Firstly, apologies if I am using the wrong terminology here. I am a beginner guitarist and only know a little music theory.

Considering the example of 'I will Follow you into the Dark' by Death Cab For Cutie, the introduction features the progression:

Am, C, E, Am, G, F, Fm, C/G

Messing around on the fretboard, I realised that I can play those same F barre chords on the second fret which presumably are F# and F#m.

So what what would naturally follow in that case and be the 'resolving chord' instead of C/G? And why?

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    It depends on the context and key. If you're subbing those two chords straight into that song it isn't going to work regardless. If you're transposing everything up ... transpose everything up. – user28 May 17 '15 at 16:22
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    I'm not doing that. I just played the same barre chords one fret up and wondered what the next chord would be if I did transpose everything... – codecowboy May 17 '15 at 16:27
  • It can resolve to whatever you want, if you make it. – aaaaaaaaaaa May 18 '15 at 5:11
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    Two more songs with this resolution are Till there was you, and In my life. I always thought the D-Dm-A was John's genius at work, till I realized Till there was you, a song the Beatles covered, had that same progression in a different key. – user6591 May 19 '15 at 1:14
  • I repeat: +1. To the remover of my comments: I do not appreciate having my voice removed from the forum. I will let it be known that I do think this is a good question and that I most definitely do disagree with any downvoters, regardless of their opinion of the question's integrity. To wit: I am not at all a beginner musician (15+ years of dedicated improvement), though I don't know as much about theory as I would like to, and this question and it's answers has proved useful to me ... – jbowman May 21 '15 at 7:37

C#. Because it's the same thing, shifted up a semi-tone.

  • Cool, thanks. Looks like C# is a harder chord for a beginner which is probably why I haven't been exposed to it yet. chord-c.com/guitar-chord/C/sharp-major – codecowboy May 17 '15 at 16:27
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    Doesn't look any "harder" than F or Fm to me? – Laurence Payne May 17 '15 at 16:57
  • @LaurencePayne It is harder to finger an A-shaped barre chord than an E-shaped one. And a C-shaped barre is rarely even fingered across 6 strings because it's more finger-bending. – AJFaraday May 19 '15 at 14:04
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    @AJFaraday Your opinion that it is harder to finger an A-shaped barre chord is just that - an opinion! Also, I play C-shaped barre chords across all 6 strings more often than not (although technically it's an inversion of the root chord, I suppose). Just sayin' ;) – jbowman May 20 '15 at 5:16

The answer is in fact "C#/G#" (a C# with a G# as the bass note). That chord can be played as an A shaped barre chord on the 4th fret (446664).

But playing the progression - Am, C, E, Am, G, F, Fm, C/G a semitone higher will mean having to play all barre chords instead of the open Am, E, and G and C/G.

Not sure why you would want to do that. If your desire is to play the song in a key one half step higher, my solution would be to put a capo on the first fret and play the same (mostly open) chord shapes. Unless you would rather play barre chords. I personally try to only play barre chords when there is a good reason or a need. Otherwise I avoid barre chords.

Just sayin .....


The progression F - Fm - C/G is a technique used in many songs. The F is the IV of C. The walk down is in the third of the F chord (A) to F Minor (Ab) then to the C Major (G), there is a G bass note over the C chord. So their is a chromatic movement of A-Ab-G in the harmony.
'Wake Me Up When September Ends' uses this over the hook in the song. It is used in all forms of music for a smooth transition to the I chord.

To answer the question you would resolve to the C# chord. What you are hearing is that popular movement at the end of the progression.

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