Custom Search

The Mel Bay Rhythm Guitar Chord System Ain't New and Shiny

Mel Bay

The Mel Bay Rhythm Guitar Chord System Shows Some Great Acoustic Guitar Chords.

The Mel Bay Rhythm Guitar Chord System isn't a new, fancy system. In fact, it was written around the end of WWII. It was one of the first books of it's type and is still a good resource.

It was originally designed for big band guitarists. There's a ton of good information for the fingerstyle guitarist in it too. It offers chord diagrams and exercises on how to use them.

The book begins with 3 different ways to play Major chords. They'll look familiar to anyone who is familiar with the CAGED Guitar Method. You're then introduced to 3 different chord forms for minor chords. There are exercises and a couple of short tunes using these forms.

The fingerstyle guitarist will have to experiment with the exercises. They are clearly aimed at the big band or swing guitarist. What do you expect, it is called the Rhythm Guitar Chord System?

Then What?

The next stop is dominant 7th chords. He shows 4 different forms of dominant 7th chords.

There are several exercises using the dominant 7th chords before you move on to the next chord group.

Each new family of extended or altered chord is then based on the dominant 7th form. This results in being gradually introduced to new chords in a way that's very easy to understand. It's a very easy to learn system.


I have found the Mel Bay Rhythm Guitar Chord System to be a very well organized, easy to use way of learning chords.

My only complaint is that the book is a little dry to read. The best way to use it is to learn one page at the time. Or as a reference in case you get stumped when learning a new song. It's a great addition to any guitarist's library.

Return to

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape