Be A Genius Songwriter With Just 4 Chords (Part 1) - Riff Ninja Guitar

How to Be a Genius Songwriter With Just 4 Chords

This lesson is about how to be a genius songwriter with just four chords. The four chords used in this lesson are G, Em, C, and D. There are thousands of songs written with these chords. G C and D are the I, IV, and V of the G scale. They are also known as the three primary chords of the G scale. G is your tonic chord. The Em is the relative minor. Hopefully you already know how to play these chords.

This lesson shows you also how to use a capo. The capo used in this lesson is about a $10 one that is adjustable. It fits on many different sizes of guitars, even mandolins and banjos.

If you want to move from the key of G to the key of A, you need to move up a full tone, which is two frets. To do this with a capo, place the capo on the second fret. Centre it in the middle of the fret. The beauty of having an adjustable capo (as opposed to the spring clamp capo) is that you can adjust the capo until it has just enough pressure on it to sound in tune.

Now with the capo on, what used to be the G major chord is now the A major chord. What used to be C major is now D major, what used to be D major is now E major, and E minor has changed to F# minor.

An advantage to using a capo when writing a song is you can hear what it would sound like if you had one guitar playing an octave higher, and you can still play the same chords.

Also, if you place your capo on the 7th fret, what was in the key of G is now in the key of D (7 frets is 7 semi-tones). Think of your capo as a movable string nut. Just remember, the further up the fretboard you go, the harder it will be to fit your fingers between the frets. Placing your capo on different frets will change the colour of the song. Something in the key of C will sound totally different from a song in the key of G.

You can easily write many songs using the I, IV, V and relative minor of the key. Using the capo allows you more options with those four chords.

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