No two chords can ever sound the same due to their construction being driven by logic alone. By taking three notes from the major scale and stacking them up together into a triad, chords can be created; but their sound can change depending on which note of the scale is selected as starting point.
Beginners unfamiliar with chord theory may find this unfamiliar territory confusing, yet there are a few rules which should help make things clearer.
1. G Major
G Major chord is often one of the first chords newcomers learn, though it requires stretching across the fingerboard to achieve.
Once you are comfortable with this shape, add in some 7th chord progressions such as G Major 7th Chord which sounds like G – B – D to make more complex sounds.
Practice G Major chords regularly because it’s simple to switch octaves when performing it. Played one octave up gives D Major; when played an octave down gives C Major; this technique, known as voicing, adds character and is common in pop songs and popular guitar chords; for instance Justin Bieber famously utilized C Major voicing on Love Yourself from his album Believe.
2. C Major
The C major chord can be heard throughout many genres of music. From classic rock songs like “One Love” by Bob Marley and the Wallers to new wave synth pop like Coldplay’s hit, “Viva La Vida”, you can hear its familiar beat.
The open C major chord is one of the first chords most guitarists learn, being both solid and chunky sounding while remaining easy to play.
To create this chord, start by positioning your index finger on the 2nd string (1st fret), pressing down hard so that the strings vibrate against the fretboard and form an effective seal. Next place your middle and ring fingers on successive strings (2nd and 3rd fret). Strum all five strings.
3. D Major
D major is an ideal chord to start learning guitar with as it’s used in numerous songs. While it is generally easy to grasp open chord, practicing playing it cleanly without accidentally hitting lower strings (E and A) takes some practice and perseverance.
As the best way to master D, starting by practicing barred chords – pressing down all strings except the lowest one with index, middle, and ring fingers – is the key. Once this skill has been acquired, moving onto other chords should become much simpler.
There are also variations on the D chord, such as Dsus4. Give each variation a try to see which resonates best with you.
4. E Major
If you want a romantic song with E major chords, they make an excellent choice. They contain 4 sharps and three natural notes with its accompanying minor scale being C-sharp minor.
This means that all diatonic triads in both keys are similar, just with different tonic pitches; making it easy to locate chords within either key.
One important note: major chords generally sound brighter and triumphant while minor chords tend to sound melancholic and sadder, although there can be exceptions: you can combine sets of chords from various keys together without much loss in sound quality – this phenomenon is known as diatonic harmony.
5. F Major
F Major is notoriously difficult for beginning musicians, requiring both strength and coordination of hands to hold down securely. Newcomers may struggle with its complexity.
But this chord shouldn’t be intimidating to beginners – in fact, it can be one of the most enjoyable to play due to its pleasant summery sound and open high E string that add a jazzy quality to songs.
An F major chord can be fretted simply using a three string shape. Since you only bar two strings with your first finger here, it’s much simpler to maintain than its full barre counterpart. In addition, this voicing mutes the lower E string using your ring finger so you can still strum comfortably.