When I say movable chords, I’m referring to any chord whose entire shape can be moved up and down the neck in order to play the same chord with a different starting note.
In fact, we’ve already learned one movable chord:
Yes, the B Diminished chord. The note under your first finger is a B, so if we move this whole shape up one fret it becomes C Diminished, then C# Diminished, and so on. This is one of the advantages of stringed instruments over the piano.
Since the B Diminished chord is not that useful to us at the moment, let’s try a C Major movable chord. This is also a barre chord because you’re making a barre with your first finger. In its most complete form, this barre chord is played as follows:
But since no one really plays it like that, you’re more likely to see it played like this:
You could play it with the fingering from the first chord and omit the note on the top E string. I’d recommend learning both ways. Again, if you move this whole shape up one fret you have C# Major, then D Major and so on.
Here’s our D Minor chord in a movable form. This one falls a little more nicely under your fingers so the note on the top E string is usually played.
Slide this very shape up two frets and you have our next chord, E Minor:
Next up is the movable version of F Major:
This is the same fingering as the C Major chord at the start of this section, only now we’re up at the 8th fret where your first finger is playing an F. Slide up two more frets and you have G Major:
Next up is A Minor:
If you’re struggling with barre chords, you’ll probably find these ones further up the neck a little easier to get to grips with. You can play the B Diminished chord up at the 14th fret as after the 12th fret everything repeats.
Checkpoint: Go to the next section when you have these barre chords down as you’re in for more of the same. Playing chords up and down the fretboard like this is essential to learn but can be somewhat impractical, so in the next section we’ll learn how to change chords and play chord progressions within a range of a couple of frets.