Banjo Chords in:

The Key of Ab

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In this installment: The key of Ab

This is the ninth installment of a series of articles designed to help those at the beginner/intermediate level learn banjo chords, as they would apply to each given key. Here we are covering the key of A flat in this article. So letís get started with the basic chords in the key of A flat.

The Basic chords in the key of Ab                                                                 Chart 1

Now let me explain the chord charts in case you donít understand them. They represent the banjo's neck. From right to left are the strings on the neck of the banjo and the horizontal lines represent the frets. Got it? Good. You may have noticed that some of the chord diagrams in chart 1 have a number to the left of them. The 6 to the left of the Db diagram means that the first fret displayed is to be regarded as the sixth fret on your banjo. Okay? Above, Iíve shown the basic chords for the key of A flat. Below are some additional chords that I refer to as substitute chords.

Some substitute chords for the key of Ab                                                     Chart 2


In chart 2, I have listed what are called substitute chords. Letís say you played the first chords listed in chart 1, in the order that they were listed. For the A flat major chord, you can substitute a A flat major 7th chord. The B flat minor chord can be replaced by the B flat minor 7th chord. The same is true for each of the remaining. Play them. Has a jazzy ring to it, doesnít it? Some people refer to substitute chords as orchestral chords but it doesnít matter. A rose by any other name still has a thorn. Iíve included additional substitute chords so that you can improve your chordal vocabulary. Youíll be the life of the party and the envy of all your peers. You will be on your way to achieving greatness. The sky is the limit. Letís move on to some more substitute chords.

                                                                                                                                              Chart 3

So now weíll close by saying that we hope you will find this article useful in the process of learning banjo chords. If there is something you think we should add, just send a letter or E-mail and weíll be happy to give your suggestions some consideration. We covered 16 chords in this lesson and in each future installment weíll cover 16 more. So keep on playing and weíll see you next time.

Bob Craypoe

Next installment: The key of B

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