Guitar Lessons New Formula Shortcut to Play Guitar Chords | Jim Britton | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

Guitar Lessons New Formula Shortcut to Play Guitar Chords

teacher avatar Jim Britton

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

5 Lessons (21m)
    • 1. DAF Chord Trick: Introduciton

    • 2. Part 1: The Chord shapes

    • 3. Part 2: Demonstration

    • 4. Part 3: The Chord Formula

    • 5. Part 4: Demonstration & Insights

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

This lesson is for early stage intermediate guitarists, or guitarists of any skill level not familiar with this formula. The D-A-F formula will show you how to play major chords in at least three different places on the fretboard-NOT BARRE Chords! Thes simple chord shapes are an effective way of playing chords in alternative positions on the fretboard quickly, and easily. If you don't know this trick, you will find it an invaluable tool to add to your jamming and songwriting toolbox!

Students should have basic knowledge of guitar chords, and at least some familiarity with Barre chords

By the end of this course, you will easily be able to identify how to play major chords in any key using A shape, F shape, and D shape chords

I highly recommend that students who complete this course move on to further application of these concepts by continuing their studies with the course : Intermediate  Guitar Theory: The I-IV-V Chord Family, Partial Chords, and the DAF Chord Trick.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Jim Britton



My name is Jim Britton, and I'm pleased to make your acquaintance through Skillshare's on-line course platform. I have a background in music, business, and education. I have spent nearly 10 years in higher education in various roles including Director of Continuing Education and Business Training, as well as Director of Workforce Development. I also successfully served as the Program Manager of a $5 million Department of Labor Grant for the Community College System of NH. I also have 6 years on the Board of Directors of Leadership Upper Valley, for two of those years, I was the Board Chair.

