before the open D an F# (5th string, 9th fret)? Kindof like a D2/F# chord. Or maybe I don't understand the chord notation.


Good call. It's fixed. Thanks for the heads up!


It's not a D2/F# because the lowest note is still a D even though it's on a higher string.

Another one....

I have an A chord that I found that I really like:

A string: open
D string: 11th fret
G string: 9th fret
B string: 10th fret
E string: 12th fret



very nice. Here's the A chord I forgot to add

A - open
D - 2nd fret
G - 4th fret
B - 2nd fret
E - Open


So that would be an Aadd2 then? A different feel than the Asus2 that usually gets played in the key of E. Try it with an E/G# in the same position but dropping the 2nd fret C# on the B string and adding the 4th fret G# on the low E. The voice leading works well.

Then you could go to this B6:

E - 2
B - open
G - 1
D - 1 or mute
A - 2


After shoveling the foot of snow out my driveway reading your post comes new challenge. Yes I tried some new chords tonight. Amen