How to play

How to play the D6 chord on guitar

Spice up your playing with this essential chord, featured in hits like "Hotel California."

The D6 chord

The D6 chord, pronounced "D sixth," is a rich and versatile chord that adds a touch of sophistication to any guitar composition. Notable for its warm, jazzy sound, the D6 is often used in genres like jazz, blues, and soul. Guitarists can easily create the D6 by adding a single note to the standard D major chord, instantly elevating their playing to new heights.

There are many ways to play a chord. Here's a diagram for the most common D6 chord. We've also included other versions below.

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Finger placement for D6 chord

The D6 chord is typically played on the 2nd fret of the guitar.

Follow these finger positions to play a D6 chord on your guitar:

  1. Place your index finger on the 2nd fret of the 1st (high E) string.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 2nd fret of the 2nd (B) string.

To strum this chord, use your pick or thumb to strum down across all six strings in one smooth motion.

How to play an easy D6 chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the D6 chord, try this:

  1. Place your index finger on the 2nd fret of the 1st (high E) string.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  3. Strum only the top four strings (D, G, B, and high E).

How to play a D6 bar chord

Playing a D6 barre chord can be a great way to add variety to your playing and create a fuller, richer sound compared to the standard open D6 chord.

Here's how to play a D6 barre chord:

  1. Place your index finger across the 10th fret, covering all six strings (barre).
  2. Place your middle finger on the 12th fret of the 2nd (B) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 12th fret of the 4th (D) string.
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 12th fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  5. Strum all six strings from low to high.

Common D6 chord progressions

The D6 chord, a variation of the D major chord, is commonly used in progressions that evoke a dreamy, nostalgic, or bittersweet feel. Here are some popular D6 chord progressions:

  • I - vi - IV - V (D6 - Bm7 - G6 - A7) Used in "I Will" by The Beatles
  • I - vi - ii - V (D6 - Bm7 - Em7 - A7) Used in "Fly Me to the Moon" by Frank Sinatra
  • I - iii - IV - V (D6 - F#m7 - G6 - A7)
  • I - IV - V - IV (D6 - G6 - A7 - G6) Used in "Isn't She Lovely" by Stevie Wonder
  • I - ii - iii - IV (D6 - Em7 - F#m7 - G6)

Drills to master the D6 chord

Mastering the D6 Chord

To master the D6 chord, try playing each note individually, focusing on clean execution and consistent tone. Once comfortable, play the notes in pairs (D-F#, F#-A, A-B), gradually increasing speed while maintaining accuracy. Next, practice transitioning to and from the D6 chord, using common chord progressions like D6-G-A or D6-Bm-A. Incorporate these transitions into your favorite songs to develop muscle memory and fluidity.

Strumming Patterns

Experiment with various strumming patterns to add depth and texture to your D6 chord. Start with simple down-up patterns, then progress to more complex rhythms, such as down-down-up-up-down-up or down-up-down-up-down-down-up.

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Songs that feature the D6 chord

Here are 10 popular songs you can play with the D6 chord.

  1. Hey There Delilah by Plain White T's (D, F#m, D6)
  2. Better Together by Jack Johnson (G, D, D6, A7sus4, Asus2)
  3. Free Fallin' by Tom Petty (D, Asus4, D6, Asus4)
  4. Blackbird by The Beatles (G, A7, D, G/B, D6, A7sus4, D6)
  5. Daughters by John Mayer (D6, Bm7, G, A7sus4)
  6. The Joker by Steve Miller Band (F, C, G, D6)
  7. Shower the People by James Taylor (D, G, D6, Bm, G, A, D)
  8. Harvest Moon by Neil Young (D, D6, G, A7sus4)
  9. 3 AM by Matchbox Twenty (D, D6, G, A)
  10. Helplessly Hoping by Crosby, Stills & Nash (D6, Bm7, G, A7sus4, D)

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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