I also have substantial experience working in business and industry in sales and marketing in retail, radio broadcasting, music, and e-commerce. I have run my own business... See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • 0%
  • Yes
  • 0%
  • Somewhat
  • 0%
  • Not really
  • 0%
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. DAF Chord Trick: Introduciton: Oh, my name is Jim Britain, and I'm here to share with you some of the tricks that I've learned about playing guitar. Specifically, we're gonna focus on guitar chords and a three chord shape progression or pattern that we call D A F. Using those court shapes Daffy. Whatever you wanna call it, it's D A F. And it's a little trick that's going to show you how you can play chords all over the guitar fretboard, and not just the regular old places where you've learned them previously. If you ever play with another guitarist, it's a good idea to know how to play a chord in more than one position. Having two guitars playing the exact same court voicing in the exact same place at the same time really doesn't do much for sound. So I found when I'm playing with another guitarist, a d A F formation, like what we're going to show you here today is an excellent way to choose different chord voicings when you're playing with another instrumentalist. Sometimes it adds just some character of some flavor to your sound. Regardless, it's a great trick to know, and it's one that I hope helps you as we move along. First of all, what we need to do to get going is to grab our very trusty weapon. And in my case, my famous Martin, who's the guitar on? We have to do some tuning. Of course. Make sure that you're in tune if you want to play along, and it's not necessary that you play along. But it's good visually for you to be doing. The fingering XYZ were moving. Okay, so we'll be working with three courtships based on cords. You probably already know those cords. Air A F nd, hence the D E A F formula. Stay two. We're going to dig a little deeper into this formula or system, if you will. And I'm sure it's something that will benefit you as you play guitar, either for yourself or with another guitar, starting a band or whatever your pleasure might be 2. Part 1: The Chord shapes: Okay, Welcome back. Let's talk a little bit about the court shapes that this lesson is based on. In this chart, you will see three different formations of chords, ones that you should be familiar with. First, we have the D formation, a formation and also the F formation. I noticed that the A formation is a variation of the basic first position. A major chord. If you've already started learning bar chords, then you may be familiar with this court shape as it is. However, just understand that it's based on an accord. If you want to see a standard ache or take a look right to the right of the arrow, there's an accord that shows what your typical fingering would be for that. A. So what we want to dio is Look at these major chords. Each one of them has the root note noted. You'll notice that the letter R is where the root note is in any given court. So in the D formation, the fourth finger is an optional note. If you decide you want to play the D formation all the way up and down the neck, if you want to make a complete chord using four strings. Then you can add that fourth note. I generally don't I find it's more trouble than it's worth, and the sound isn't really that different. But if you're a perfectionist, the four in the D formation can be used, and it's inferences because it's an optional note. The top three strings alone make up a major chord. Now I want to point out one other thing. As you look at each of these court formations, the D formation, a formation and the Reformation notice that there's a number to the left of the court grid , which indicates what fret number the court would be at. So, for example, in the D formation you'll notice it, too. That's for second. Fret next to the cord grid that shows the A formation. You notice there's a little five there that indicates which fret this court should be played on, and then in the F formation, there's a 10 on the first fret, and that 10 means that you should be on the 10th fret so that F formation cord would be played on the 10th threat. The reason why we're doing this is because I want to show you d cords using these different formations all up and down the fretboard. I'll show you another diagram that has thes dick ords outline. But for now, just understand we're playing a dick ord, and we're aiming for playing it in different places up and down the fretboard. So in order to play a D, the D formation needs to start at the second fret. The A formation needs to start at the fifth threat, and the F formation needs to start at the 10 Threat. That's what would be de cords. So again, be patient. I'll talk about this a little bit more in the demonstration part. These are the major court shapes, and the top three strings alone comprise a major court. The root of the A s played with your third finger. The root of the information is played with your third finger. Let's take a look at each one of these chords and I'll show you how we're gonna make dick ords as we're moving along. So let's take a look at these three different formations First, before we get into how to play courts up and down the fretboard again, we'll come back to the front numbers, but I want you to focus on the formations. Okay, let's play a d chord and accord and an F chord because these other three chords that are secret formula is based on. 3. Part 2: Demonstration: Hello, It's Jim again. I'm back with my guitar and hopefully you have yours ready to Let's take a look at those court shapes that I was referring to just a moment ago. The 1st 1 we want to look at is what is our standard open D cor way. Add in the booth. If you want to play this with four fingers you can mention previously guy tend not to. I prefer not to. It's a lot easier to play this way, and it doesn't really make that much difference in sound thes. They're all different chords based on the same basic formation, and you may have experimented with this and actually noticed that already yourself, which is fine. What we want to do is tie this in with the pattern that we've been talking about, which is our d. A f pack. Those of you who are familiar with bar chords will recognize this. A shape is one of the fundamental shapes for making major bar chords. However, most of us learn a in this position. I have seen some people play with one figure with something faster way, making a quick, scorching more tens and not with you. Whatever tours happen to be convenient for that second shape we're going to use now. Notice that shape can be played either with your pinkie or with your ring finger. And as we slide it up, the fretboard becomes a shaped bar chord. Eso this court shape. However, if we focus just on the bottom, four strings would begin to look something like this. If you take these two strings here and put a little bar crosses, that's kind of half of the court there were mostly focusing on the top half. It's OK to use your index finger to cover more than one string because the only string that's right sounding on his 1st 1 these two fingers here covering the other pieces and we're sharing one more trick. And this is one that I use a lot when I'm playing up and down the fretboard. If I'm this far with bark or I was gonna go ahead, play the whole thing, however, one neat little trick that you can do, and this is why pointed this out eyes to cover that a shape on these three strings with only one finger index middle ring finger in this case, I'm gonna use my middle finger strong using the shape. It allows me to move really fast with a sheep bar. Chords demonstrate that fast. I can go doing that instead of Yeah, you can also do with bar chords to, but it's a different way of doing it way too. That's kind of the F shape that one use is based on this F shaped bar chord instead of playing a full bark Or we're gonna focus once again just on the top four strings and make this piece of shown in the diagram way wanna play all these shapes as a d cor and this d cor priority right way. Then we want to play a D chord using the A shape as a bar court. It would be played up on the fifth fret. There's your root note right there. A city like that I don't like this third piece of it is the F shape. Ordinarily, you would play that has a full bar chord win here as an F court in the d. E. A F formula here. Okay, so this is a thing. This is a d. And this is a D. Okay, so we'll teach you the formula in the next section. First, I want you to focus on these court forms D shape Eurasia on. Then you're having shape number one. You shape number two and shape number three coming up. Next. We'll give you the four million. I'll show you how it works. Moving up and down, fretboard. 