How to play

How to play the B6 chord on guitar

Learn to play the B6 chord, featured in hits like "Hey Joe" and "Sweet Home Alabama."

The B6 chord

The B6 chord, pronounced B sixth, is a colorful and versatile chord used in various musical genres. It adds a touch of sophistication to the standard B major chord by incorporating an extra note, creating a rich and harmonious sound. The B6 chord is commonly found in jazz, soul, and R&B music, and can also add an interesting flavor to rock and pop songs.

There are many ways to play a chord. Here's a diagram for the most common B6 chord. We've also included other versions below.

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Finger placement for B6 chord

The B6 chord is typically played as a barre chord on the 7th fret of the guitar.

Follow these finger positions to play a B6 chord on your guitar:

  1. Place your index finger across all six strings at the 7th fret, creating a barre.
  2. Place your ring finger on the 9th fret of the 4th (D) string.
  3. Place your pinky finger on the 9th fret of the 3rd (G) string.

To strum this chord, place your fingers in the correct positions and strum all six strings simultaneously, making sure each string rings out clearly.

How to play an easy B6 chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the B6 chord, try playing an open B6 chord instead. Place your index finger on the 1st fret of the 1st (high E) string, your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 3rd (G) string, and strum only the top four strings.

How to play a B6 bar chord

Playing a B6 barre chord can be a great way to add variety to your playing and create a fuller sound compared to the standard B6 chord.

Here's how to play a B6 barre chord:

  1. Place your index finger across the 7th fret, covering all six strings (barre).
  2. Place your ring finger on the 9th fret of the 4th (D) string.
  3. Place your pinky finger on the 9th fret of the 2nd (B) string.
  4. Strum all six strings from the 6th (low E) string.

Common B6 chord progressions

The B6 chord, a major triad with an added sixth, often serves as a transitional chord in progressions, providing a dreamy or nostalgic feel. Some common chord progressions featuring B6 include:

  • I - vi - ii - V7 (B - G#m - C#m - F#7)
  • I - vi - IV - V (B - G#m - E - F#) Used in "Stand By Me" and "Unchained Melody"
  • I - iii - IV - V (B - D#m - E - F#)
  • I - V - vi - IV (B - F# - G#m - E) Used in "With or Without You" and "Don't Stop Believin'"
  • ii - V - I - IV (C#m - F# - B - E)

Drills to master the B6 chord

Mastering the B6 Guitar Chord

To master the B6 chord, try playing each note individually, focusing on clean execution and tone. Once comfortable, practice transitioning between the notes in different orders, such as B-D#-F#-G# or G#-F#-D#-B. This drill helps build muscle memory and familiarity with the chord's shape.

Another effective drill is to play the B6 chord in various rhythmic patterns, such as quarter notes, eighth notes, or even syncopated rhythms. This exercise not only reinforces your finger placement but also develops your strumming hand technique and timing, essential for seamlessly integrating the B6 chord into your playing.

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Songs that feature the B6 chord

Here are 10 popular songs you can play with the B6 chord.

  1. Hey Jude by The Beatles (B6, F#, G#m, C#m)
  2. Let It Be by The Beatles (C, G, Am, F, B6, C/G)
  3. The Long and Winding Road by The Beatles (Am, Em7, D7, G, Dm7, G7, C, B6, C/G)
  4. Honesty by Billy Joel (G#m7, C#m7, F#, B6, E)
  5. Take It Easy by Eagles (G, D, C, Am7, B6, E)
  6. Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton (A, E/G#, F#m7, B6, E)
  7. Your Song by Elton John (F, G, C, F, D7, G7, C7, B6)
  8. She's Always a Woman by Billy Joel (C, G/B, Am, F, C/G, F/G, C, D7, B6, Em, Am, F, C/G, F/G)
  9. Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton (G, D/F#, C, D, B6, Em, Am7, D7)
  10. Just the Way You Are by Billy Joel (D, Bm7, G, D/F#, Em7, A7, D7, B6, G)

How a guitar teacher can help

If you feel stuck in your playing, it might help to take personalized guitar lessons with an expert guitarist. Taking lessons with a pro gives you access to the skills, feedback, and motivation to reach your goals.

You can find expert guitar teachers to support you in the journey. Thousands of people have turned to online guitar lessons on Til, instead of traditional in-person lessons, because Til gives you access to the best teachers in the world from the comfort of home. And with flexible scheduling, secure payments, lesson recordings, and a private chat with your teacher–there’s never been a better way to learn guitar.

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