Rock & Pop Critiques For Geeks

“I have no idea what aeolian cadences are........they sound like exotic birds”    John Lennon


1.   T-Bone’s Stormy 9th Chord

2.    Katie White’s ‘Great DJ’ Chord

  1. 3.   The Hendrix Chord

  1. 4.   The James Bond Chord

5.    Johnny Winter’s Christmas Chord

6.    Robert Johnson’s Triangular Dom 7th

7.    Freddie King’s Hide Away Chord

8.    George Harrison’s “Frustrated” Flat 9

9.   The Pretenders’ Chain Gang Chord

10.  Robert Smith’s ‘Imaginary’ Chord

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Noel Gallagher’s ‘Soul-Sucking’ Chord!

The Adverts’ One Chord Wonder

Stevie Ray’s ‘Riviera’ Minor add 9

The Beatles’ Legendary Gretty Chord

Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’ Chord

Lennon’s ‘All I’ve Got To Do’ Chord

The Design For Life Chord

SRV’s ‘Lenny’ Chord

The ‘Castles Made Of Sand’ Chord

The Bananarama Chord

Noel’s ‘Supersonic’ Chord

Bowie’s Life On Mars Major 7th

The Behind Blue Eyes Chord

The Pinball Wizard Chord

Gilmour’s ‘Crazy Diamond’ Chord

Aerosmith’s Dream On Chord

The Walking On The Moon Chord

The Horse With No Name Chord

The All Right Now Chord

The I’m Not In Love Chord

The Cry Me A River Chord

The No Reply 6/9 Chord

The Easy Lover Keyboard Chord

Siouxsie’s Wailing Banshee Chord

COOL CHORDS - a compendium of the slickest shapes in guitar history

Chord No. 1                     Main Home                                Contact

Here’s the home page for a section especially for guitarists showcasing some of the most famous six-string sounds in rock & pop. Each selection has its own page covering not just the fingering and an audio clip of the original, but also a look at the relevant chord tones and, where relevant, the function of the chord in terms of the progression, as well as the history and its most famous appearances. As you can see from the list, we deliberately jump between different genres and eras to try and keep a fresh approach.

The string can be either played open (0) or not played but dampened (X)

Play open E string

Play 1 with 1st (index) finger, 2 with second finger, etc

               Guide to Notation Used

Mostly self-explanatory, but here’s a quick guide to some of my notational idiosyncracies, starting with the fact that I use my chord grids horizontally - rather than vertically (the latter have always seemed counter-intuitive to me).



7th fret

b7 and #9 are blue, being from minor pentatonic.

Play open E string

The ‘1’ now refers to the root of the chord, the 1st degree

Chord tones

               Colour coding - a quick guide

I developed the system as it helps me visualise and appreciate extensions and alterations beyond the basic triad.  It’s quite simple (really!):-

1. If the chord has a major 3rd, then any notes from the major pentatonic (1,2,3,5,6) are depicted in yellow. Bright, happy, etc.

2. If the chord has minor 3rd, then any notes from the minor pentatonic (1,b3,5,b7) are depicted in blue. Darker, sad, downbeat, etc.

3. I then use various individual colors for any remaining extensions (eg, green for major 7th) and alterations (red for sharpened 5th, etc).

I feel colours bring out the colours in the chord....

‘1’ is in yellow as 3 is a major 3rd