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Watch the Viewing Chords as Voices online guitar lesson by Brad Carlton from Guitar Lab: Solid Strumming

One of the most important concepts in rhythm guitar is viewing chords as a group of voices. Each string is a voice and as such should be dealt with in regards to dynamics and tonal color. Let's begin with the bass note. For this lesson we will adhere to the following rule: the root of the chord will always be the lowest voice. This is probably one of the most common mistakes that I have witnessed with students. This will train not only your picking hand but also your ear. A great place to start is to just practice picking a particular bass note. Learn to feel where that string is by focusing on all aspects of your picking hand, wrist, and arm. Then use that bass note as the foundation of your strum.

I will demonstrate 26 open position chords that are commonly used in all styles of music. You will learn left-hand dampening in some of these chords as a means of muting both higher pitched and lower pitched strings.