3 Spooky Sounding Chords For Guitar

With the Halloween season upon us we celebrate some of the most unnerving and spine chilling chords; straight from the horror movie soundtrack playbook.

Creep out anyone within earshot with 3 of the scariest soundng chords you can play on the guitar. Prepare to take a walk on the dark side!! (Inserts evil laugh)

1. The good old standard b5 chord

If we could bottle the sound of Black Sabbath and give it a musical name , it would be a b5 chord. Known as the Devil’s interval, adding this choice note to your everyday power chord has monstrous results.

Example 1, below, shows our simple E power chords with a Bb added (the b5) - instant creepiness!

E Power Chords With Added b5

Ok, these are staples for any self respecting metal guitarist (if thats your bag), so here are a few more interesting voicings of the same simple chord.

b5 Chord Shapes

You can throw a b5 in the mix for our major and minor chords too, with the same scary results. The example below shows a common E Major and E Minor chords with the 5th (B) shifted down one fret to ad that b5. These chord shapes save your fingers from doing too much in the way of contortion too!

Major & Minor Chords With b5

2. A power chord with a b9

By now, I’m sure you are starting to see that adding an unwelcome note to our ‘safe’ chords is a good method for creating a sinister sound. With that in mind, let’s take the same tactic with our next spooky chord.

Below, again, is a common E power chord - rooted on the D string to save any finger twisting. The following two chords have a b9 (F) added to them. The closeness of the E and F (one semi tone) is what creates that evil sound - famously used as the pivot in the Jaws theme.

E Power Chords With Added b9

Like the sound of these? Here are some more creative ways to finger this wicked sounding collection of intervals:

E5b9 Chord Shapes

3. Augmented Major 7 Chords

Now, don’t let the confusing name put you off - we aren’t going to deep dive any theory here and the idea behind these chords is actually pretty simple. Where, before we added a b5 to our major and minor chords, augmented simply means a #5 (taking our B one fret up to a C in this case).

Below is our E major chord shape again, followed by a tweak to make it E major 7 - again, nothing other worldly about this. But, check out what happens when you slide that G string note up one fret in the third chord shape, nasty right?!

Augmented Major 7th

Let’s have some fun with these! Below are 3 more shapes for E Augmented Major 7, arranged to give you the shivers!

Augmented Major 7 Shapes

So there we have 3 types of horror inspired chords; a great example of breaking the musical mould and proving that things don’t always have to sound musically predictable. Experiment with these chords - anywhere you find these collections of notes will give you another cool shape with which to give your listeners the heebie jeebies!

Hungry for more ghoulish chords and ideas? Sam Bell provides 3 more spooky, horror movie style chord shapes and progressions in this video.

Only got 60 secs? Watch this and level up your spooky chord progressions.