4. Part 3: The Chord Formula: - now that we've had a chance to explore the different court shapes. Here's how the secret D A F chord formula works. First, play the first position D chord, then skip a fret and play the a chord form. This is the next higher D chord. The D shape started on the second fret. The A shape was on the fifth fret because that's where the root note is. And then the F chord form was all the way up on the 10th fret, and that is the next higher dick ord. So the way the secret D A F court formula works is you play the first position D chord. Yes, skip a fret, and when you're skipping a fret, what you want to do is count it from the highest string up. So if we look at all the D cords here, here's our d chord, and you can see that the highest known up is on the third Fret. Then you want to skip one. Then you use the A formation, and it's based on where the route notice. So if you play the a chord as I was doing and dropping out the root note, remember to visualize the root note or he won't be able to follow us formula. So what you do is you make the deform, then you skip one. Then you go to the next highest spread up where the root note is for the A formation. After the a formation, think of a as being the anchor. The A form is where you want to count up from the highest string where your fretted, which would be un seventh fret this time you want to skip to when you skip to, then you use the F formation. So if you take a look at the F formation again, we're making dick ord. So we started on that second fret. Then our highest note was on the third fret. We skipped. One went into the A formation where a root note is then noticed your highest fingering. There's on seventh fret see count up to from there and then you use the F formation. So now you're on the 10th threat. If we're making D cords, the way this pattern works is that you can play major chords all over the fretboard using this three major chord formation. You'll love this when you're playing a song that has the same court for a few bars because it allows you to automatically climb up and down the fretboard, and you could do so and add a few looks along the way, or some arpeggios or whatever, but even more so it allows you to spice up the boring standard formation. This is especially useful if you're playing in any situation that has more than one guitar player. So again, I want to reiterate how this works as we going to use this in a different key. Now we've done D D was easy because we started with that D. On second, fret noticed. Our next highest note was on the third fret. Then we jumped up to where the root note was by skipping one, which puts us on the fifth fret and then are a formation, lays us all the way up to the seventh fret. Then we skip to after a comes to then F, and that's on the 10th Threat again. These are all D that skip one and all the way. But the 14 threat it repeats itself back to D again. We had an endless fretboard. We could keep on moving this pattern all the way up going D Skip one. A skip to F Skip one back to D D Skip one. A skip to F Skip one back to D. Let's look at this in a different key just to get an idea how this works. We're gonna use all F cords this time, and we're going to start in. F will play all the F cords as they appear. First, we start with the F in the F chord shape, way down on the first round. That's where root note is, and that's on the first fret and thats f after f. What happens next? We skip one. We go from that highest F note in this case. Happen to be other third skip one and we play the D shape that d shapes on the fifth. Fret and remember, we're just going f a D d a f all the way up the fretboard. So now in the key of F starting on F anyway, we can go f skip one up to this d skip one. Then we play the A's shape again. If we're playing F courts, then we skip to were back to the F chord shape again on the 13th threat. Skip one D Shape Skip one a sick. I'll give you a little bit of a visual explanation on this, and we'll do a couple of different chords. You get the idea of how it works again. It's always from D eight f d. Skip one a skip to F Skip one, and that allows you to play every chord. You know in three different places. Zoned, you're playing the same key. Just remember F Skip one de Skip one A Skip to, and you'll have the d E A F formula down. And I'm sure it will provide you with many hours of guitar pleasure as you have the opportunity to play some chords in different places than you ordinarily might think of. So that's the D. A F formula, and I look forward to expressing this a little bit more individual style. So stay tuned as we move into the visual portion of this segment. 5. Part 4: Demonstration & Insights: Hi, this is Jim. I'm back with my guitar again, and we're gonna talk a little bit more about our d A f chord formula in the exact order of the way the formula works. Its d e a f So I was first learning this, right? No problem. Skip one. Play a skip to jump up to the F shape. Great. Remember way go from the highest string up, which is the skip one. Here's our skip one right here. Way have a And this is our high string up here. Remember, we skip to after the egg. So right up here is where thief shape comes in. Now, this is all well and good, except for one minor thing. When I first learned this, I was confused like DF. How hard is that? It's easy. What about if you start with an F shape, play a G here? Well, great d a f works in this formula to, but you gotta know where to begin. So let's see d a f what comes after f o d. Yeah. Okay. After an nd and an egg. So I figured out that really, there's three different court shapes or formulas or what we call the Monix that I use So I can remember how to use this formula. No matter whether I'm starting on a D shape and F shape or in Asia. Indy, of course, we're starting with the dean. Then it's always gonna be in a shape. Next on, then the F shape. Don't forget our skips in between D Skip born a skip to But if we're starting with a core, then the pattern still is d A f but we begin with F and it ghost f d a. From here, I made up a new pneumonic and this one is FDA. So I think the bank great FDA, all federal deposits are insured for $20,000 whatever it is. So I know when I started under now then, I'm thinking FDA, what about for started nation in in that case, one morning mark, and that is a f d. A fine day. There's my haste to up Teoh Skip one up to D. Here we go, just like that s so I'm gonna demonstrated using a beginning court of each one. Okay, Now let's try this. Starting with the f courtship, we're gonna do the G chord. Okay, so I'm starting on the third. Fret what would ordinarily be barred like that and put it like this. Using our pattern, we go from the F Skip one that would go up to the D ship. Okay, On our pattern again is Skip one from the highest note here. So we skipped this fret right here. And here we are. There is a pattern. Stays the same f skip one up to the D shape. Skip one way, have the Asian, but I want to start in a court that hasn a shape. All right, I would start on B so we start with our baby way. Skip to we skip 12 And after that, this one is a f d. We start on a Mylar. Monica's a fine day. So it's a f d. There's my fortunes. I'm starting here. This is a big skip to then we have remember a f d f that's on some threat and the F ship. This is still a beak, or I started on with shame Skip to using the F shape right up here where we have another be now, after the F shape we skipped one. So we skipped this one here and here we have. That's also there's all right. Remember, with a shape, it's a fine day. Hey, skip to because today that we have a full skip one way we did it with three different patterns, starting with three different chords using that same trick with the D A f We just switched the letters around, depending on which courtship start. So it that we skipped one, and then we have our a shape here way Skip to and guess what we have next. Our thoughts. You have to practice this and you have to use it a lot. Get a burn it in just like any other look that you learn. This piece of knowledge will go away if you don't use it. So what I recommend doing is go through three different court progressions using each of the shapes first. Doesn't matter what key you decide. If you want to start, you know, shape. Very conservative shape here started to shake here doesn't matter, but just remember to follow up formula so that you can figure out where the other chords air without having to really think about it. Ah, that's a little tip. And hopefully that helps you in your playing. Been a pleasure. Talk to you again soon.