enter image description here

This shape is playing an Em (322450), but I'm not used to see it and it doesn't match the common E and A movable shapes I see all the time.

Is this common with some specific styles?


I should have added this at the beginning: - This is the original song (tuned down for live):

- This is the guitar cover with the 'odd' chord shape:

you can see that shape around 1:07

  • It's uncommon to me too. Movable, but the top string would need muting. Something of a G6.
    – Tim
    Jun 6, 2019 at 16:05
  • @Tim -- it took me a minute to catch up to you about the muting: muting to make it movable. It kind of looks like the top string is being muted by the side of the index finger in the image. If OP saw this labelled as an Em somewhere, it is an Em in first inversion, but it seems more likely to me that it would be used as a G6, as you say.
    – user39614
    Jun 6, 2019 at 16:10
  • Why a G6? Other than the fact it's got a G bass, it's just root & 5th all the way up GBEBEE
    – Tetsujin
    Jun 6, 2019 at 16:11
  • @Tetsujin -- B is the 3rd of G, so 1-3-6: an acceptable G6 ;)
    – user39614
    Jun 6, 2019 at 16:12
  • The other guitar is playing an E5 at that time; the progression being A5-G5-E5, this is most likely an Em
    – Thomas
    Jun 6, 2019 at 16:35

1 Answer 1


It's an Em/G or maybe G6, but not a particularly nice sounding one, IMO. It's less muddy, if you leave out at least the second-lowest string, for example 3x24xx, but then you'll have to mute the non-sounding strings, maybe finger-pick. I use those kinds of chords when I want to have particular inversions and voice-leading for the bass, and/or a specific highest note. But then it's only for a specific moment in that specific bass/harmony/melody motion.

Which styles use that... "fingerstyle" maybe? I think fingerstyle guitarists seem to be more careful about inversions than players of some other styles. :)

  • It's in a 70s rock song ("This is the one", from Thin Lizzy); one guitar does power chords and the other one plays the same chords, but in a higher register. I saw a video with that shape and I have been intrigued by it
    – Thomas
    Jun 6, 2019 at 17:04

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