Building Colorful Chords

Skill Building Guitar Course from Trevor Gordon Hall

Building Colorful Chords. This course will give a ground up approach to chords from the guitarists perspective so that any player can bring new color options and understanding to their own playing beyond the “RULES”. Trevor will provide plenty of shapes and etudes to develop your ear training as well, so you can start to connect the dots between what chords you hear your favorites artists playing and where they are located on the fretboard.

30 Lessons

Complete course with step-by-step lessons and practice examples.


Course filmed with 6 cameras for the perfect angles.

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Full Course Breakdown

Guitar has always been an expressive instrument but sometimes it's easy to forget that expression lies in multiple areas on the guitar, including chords! And all too often, guitarists can find themselves stuck in the same familiar chord shapes limiting that expressive piece of the instrument. In this course Trevor Gordon Hall dives into how chords are made up and what it means to bring more mood and color to them while giving you the tools to figure out shapes on your own without always consulting those confusing chord dictionaries.


Building Colorful Chords Introduction

Have you ever wanted to get outside of your standard cowboy and barre chords? Are you left wanting without a mix of color and panache from your voicings? In Building Colorful Chords, Trevor dissects chord construction and offers up the technique and wisdom to take your chordal playing to the next level!

3:09 Runtime

0.0 Difficulty


Fretboard Notes

Knowing the names of the notes on your fretboard is a key component to learning how to build chords. From open strings to knowing every note on your guitar, Trevor shares a simple and effective way to memorize all the notes so that they'll literally be at your fingertips when you need them!

8:18 Runtime

1.5 Difficulty


Foundation of Scales and Intervals

We continue refreshing our basic knowledge in this lesson. Trevor reviews the foundations of scales and intervals, starting with the chromatic scale (the basis for everything), then on to the major scale where we discuss what each degree of the scale represents.

16:35 Runtime

2.0 Difficulty


Understanding Triads and Keys

Stacking intervals, also known as triads, are the foundation of how chords are put together. In this lesson, Trevor demonstrates triads in the key of G with some easy to remember patterns that will help you immensely in your chord playing journey.

20:52 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Aria Etude Progression in Triads

Now it's time to put what we've learned so far into practice. Trevor teaches us an etude that will help solidify our foundational chord concepts.

10:13 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Understanding Vertical Inversions

Let's talk about inversions. Inversions are basically rearranging the notes of your triads. Trevor will cover root position, 1st inversion and 2nd inversion.

18:12 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Vertical Triad Inversion Chords Etude

This lesson features an etude that will help you get a good grasp of your vertical inversions. Being able to switch between these inversion around the neck will serve you well when playing your songs or putting your own spin on someone else's songs!

12:11 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Adding Extensions for Color

Adding extensions is the next piece of the colorful chords puzzle. Trevor starts by adding 6ths and 7ths.

17:52 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

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Adding Extra Extensions

In this lesson, Trevor explains the meaning of higher numbered extensions like 9's 11's and 13's, and why they give us the sounds that they do.

20:46 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Spicing Up Familiar Chords

Sometimes colorful chords can be as simple as tweaking chords that you are already familiar with. In this lesson, Trevor will talk about introducing certain intervals, building tension and even some tips to get that pinky working!

20:36 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Incorporating Open Strings

One way to open up the sound of standard tuning is to incorporate open strings whenever possible. Trevor gives us some examples of adding in these open strings that definitely add a unique color to our sound.

13:04 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Major 7 Chord Inversions (Bottom Up)

Now that we've explored more four note chords, lets revisit the inversion topic. Trevor goes over how to build your four note major 7th inversions from the bottom up.

11:27 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Dominant 7 Chord Inversions (Bottom UP)

Let's look at building our dominant 7th chord inversions from the bottom up. Taking the time to understand each note while going from chord to chord is key in getting the most out of your chords.

11:36 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Minor 7 Chord Inversions (Bottom UP)

Now we give the same treatment to our minor 7th chords. Each inversion gives a slightly different flavor to these chords that are a key part of any chord vocabulary!

