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How to play the E major over G chord on guitar

Learn the magic behind "Wonderwall" and "Sweet Home Alabama" in just a few steps.

The E major over G chord

The E chord, pronounced "E major over G", is a unique guitar voicing that combines the open E major and G major chords. This versatile chord is known for its bright, jangly sound and is commonly used in genres like folk, country, and rock. Notable songs featuring the E/G chord include "Wonderwall" by Oasis and "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" by Bob Dylan.

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

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Finger placement for E major over G chord

The most popular way to play an E major chord over a G chord on guitar is to use the 3rd fret barre chord shape.

Follow these finger positions to play an E major over G chord on your guitar:

  1. Barre your index finger across all six strings at the 3rd fret.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 4th fret of the 4th (D) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 5th fret of the 5th (A) string.
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 5th fret of the 3rd (G) string.

Strum all six strings together in a downward motion to play the chord, making sure each note rings out clearly.

How to play an easy E major over G chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the E major over G chord, try playing the open G, B, and high E strings while fretting the 4th fret on the D string with your middle finger. This three-finger version is easier to play and still captures the essential notes of the E major over G chord.

How to play a E major over G bar chord

Playing the E major over G chord as a barre chord can make it easier to transition to and from other chords, especially other barre chords.

Here's how to play an E major over G barre chord:

  1. Place your index finger across all six strings at the 3rd fret, creating a barre.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 4th fret of the D string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 5th fret of the A string.
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 5th fret of the B string.
  5. Strum all six strings from low E to high E.

Common E major over G chord progressions

The E major chord played over a G chord progression adds a bright, uplifting, and sometimes wistful sound to the harmony. This combination is often used in popular music to evoke emotions of longing, hope, or nostalgia. Here are some common E major over G chord progressions:

  • I - V - vi - IV (G - D - Em - C) Used in "Don't Stop Believin'" and "You're Beautiful"
  • vi - IV - I - V (Em - C - G - D) Used in "Viva la Vida" and "The Scientist"
  • I - vi - IV - V (G - Em - C - D) Used in "Let It Be" and "Wanted Dead or Alive"
  • I - IV - vi - V (G - C - Em - D) Used in "Wild World" and "Torn"
  • I - V - vi - iii (G - D - Em - Bm) Used in "Wonderwall" and "Boulevard of Broken Dreams"

Drills to master the E major over G chord

To master the E major over G guitar chord, try this simple drill: play each note of the chord individually, starting with the lowest note and ascending to the highest. Focus on each note's clarity and tone. Once comfortable, play the notes in reverse order, descending from the highest to the lowest.

Another effective drill is to play the chord as an arpeggio, plucking each note one after another in a continuous loop. Experiment with different rhythmic patterns and tempos to build dexterity and familiarity with the chord shape.

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Songs that feature the E major over G chord

Here are 10 popular songs you can play with the E major over G chord:

  1. Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd (D, C, G)
  2. Knockin' on Heaven's Door by Bob Dylan (G, D, Am7)
  3. Free Fallin' by Tom Petty (D, G, D/F#, G/B, A, G/B)
  4. The Joker by Steve Miller Band (F, C, G, D)
  5. Margaritaville by Jimmy Buffett (D, G, A)
  6. Wonderwall by Oasis (Em7, G, Dsus4, A7sus4)
  7. Take Me Home, Country Roads by John Denver (G, D, Em, C)
  8. Hotel California by Eagles (Am, E7, G, D, F, C, Dm, E)
  9. Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison (G, C, D, G)
  10. Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd (G, Em, Am, C, 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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