Defeat the E

There's no need to fear or hate the E chord.

Just because it's awful.

And hard.

And unlovable.

We can defeat it once and for all.

And play the songs we love, unhampered.


Your Course Progress:


Defeat the E

By the Book


This video will quickly show you WHY the E is so reviled, the standard version of E that books expect you learn, and our first alternate version.

Be sure to take advantage of the full screen option (that little button on the lower right corner of the video).

Don't Forget:

See the little blue number to the left of each lesson?
You can click on that the check off each lesson as you go, to mark your progress.


Barre with High E


This quick video video walks you through an alternative E that is

  • much simpler
  • faster to get to
  • but has one negative

(Don’t forget that full-screen button, lower right corner).


When to Use E7 Instead


Some people might call it cheating, but really, isn’t that why we’re here? You want to learn the most efficient way to play songs that have the E chord. And sometimes that means playing an E7 instead.

(You’re fingers will thank you!)

This same strategy applies to D and D7, and Eb and Eb7.


The Solution


So now you know why we all hate on E so much. But is there a solution?

Of course!


Apply to the D Chord


This page is all about good news

It would seem almost wasteful to have this powerful knowledge about the E chord, and never be able to use for anything else.

Well, like I said: good news!

The same concept applies to D major at fret 2, and E-flat major at fret 3 (next video).


Apply to E-flat


Yep, more good news.

The same shape and theory works at fret 3 for the E-flat chord.

Here’s a secret tip: you can keep moving the barre up the neck and get new, ever-higher chords–just keep muting the first string.

So we have:

Barre at
Fret 2: D
Fret 3: Eb
Fret 4: E

(Those are the common ones. This next batch, you usually make using other shapes, but you can use the barre and just keep going. Sometimes this can give a new sound to your playing).

Fret 5: F
Fret 6: F#
Fret 7: G
Fret 8: G#
Fret 9: A

(And, yes, I really do go that high sometimes, even on a little soprano ukulele!).

Here's how to apply The Shape to create (the hated) E-flat chord, to play some groovy Kink's riffs:




Congratulations, you’re well on you’re way to Defeating the E!

Here’s a video wrap-up:


Free Bonus!

Avoid E Altogether!


At this point in your E-playing career, you probably don’t really need to avoid the E.

That’s not really what this video is about–that’s what we call a catchy headline.

It’s actually about the science of transposing from one key to another. Basically that means, you can play the same song with a different set of chords.

Yes, that also means, that you CAN avoid the E. But it’s a useful skill for many other reasons, even for us stalwart and confident E-players.

Complete Course