Folky Fridays

Folky Fridays #2 – Picking chords by ear (part 1)

In this week’s Folky Fridays I will be doing a bit of a Q and A around picking chords for Celtic tunes by ear. This free Celtic guitar lesson will cover everything you need to know to pick out interesting chords sequences to fit with Irish, Scottish and Welsh tunes (and potentially other types of folk music too!). I will also be showing you a few new chord shapes for tunes in the key of G major. Irish tunes belt along pretty fast so hopefully these easy chord shapes will make your lives easier!

You will find all my top tips from this lesson in the blog on my website after we finish. It’s already got some diagrams for shapes mentioned, but I’ll be updating it tomorrow to include anything else we cover. Check it out here:

Out on the Ocean tune loop:

Simple chords:

G / G / G / C / G / G / C / D G X2

C / C / G / D / G / C / G / D G X2


Example with related minors:

G / Em / Am / D / G / Em / Am / D G X2

C / Am / Em / D / G / C / Em / D G X2

If you're just starting out in the world of Celtic backing guitar, my books can help! They cover everything you need to know about theory, structure, rhythms, chords, fingerstyle and much more... Check them all out here

If you'd like to learn how to play by ear then there's really no substitute for an experienced professional teacher. Click here to book your free trial lesson today!

If you would like a complete guide to folk backing on the guitar then you really need my book Backing Guitar Techniques For Traditional Celtic Music, which tells you all the music theory, strumming patterns, chord shapes and everything else you need to become a great backing guitarist and
My invention The Amazing Mode Wheel can show you all the notes and chords which fit in any scale used in Celtic music.

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