Beginner Guitar Chords – C Major, G Major, and D Major

major chords guitar pdf

These chords are the cornerstones of beginner guitarist education. Easy to finger and offering vivid open voicings.

Chord diagrams demonstrate which strings must be played to form each chord, indicated by an “O” above them and an “X” for those you should avoid strumming.

C Major

As with other tonal chords, C Major is a triad. Beginning with its own root note – C – each triad can be built using scale degrees from its major scale to form its chord structure – see chart below for example; look for intervals marked in blue that show patterns like major seventh (CM7) or diminished sevenths such as Gdim (7-3-5).

To create a minor seventh chord, take any minor triad and add its flatted third. This type of chord may also be known as a minor ninth or CM9 chord and can often be heard in folk, rock and pop music as it sounds happy and welcoming. Furthermore, this is also an excellent starting point when learning bass guitar.

E Major

Chords are collections of notes that create an emotional response when played together as part of a progression. Built up of notes corresponding to the first, third, and fifth scale degrees from any key, a major chord (triad) can be played identically across instruments as long as its three notes remain present.

Reducing or increasing its root note to create various chord types. Musical notation comes into its own in this instance.

Chords possess characteristics, almost like characters; master composer Franz Schubert described his chords as ‘joyous,’ while French composer Charpentier labeled them ‘quarrelsome.’ E Major chord is versatile enough for use in multiple songs.

G Major

G Major chord is an iconic melody found in numerous popular songs. With its vibrant sound, which encompasses all six strings to create a full and rich tone. This example utilizes an open chord shape with G Major as its root note on both 5th and 4th strings – covering two octaves of key.

It’s also often used in jazz or classically ethereal-sounding music as it utilizes all strings simultaneously. Being such a flexible chord, this chord can be played across many genres from ballads to Drum n Bass, Trap, and dance floor fillers!

A Major

Major chords usually consist of three notes; however, due to how guitars are tuned, some chords may contain more than three strings – these are known as triads. On the other hand, minor chords typically comprise three or more minor notes with the interval between their first and second notes known as a minor third.

An interval that spans the third and fourth note in a chord can often be counted as a perfect fifth, one fret above from its root.

Sus4 chords, which replace the third note of any major or minor chord with a perfect 4th, can also make for great additions to a guitarist’s repertoire. Popular among rock artists and must haves when looking to spice up chord progressions.

D Major

D Major is an easy and upbeat major chord, designed for beginners. If your fingers haven’t developed the strength or stretch to tackle more complex chords yet, D Major can be used as an introduction into music theory and performance.

Major triads form when creating chords on the first, third and fifth scale degrees of any major key; when expanded upon further, major seventh chords (sometimes known as Cmaj7 or CM7) add in the seventh note from that scale into their composition.

Music can be divided into 12 major and minor keys, each of which has an associated minor key using similar notes. To find this pair of related minor keys for each major key signature you are working with, refer to a table of notes in that particular key signature’s table of notes.