14 Ways to Escape the First Four Frets, Part 9

Escape #8: The Ubiquitous D Shape

(Part 9, Way to Escape # 8. I know, it's confusing. Just go with me here...)



OK, I barely know what ubiquitous means. I've just always wanted to use it ever since I heard Steve Taylor sing "as a slave to that ubiquitous beat" in Am I in Sync? on the Meltdown album (any Steve Taylor fans out there? You know you were part of the Clone Club...)

But the D - that little, easy-to-play triangle shape - as we saw in the first triad lesson, is not just for first position anymore. During that lesson, we focused mostly on the triads as the moved up string sets 3-2-1. The D shape happened to be part of that. Let's land on that one shape now and exploit some of it's potential.

As a review, here's the breakdown of the triad:

The root, 3rd and 5th create the major chord. Don't sweat it that the Root, in this case, D, is not on the bottom. Just remember that the root is on the 2nd string.



 As we move up the neck, fret by fret, that shape becomes a new chord, named for root on the 2nd string. Let's slide it up to where the root is on the 12th fret. We're now playing a B major.

Let's go back to the open position for a moment. If you've played a D chord for more than 5 minutes, you know the fun of modifying it by changing up the first string. Put your pinky (4th finger) down on the 3rd fret. That's the sus, or sus4. Back to your 2nd finger for the major again. Now lift that one up and play the 1st string open. That's 2, or sus2. Think Tom Petty's Free Fallin'.


We can do the same tricks up at our D-shape turned B. The sus4 is easy, but the sus2 requires a finger shift. See the video for options on how to play it.

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