How to Play Guitar - Chords

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24 Common Open-Position Guitar Chords

Open position chords sound twangy because they include unfretted strings that are permitted to ring open. This chart represents 24 of the most useful open chords you use to play guitar: [more…]

Basic Guitar Chords

Guitar playing is mostly, or at least often, a matter of playing chords. The standard guitar chords are represented in the following charts, which show the basic chords for a variety of well-known songs [more…]

Creating Music with Chord Progressions

A chord progression is a group of chords that you use to create music. Some chord progressions just sound better than others, so it pays to experiment. The following table, which shows commonly used major-key [more…]

Examining Chord Progressions

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24 Common Guitar Chords for Different Music Styles

The following figure shows 24 common, easy-to-play guitar chords that you can use in many different songs in a variety of styles — including folk, country, rock, and blues. Left-hand fingerings appear [more…]

How to Play a Chord on the Guitar

Chords are basic building blocks of songs. You can play a chord (the simultaneous sounding of three or more notes) several ways on the guitar — by strumming [more…]

How to Use the C Form as a Moveable Barre Chord on the Guitar

To use the C form as a moveable barre chord, your 1st finger acts like a capo and lays across (barres) the guitar neck while your remaining fingers form the rest of the chord shape. [more…]

How to Use the A Form to Play the CAGED System on the Guitar

The A form is one of the most commonly used shapes and is typically what comes to mind when guitarists think of barre chords. Here, you move up an open A chord and use it as an A form barre chord to play [more…]

How to Use the G Form to Play the CAGED System on the Guitar

Check out the G form. Like the C form, this barre chord is hard to play on the guitar and rarely, if ever, used in its entirety. Usually, you break it down into other, more manageable shapes. You use the [more…]

How to Use the E Form to Play the CAGED System on the Guitar

Like the A form, the E form is a standard barre chord shape. On the guitar, you use it to form major chords for notes along the 6th string. You can form it into some unique chord voicings, especially when [more…]

How to Use the D Form to Play the CAGED System on the Guitar

The D form is unique in that it’s the only CAGED form that isn’t rooted to either the 6th or 5th string on the guitar. Instead, its root is on the 4th string. It’s awkward to finger and technically isn’t [more…]

How to Play Minor CAGED Forms on the Guitar

Just as you use the CAGED arpeggios to form major chord voicings on the guitar, you can do the same with minor arpeggios. You lower all the 3rds in each arpeggio pattern to minor 3rds [more…]

How to Play Chord Progressions with Open Chords on the Guitar

You can use chord patterns to track chord progressions in the open position on the guitar, although doing so takes some extra work and requires that you identify the actual note name of each chord. [more…]

How to Play 2nd and 9th Chords on the Guitar

There are many types of chords for the guitar that include 2nds and 9ths, but the three that you’re most likely to encounter are sus2, add9, and 9 chords. You start with the sus2 chord, a chord that has [more…]

How to Play 4th and 11th Chords on the Guitar

By far the most common type of 4th chord that you encounter as a guitar player is a sus4, where a 4th replaces the 3rd and a chord is stacked 1-4-5. On occasion, a 4th is added and the 3rd is retained, [more…]

96 Common Guitar Chords

Following are chord diagrams for 96 of the most widely used guitar chords. The chords are arranged in 12 columns from C to B, for all 12 notes of the chromatic scale. Each of the eight rows shows a different [more…]

How to Play Seventh Chords

Playing open-position seventh chords on your guitar is as easy as playing basic major and minor chords. This video will expand your harmonic library by showing you how to play open-position major and minor [more…]

How to Play Basic Major Chords on a Guitar


How to Play Basic Minor Chords on a Guitar

Basic open minor chords on the guitar include A minor, D minor, and E minor. You can play a lot of music from this video lesson, which shows how to read a chord diagram and play these three minor chords [more…]

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