Learning the E, F, and B Flat Major chords

In this lesson, we’ll learn how about power chords and we’ll also learn how to play power chords as well as easy F and B flat major chords.

Power chords are useful chords because they can be major or minor chords. You already know how to play power chords. The first chord you learned with me was D major played as open D and open A. This same chord can be a D minor chord and so is a power chord.

“Wait, how can one chord be major or minor?”

Chords are built on triads. The third determines whether it is a major or minor chord.

D Major triad: D0-2-A0

  • D2 is F#. D0-2 is a major third.
  • So this is a major triad.

F Minor triad: D0-L2-A0

  • DL2 is F natural. So D0-L2 is a minor third.

If there is no third (just root and fifth) then that double stops could be major or minor. So D0A0 can be major or minor.

In the same way, G0D0 is a G power chord and can be used as G major or G minor and A0E0 can be A major or A minor.

E power chord

If you place the first finger across D and A strings to play D1A1, you have an E power chord (D1A1).

Practice this E power chord with an E drone track:

This may be hard to play in tune at first. Practicing this single/double exercise will help:


So now you can play back-up to O’Keefe’s Slide and Swallowtail Jig using this new E minor shape:

E minor is D1A1

D major is D0A0

Using power chords you can now play any major or minor chord.

O’Keefe’s Slide Chord Backup

A part: Em /D /Em /D /Em /D /D /Em

B part: Em /Em /Em /Em /D /D /D /Em

O’Keefe’s Slide play along track

Swallowtail Jig Chord Backup

A part: Em /Em /D /D /Em /Em /D /Em /

B part: Em /Em /Em /Em D/ Em /Em /D /Em /

Full play along track (for alternating between melody and chords).

F and Bb Chords

An easy way to play F major is DL2A0.

Now we can play the chord backup to Shady Grove using these chords:

D minor is G1D0

C major is G0D1

F major is DL2A0

Shady Grove Chord Backup

Review the basic lesson here.

Dm  /C  /Dm  /Dm
F  /C  /Dm C/Dm

Shady Grove – chord mix

In this play-along track, I just play chords on the fiddle and then sing every other round.

Shady Grove – melody mix

Use this play-along track to practice the chords on your own.

Similar to F major, one way to play Bb major is GL2D0.

Practice the B flat chord with this drone:


Continue on to Wagon Wheel – 1st break >>

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