Guitar Chords in the Key of D

Guitar chords form the backbone of any guitarist’s skillset. Once basic major and minor triads have been learned, intermediate guitarists move onto more challenging seventh chords.

Chord charts usually display a square with six vertical lines representing the strings on a fretboard from left to right, from left-to-right. If any of the lines contain an “X,” this indicates that one or more strings should not be played to complete a chord.


Most chords found in this key are triads and four note extended chords, such as D major (D-F#-A). When one note replaces another it is known as sus chord; examples would be A sus2 (A – C) and D sus4 respectively.

You’ll also discover some modal chords in this key, like B minor. Modes utilize the intervals of a major scale but begin and end on different notes; therefore, learning all seven notes won’t be necessary if all you want to play are chords in that key.

On every degree of the D scale except seventh, major chords can be found. One common example in Jazz music is when chords on the fifth degree are changed into myxolydian chords – they share root notes with major scale but feature a flat 7. To determine any additional changes you need to make for this key, consult its circle of fifths.


D minor is an increasingly popular chord choice in blues music, making up approximately 20% of blues songs today. Guitarists may learn this chord early as it only requires three fingers for playing and its open strings resonate nicely to produce an exciting sound.

Have you heard D major in popular songs such as Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Bad Moon Rising and Summer of 69 by Bryan Adams? D major has two sharps, while its relative minor key is B minor.

Triad chords are a special type of major chord featuring two notes which are separated by an interval of a perfect fifth (major, diminished or augmented). Triads can be inverted to create different kinds of minor chords and the intervals can be varied to create various kinds of progressions.

V-i progressions offer a deep and melancholic sound and are frequently employed in neoclassical compositions like Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No 1 and Symphonic Poem No 1. Pop songs using this progression include Voulez-Vous by Abba.


Dominant chords are frequently utilized as the tonic or primary chord of songs, typically representing their tonality or main theme. A dominant seventh chord consists of pairing any fifth note from any scale with a minor seventh above it to create its dominant seventh chord form. Once added to the root-third-fifth major triad created from root-third-fifth scale components, its formation leads to its realization as the dominant seventh chord.

These chords are some of the most frequently played in any key and can be found everywhere from Mozart symphonies to Top 40 pop music. Additionally, they’re extremely useful for modulations and harmonic progressions as they allow a singer or songwriter to establish new keys more quickly.

These chords can be identified through Roman numeral notation, with the number denoting which fret you must be on for each string. Sometimes an “O” or an “X” above each string signifies which string you need to play rather than not play to complete a chord.


An understanding of diatonic chord theory is an invaluable asset for creating melodies and harmonizing songs more efficiently. While you don’t necessarily need to know all available chords in every key for writing songs, even having some knowledge of which are available and their location on the fretboard will enable you to switch key easily as your song progresses (perhaps when moving from verse into chorus).

D minor harmonic scale contains all of the same notes as its relative major scale, F, with only minor variation being that sixth note becoming root of minor scale and thus creating 11 minor and diminished chords from this foundation.

The D minor pentatonic scale contains these notes as well, making it possible to construct various blues chords that complement the D major chord. Just watch out for using any advanced jazz chords like Maj7#11 or Maj13#11 chords; these might sound unpleasant in a blues context!