How to play

How to play the Eb6 chord on guitar

Unlock the soulful sounds of B.B. King and Eric Clapton with this essential chord.

The Eb6 chord

The Eb6 chord, pronounced "E flat sixth," is a versatile chord that adds a touch of sophistication to any musical arrangement. Notable for its rich, jazzy sound, the Eb6 is often used in genres such as blues, soul, and R&B. This chord is particularly popular among guitarists looking to add depth and complexity to their playing, making it a staple in many classic songs.

There are many ways to play a chord. Here's a diagram for the most common Eb6 chord. We've also included other versions below.

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Finger placement for Eb6 chord

The Eb6 chord is typically played as a barre chord on the 6th fret of the guitar.

Follow these finger positions to play a Eb6 chord on your guitar:

  1. Place your index finger on the 6th fret, barring all six strings.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 8th fret of the 2nd (B) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 8th fret of the 4th (D) string.
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 8th fret of the 3rd (G) string.

To strum the Eb6 chord, use a downward motion to play all six strings together. Make sure to apply enough pressure with your index finger to properly barre all the strings.

How to play an easy Eb6 chord on guitar

If you're a beginner looking to play a simpler version of the Eb6 chord, try playing it as a four-finger open chord. Place your index finger on the 1st fret of the 1st (high E) string, middle finger on the 3rd fret of the 2nd (B) string, ring finger on the 3rd fret of the 4th (D) string, and pinky on the 3rd fret of the 3rd (G) string. Leave the 5th (A) and 6th (low E) strings open.

How to play a Eb6 bar chord

While the Eb6 chord can be played as open chords, playing it as a barre chord allows you to easily transition to other chords and play it in different positions on the neck.

Here's how to play an Eb6 barre chord:

  1. Place your index finger across all six strings at the 6th fret, forming a barre.
  2. Place your middle finger on the 7th fret of the 3rd (G) string.
  3. Place your ring finger on the 8th fret of the 5th (A) string.
  4. Place your pinky finger on the 8th fret of the 4th (D) string.
  5. Strum all six strings from low to high.

Common Eb6 chord progressions

The Eb6 chord often serves as a subdominant function in a chord progression, providing a sense of movement and tension before resolving back to the tonic. These progressions typically evoke a dreamy, nostalgic, or bittersweet emotional atmosphere.

  • I - vi - IV6 - V (Eb - Cm - Ab6 - Bb)
  • I - IV6 - ii - V (Eb - Ab6 - Fm - Bb). Used in "Stairway to Heaven" and "Layla".
  • I - IV6 - iii - vi (Eb - Ab6 - Gm - Cm)
  • I - vi - IV6 - V/V (Eb - Cm - Ab6 - F)
  • I - iii - IV6 - ii (Eb - Gm - Ab6 - Fm)

Drills to master the Eb6 chord

To master the Eb6 chord, try playing the individual notes (Eb, G, Bb, and C) one at a time, focusing on each note's clarity. Once comfortable, practice transitioning between the notes in different orders.

Another helpful drill is to play the Eb6 chord in various rhythmic patterns, such as quarter notes, eighth notes, or a combination of both. This will develop muscle memory and help you switch to the chord more efficiently during songs.

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Songs that feature the Eb6 chord

Here are 10 popular songs you can play with the Eb6 chord.

  1. Hey Jude by The Beatles (F, C, G, Dm, Eb6, Bb)
  2. Let It Be by The Beatles (C, G, Am, F, C/E, Dm7, Eb6, F)
  3. I Want You (She's So Heavy) by The Beatles (Dm, Am, Eb6, Bb)
  4. Mr. Blue Sky by Electric Light Orchestra (F, Fm, C, Eb6, Bb, Bbm)
  5. Pinball Wizard by The Who (Eb6, Bb, C, Gm)
  6. Layla by Derek and the Dominos (Dm, Bb, C, Eb6, Gm)
  7. Baba O'Riley by The Who (F, C, Dm, Eb6, Bb)
  8. Live and Let Die by Paul McCartney and Wings (Em, Am, Dm, Eb6, F, G)
  9. Golden Slumbers by The Beatles (Am, Dm, G7, C, F, Eb6, E)
  10. While My Guitar Gently Weeps by The Beatles (Am, Am/G, Am/F#, F, Dm, Am/E, Eb6, E)

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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