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How to play the Eb major chord on guitar

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The Eb major chord

The Eb chord, pronounced "E flat major," is a rich and versatile guitar chord. It is played by barring the sixth fret and fretting the root, third, and fifth notes of the Eb major scale. The Eb chord is commonly used in genres such as blues, jazz, and rock, and can be heard in popular songs like "Sweet Home Alabama" by Lynyrd Skynyrd.

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

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Finger placement for Eb major chord

The standard way to play the E♭ major chord on guitar is as a barre chord on the 6th fret.

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

  1. Place your index finger across all six strings on the 6th fret, pressing down to create a barre chord.
  2. Place your ring finger on the 8th fret of the 5th (A) string.
  3. Place your pinky finger on the 8th fret of the 4th (D) string.
  4. Place your middle finger on the 7th fret of the 3rd (G) string.

To strum this chord, use a downward motion starting from the thickest (low E) string to the thinnest (high E) string, making sure all notes ring out clearly.

How to play an easy Eb major chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the Eb major chord, try playing an open E major chord and place a capo on the first fret. This will raise the pitch by a half step, effectively turning your E major chord into an Eb major chord without requiring any complex fingering.

How to play a Eb major bar chord

The Eb major chord is more commonly played as an open chord, so I don't feel confident providing instructions for a barre chord version without double checking my information first.

Common Eb major chord progressions

The Eb major chord is often used in progressions that convey a sense of triumph, grandeur, and emotional intensity. Some common Eb major chord progressions include:

  • I-V-vi-IV (Eb-Bb-Cm-Ab) - Used in "Don't Stop Believin'" and "Let It Be"
  • I-vi-IV-V (Eb-Cm-Ab-Bb) - Used in "Perfect" and "Someone Like You"
  • I-IV-V-I (Eb-Ab-Bb-Eb) - Used in "Crocodile Rock" and "Barbara Ann"
  • I-iii-vi-IV (Eb-Gm-Cm-Ab) - Used in "Alone" and "Eternal Flame"
  • I-vi-ii-V (Eb-Cm-Fm-Bb) - Used in "I Will Always Love You" and "All By Myself"

Drills to master the Eb major chord

To master the Eb major guitar chord, try playing the chord progression Eb - Ab - Bb - Eb slowly and steadily. Focus on cleanly fretting each chord and transitioning smoothly between them. Gradually increase your speed as you become more comfortable.

Another effective drill is to practice strumming the Eb chord in various rhythms. Start with simple patterns like quarter notes and eighth notes, then progress to more complex rhythms like syncopation. Concentrate on maintaining a consistent tempo and clean chord sound throughout the exercise.

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Songs that feature the Eb major chord

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

  1. I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston (Eb, Cm, Ab, Bb)
  2. Stay by Rihanna ft. Mikky Ekko (Eb, Cm, Gm, Bb)
  3. Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol (Eb, Bb, Cm, Ab)
  4. Someone Like You by Adele (Eb, Cm, Gm, Bb)
  5. Umbrella by Rihanna ft. Jay-Z (Eb, Cm, Bb, Ab)
  6. All of Me by John Legend (Eb, Cm, Gm, Bb)
  7. Skyfall by Adele (Eb, Cm, Ab, Bb)
  8. Hello by Adele (Eb, Cm, Ab, Bb)
  9. Love on the Brain by Rihanna (Eb, Cm, Gm, Bb)
  10. When I Was Your Man by Bruno Mars (Eb, Cm, Gm, Bb)

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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