I looked at several sites and I found this:

4 x 2 4 0 0

The 6th string is played on the 4th fret, correct? I found this on a message board but on the sites that I usually go to they don't show this. So is this correct? How can you tell?

  • If you're cool with muting two strings, you can play E/G# as 4xx454. Apr 12, 2011 at 6:35
  • i dont know if id want to strum that chord for long, but all the notes fit the triad. of course, context is everything, but i think this would be mostly useful for walk up/down on the bass (ie E, E/F#, E/G#, A)
    – Anonymous
    Apr 20, 2011 at 14:33

4 Answers 4


That is perfectly acceptable.

When I play acoustic, I think of it as a D/F# capo'd up 2, where it's played 4 2 2 4 5 4, thumb grabbing the G# on the 6th string. Sometimes play standard and try to catch it with the pinky 4 2 2 1 0 0, but that's a little bit of a stretch.

Electric, I'm playing it with a bassist and keyboard player, so much of the time I don't bother. Bassist is playing the G#, so I just play a standard E barre chord. When I do play it. I play it by barring the 2nd 3rd and 4th strings with my index finger and holding the low note with my ring finger. x 9 7 7 7 x. Kinda a reverse A-shape barre.

  • Good point about not duplicating the bass, this is important in general. May 27, 2011 at 21:31

That would work. It has the g# in the bass and also contains the other notes of the chord ( e and b)

  • How do you know which notes a chord has?
    – Anonymous
    Apr 11, 2011 at 6:06
  • 1
    Check out chordbook.com/guitarchords.php to see what notes a chord has in it. Click the chord, and at the top right it will tell you which notes make up the chord. Stuart is right, the bass G# along with some notes from an E. If your fingers stretch, you could play it as 4X2100 :)
    – Ali
    Apr 11, 2011 at 6:57
  • The E on the left tells you it's an E major chord. The g# on the right tells you to put a g# in the bass (lowest note) . To figure out what notes chords are made of you will need to learn about intervals and chord construction. I have a beginners theory guide on my site which I am currently writing. Intervals and chord construction should be up this week. Apr 11, 2011 at 7:26
  • 1
    Could also replace the X with a 2 to add a B. I do this by using index finger covering both strings at the 2nd fret, pinky on the 4th fret B, ring finger to get the G#.
    – Anonymous
    Apr 11, 2011 at 23:58

This is a first inversion E major chord, i.e. with a G# root. An E major chord (triad) contains the notes E, G# and B. That means that any E major shape or partial shape (from CAGED) with a convenient G# root works. Here's a fretboard diagram showing E major chord tones with G# on the bass strings in red:

enter image description here

This is a map of the territory. You should immediately see some voicing opportunities, including:

D shapes:

[ 4 x 2 4 0 0 ]
[ 4 x 2 4 5 0 ]
[ 4 x x 4 5 4 ]

G shapes:

[ x 11 9 9 9 x ]
[ x 11 9 9 12 x ]

C shapes:

[ 4 7 6 4 5 4 ]
[ x x 6 4 5 4 ]
[ x x 6 4 5 7 ]

also, given that the G# root usually implies chromatic or diatonic root movement, consider the voicing you're moving towards when deciding what to play.


I generally play a C chord barred on the 4th fret. That way you can play all of the strings when strumming or have more strings to choose when fingerpicking.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.