Guitar Chords Book PDF

guitar chords book pdf

As part of your study of guitar chord diagrams, it’s essential to recognize that each chord’s name depends on where its root note resides on the fretboard; for instance, D major chords must always feature its root note on the first string.

Once you click a Root or Type, the app will display additional chords (inversions and/or voicings), also alphabetized in alphabetic order.

How to read a guitar chord chart

A guitar chord chart provides a visual aid to aid your playback of specific chords. It displays black dots representing frets and indicates which fingers to use; for instance, number 1 could represent your index finger, 2 would represent middle finger use and 3 represents the ring finger.

Thick black lines covering multiple strings are called bars. Each black dot on each string is numbered to show you where to put your fingers; many also feature letters at their top to identify what type of chord it should play (an “o” means it should be played open while an “x” indicates you should muted it).

Basic chords

Beginner guitar players should familiarize themselves with a few basic chords that form the basis of many popular songs and are relatively straightforward. Furthermore, playing these chords provides an excellent opportunity to practice finger positioning on the fretboard; their diagram depicts horizontal lines as strings while vertical ones as frets; numbers on vertical lines indicate which fingers to use while “Xs” indicate any string that should not be played.

These basic chords, known as open chords, can be relatively straightforward for newcomers to learn how to play. In fact, open chords are found in over 90% of rock and pop songs!

Major chords

Beginner guitarists typically begin by learning major chords – these essential and basic chords can be found throughout most forms of music, and Suzanne Vega’s highest charting hits “Luka” feature them prominently.

These chords, also referred to as major triads, contain three notes – the root note, major third, and perfect fifth – which combine to produce the signature sound of this chord type.

Mastering Major and Minor chords is key to creating music that captures audiences with emotion and inspires listeners, so LANDR offers a comprehensive library of guitar chords and music theory tutorials from professional musicians that will help you master these concepts.

Minor chords

Chords are an integral component of music composition and understanding the differences between major and minor chords can help expand your playing and songwriting repertoire. Minor chords typically exhibit low-pitched tones with melancholic or depressing undertones that evoke sadness or melancholy feelings.

To play a minor chord, first create a triad by identifying the first, fifth and eighth notes in a scale; then lower the middle note by half steps for your minor chord’s root note.

Keep in mind that mastering chords requires both dedication and practice. Over time, you will become adept at intuitively understanding each unique structure and sound of various chords.


Triads are the simplest form of musical chord. A triad is comprised of a root note, third note and fifth note – though many guitar chord shapes do not actually contain one as they contain more than 3 notes, often creating undefined sounds and creating confusion in sound quality.

Triads come in various qualities like intervals – major, minor, diminished and augmented. Their qualities depend on the intervals surrounding the root: for instance a major triad would feature major third and perfect fifth chords while minor ones may feature minor thirds and flat fifths.

Barre chords

Barre chords provide a simple yet effective way to play fuller and more powerful chords, as they allow you to shift chord shapes up and down the fretboard without altering their root note. To create one of these barre chords simply move one of your open chord shapes up the fretboard to make one of your open chords into a barre chord shape.

Learning barre chords requires practice in pressing down each string cleanly with your index finger, so it can be helpful to bar each string individually until no buzzing noises can be heard before moving on to playing an entire barre chord. Once this step has been accomplished, playing barre chords becomes much simpler!

Power chords

Power chords on the guitar are an essential musical skill to possess. Though commonly associated with rock music, these chords can be applied to any genre. Their accessibility makes them much simpler to learn and move more freely across the fretboard than barre chords.

Power chords differ from regular triads in that they only consist of two notes instead of three, and are indicated on lead sheets by notating their root note with its respective number: for instance C5.

Power chords are ideal for creating epic guitar riffs, often seen in songs such as “Iron Man” (Black Sabbath), “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” (Pat Benatar) and “Smells Like Teen Spirit” (Nirvana). Their dark and sinister sound make them an excellent fit for heavy metal music.