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Aug 25, 2019
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Guitar Chords – How Chord Diagrams work

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Guitar Chords – How Chord Diagrams work

The chord labeled at the top of the chord in big letters. The chord without any other letters after it (e.g. A, B, D, E) always a major form of that chord. The chord proceeded with a lower case’s’ is a minor form of that chord (e.g. Am, Bm, Dm, Em). There are many other chord forms (A7, Amaj7, A9, Am7, Asus4) however, these are advanced chord forms and will not discuss in this tutorial.

  • String order: Strings displayed vertically from left to right.are ordered (left to right) 6th to 1st, thickest to thinnest or E – A – D – G – B – E
  • Fret number: If the chord too played at, a position down the neck (farther away from the headstock), the fret number of the lowest fret displayed to the right of the chord diagram. If no fret number displayed, then the chord played with the thick bar representing the nut of the guitar.
  • Open strings: A hollow circle above a string on the chord diagram indicates an open string played. This means that the string should be pluck but should not be fretted.
  • Dampened strings: An ‘x’ above a string on the chord diagram indicates that the string should not play at all. Either it can dampen by using the fleshy part of a finger (thereby nullifying the sound) or you can avoid plucking that string.
  • Suggested fingering: The suggested fingering for the chords listed below the diagram. The notation corresponds to fingers in this way 1 = index, 2 = middle, 3 = ring, 4 = pinky, T = thumb.
  • Barred chords A hat (arc) across the strings indicates that the notes should bar. This means that the same finger should used to depress each of the strings in the barre.This usually done by laying the finger across the strings and using the fleshy edge of the finger to press all of the strings required down to the fret.
  • Power chords These chords are similar to barre chords, except not all of the strings played.the root, the 5th and the octave note of the major scale are played. This type of chord often used in rock. Since a third of the scale not played, the chord is neither major nor minor.

Major Chords

Note on barre chords: These considered movable forms. This means that the chord can play on any fret. Whichever note the first finger is playing on the lowest string the name of the chord played. Example: A lower barre chord played with the first finger at the 5th fret would be an ‘A’ barre chord because the note on the 6th string at the 5th fret is an ‘A’ note.

Minor Chords

Note on barre chords: These considered movable forms. This means that the chord can play on any fret. Whichever note the first finger is playing on the lowest string the name of the chord played. Ex: A lower barre chord played with the first finger at the 5th fret would be an ‘A’ barre chord because the note on the 6th string at the 5th fret is an ‘A’ note.

Chord diagrams

Try switching between these chords. This is a very important part of learning to play the guitar. Concentrate on making each switch sound clean with no errant notes. With practice, these simple forms will become natural and fluid.

Article Categories:
Guitar Lesson
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