The 20 Essential Rhythm Guitar Voicings

Many of the better rhythm guitar books have a one page chart of the most used voicings. Frankly, if you threw out the rest of most books, and just used the chart, you'd be pretty much set for a career of rhythm guitar. 95% of rhythm guitar playing uses those most used voicings, and the other 5% can be done without.

Here is my version of that chart.

Click to enlarge image

20 Voicings (PDF)

A couple tips:

Major-chords: Always default to a maj6th voicing. It's the sound of swing.
Minor-chords: Always default to a min6th voicing, unless it's part of the ii-V, and then use the min7.
Diminished-chords: In a diminished chord, any note in the chord can be the root (Aº=A, C, Eb, Gb; Cº=C, Eb, Gb, A; etc.).

While we're at it, here's a couple of examples on a Bb Blues that use these voicings.

Simple Bb Blues (PDF)