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Cheat Sheet

Guitar Songs & Styles For Dummies

Knowing the anatomy of an electric guitar is helpful in playing certain styles of music, particularly rock and electric blues. Add some common open and moveable chords and you’re ready to play every style on the guitar from folk to classical.

Playing Guitar: Common Open-Position Chords

Open-position chords are aptly named because they involve unfretted strings that can ring open, along with the fretted notes. Open-position chords have a “jangly” pleasant feature, sometimes referred to as “cowboy chords.” These 24 chords make-up just about all the chords you need for rock guitar in open position:

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Playing Guitar: Common Moveable Chord Forms

A moveable chord, unlike an open-position chord, does not include open strings. If you can move, without rearranging your fingers, from position to position on the neck of the guitar, it’s a moveable chord.

6th-String Root

These moveable, or power, chords get their name because they get their root from the 6th string.

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5th-String Root

These moveable, or power, chords are rooted from the 5th string.

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5th-String Root (more chords)

These additional chords are also rooted from the 5th string.

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Anatomy of an Electric Guitar

An electric guitar is the key component of the rock guitar sound. Take a look at this figure to identify the major parts of a typical electric guitar, and read the chord diagram for finger placement. The tablature, or tab, is represented to show the frets and strings of the guitar.

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