Getting to Grips With Guitar Chords You Love

A chord is defined as any combination of notes played at once. Chords can also be built from scales.

Triad chords are the simplest type of chord. Composed of three distinct notes separated by an interval, they represent an easy starting point when creating musical arrangements.

Understanding music theory will be instrumental in your quest to expand your knowledge of chords. This will enable you to comprehend why chords are created and named the way they are.


Guitars and pianos possess the distinct capability of simultaneously playing multiple notes at the same time, enabling chords that would otherwise not be possible on instruments like woodwinds or brass which can only play one note at a time. A simple chord structure known as a triad consists of three notes from an easy scale; guitarists often refer to these chords using Roman numerals I-IV-V for reference purposes when discussing simple major scale music.

To create this chord we start on the root (or tonic) note C and add two intervals; first a minor third which falls two frets below, and thirdly a perfect fifth which stands three-and-a-half tones above its root note C. Together these create a harmonious yet dissonance-free chord; triads are at the foundation of all music so understanding them as the basis for learning guitar is essential.


Intervals are essential building blocks that allow musicians to assemble chords and map out progressions, as well as compose melodies both intuitively and by ear. As such, taking time to learn intervals properly is definitely worth your while!

An interval is the relationship in pitch between two notes. An interval can be broken down into two distinct components, its size and quality. To measure its size, simply count the number of staff positions between notes; this method does not account for accidentals that might apply.

Depending on whether the top note fits with its respective major scale, determining an interval type depends on whether or not its major scale matches up perfectly with its bottom note’s major scale. When this occurs, we have either a minor (diminished interval), major or perfect interval, or sixth, fifth, octave intervals respectively.


A triad is the simplest chord, consisting of just three notes that come from either the scale (major in case of C chord) or an interval of a third.

These chords form the cornerstone of most songs you encounter and are easy to play on guitar. But that doesn’t mean you can’t add additional notes for added variety!

Extension chords can help create fascinating harmony by taking regular triads and adding either a ninth or eleventh note – creating extension chords requires adding either of those notes on top of an existing triad triad. Doing this creates new tonalities within the chord and can add dimension and variety in sound design; but this step should come later, after we have covered some other fundamentals.

Chord Progressions

Chord progressions are one of the best ways to familiarize your fingers with all the different shapes of guitar chords and train your ear to recognize certain combinations quickly and accurately. Once you have some progressions under your belt, start giving them funny nicknames to help remember them easier so you can incorporate them into songs you enjoy playing as well as expanding your musical vocabulary.

A basic triad progression is one of the easiest and most recognizable to learn, used by many songs like Richie Valens’ La Bamba. You can hear this progression across genres and it serves as an ideal starting point to discover different sounds on guitar. Acoustic-friendly and particularly suitable for drop D tunings, making this progression popular with metal bands; giving songs dark yet minor sounds perfect for conveying emotion through song.