9:36 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Bottom Up Inversion Combinations Etude

Get ready to stretch your fingers as Trevor revisits all of our previous bottom down inversions with an etude that will help tackle some tough chord changes within a beat. Starting with the root position shapes, he'll then progress through the second and third positions.

15:18 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


Bottom Up Variation of Previous Etude

Time to shake things up and play our inversions in a different context by varying the usage and order. In this lesson,Trevor will use the chord inversions from the previous etude in the open, second, and third positions to create a unique bottom down melody."

11:34 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Major 7 Inversions (Top Down)

Many times changing a single note can have a dramatic influence on the color or timbre of a chord. Trevor now covers the Major 7th inversions from the top down, and will show us how restructuring inversions can often help make changes more fluid.

5:01 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Dominant 7 Chord Inversions (Top Down)

Let's keep the top down as Trevor now covers Dominant 7th chord inversions. He'll discuss how to make more economical changes with these unique shapes by trading a low root note for a higher equivalent root.

3:52 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Minor 7 Chord Inversions (Top Down)

Continuing with our top-down inversions, Trevor will now cover the Minor 7th inversions and how they correlate to our inversions from previous lessons.

4:37 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Top Down Etude Using Inversion Combinations

In this lesson Trevor ties everything together with a top down etude that will utilize all of our top down inversions from the previous lessons. He will start with the root position shapes, then progress through the second and third positions.

7:14 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Top Down Inversion Etude Variations

Now let's mix things up and utilize our inversions in context by varying the usage and order. Trevor will utilize open, second, and third position inversions to create a unique melody.

4:14 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Silent Night With Inversions

Sometimes the most useful tool that we can use is a familar melody. In this lesson, Trevor will combine all of our bottom up, and top down inversions that we've learned into a his own familiar melody, the holiday standard "Silent Night".

7:39 Runtime

3.5 Difficulty


A-String Major 7 Inversions

Let's shift our focus from the high and low E rooted inversions to inversions on the A string. Starting with the major 7, Trevor will cover how to seamlessly switch between major, minor, and dominant chords after establishing our basic shape.

4:48 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Colorful G-Major Inversions

Now we will begin exploring the inversions of our major chords, starting with G major. There are some tough reaches in here, so it might take some practice. Stick with it!

17:51 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Colorful A-Major Inversions

Now we are inverting the A chord up the neck. Trevor will teach you four inversions and combine them into an exercise.

12:24 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Colorful D-Major Inversions

It's time for D major inversions now. Some of these stretches are tough, but they are worth it! This set is very much like the D major inversions in how we work them out. Trevor combines these four inversions into an exercise for you to practice.

13:06 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Colorful C-Major Inversions

Trevor shows you four inversions of the C major chord. The first ought to be familiar, but the rest are pretty challenging!

13:27 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Colorful E-Major Inversions

Add color to your E chord next. The first inversion is a modified open E, but with a much bigger stretch! By now a few of these shapes might be familiar but we are putting a new spin on them every time. Check out these four in the exercise that Trevor has prepared.

9:06 Runtime

2.5 Difficulty


Etude Combining Major Colorful Inversions, Part 1

With all of these inversions under our belt, it's time to start tying them together! Trevor takes you through the first half of a big etude that will sum everything up.

10:22 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty


Etude Combining Major Colorful Inversions, Part 2

This is it! With this lesson, we will learn the second half of Trevor's etude and combine all of these skills into one exercise. Stick around for the practice session to really get these skills deep into your head and hands.

20:46 Runtime

3.0 Difficulty

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  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Playing since 1995
  • 369 lessons at JamPlay

Reviews & Feedback 97/100 with 71 ratings

a gifted and articulate teacher, maybe the best i've seen on the site, casting light on an area of guitar knowledge that i'd tried and failed to understand for years, i can finally start mapping out musical terrain where it used to say "here be


All of the above. Just what I needed and teacher explained it in a great way.


I put stretching in my rehearse material and this is the right stuff and also beautiful!


Lesson cuts out on both parts.


very easy to understand, well explained. Thank you!!!