Moveable maj7 chords
We have maj7 guitar chords with the root note on the 6th string, 5th string and 4th strings as well as the 5th note on the 6th and 5th strings respectively.
Knowledge of the guitar notes on the fretboard is essential as it forms the basis of where the moveable chords are played depending on the preferred location of the root note or 5th note of each chord.
If you want to play a Gmaj7 with a root note on the 6th string, you will locate the root note on the 3rd fret (G) and follow the charts accordingly; root note on the 5th string - located on the 10th fret; root note on the 4th string - located on the 5th fret, etc.
These chords include both open chords and barre chords. Some will be familiar while others will seem quite foreign. Some chords will require some serious stretching, but with practice they will become commonplace. Variety is essential as you will find yourself in situations where you are playing on certain areas of the fretboard whereby a 'close' chord can be very handy as well as providing an interesting sound variation.
Legend: Numbers in the circles show fingers used to play each note.
Moveable maj7 Chords
Root note on the 6th string
- Choose the maj7 chord you want to play, e.g., if you want to play F#maj7, the root note is F#. As the root note is on the 6th string, it is located on the 2nd and 14th frets. Place your finger on either fret on the 6th string and follow one of the above patterns from there.
- The first chord has a nice flavor. An easy way to remember this chord is to pretend you are playing an Am shape with the root note on the 6th string determining the chord name, and omitting strings 1 & 5.
- The second chord is an incredible stretch lower on the fretboard, and may only be suited to very few. It is much easier higher up the fretboard where frets are narrower... interesting sound.
Root note on the 5th string
- The first chord is the most commonly used - a typical maj7 shape used with barre chords.
- If you don't play the optional note, don't play the string.
- The third example doesn't use a root note, but does include the 3rd, 5th and 7th notes of the chord. If you were playing Cmaj7, the chord would include the notes C - E - G - B (1, 3, 5, 7). Using the 3rd shape, you would be playing the notes E - G - B with the omission of the tonic, C. Although it has a discordant sound, it does come together nicely when played with other instruments. If you are looking for something a little more unusual sounding, this chord certainly ticks all the boxes.
Root note on the 4th string
- The first shape is fairly common especially when playing Gmaj7 in the first position.
- The second chord is very easy and extremely versatile... use it wherever you can. Play Gmaj7 on frets 2-5 using the first shape, and then play the same chord but this time following the second shape with the first finger(s) on the 5th fret (4th string). This is a great alternative if you find some chords a bit of a stretch as in the first position.