Guitar Chords List For Beginners

Chords are one of the primary goals for new guitarists. They form the backbone for most songs.

Level one chords include open (or barre) chords – these produce full sounds without necessitating fretting any strings.

Sus4 chords – which use similar shapes as major or minor chords but switch the 5th from the scale for 4th – are great ways to add suspenseful tension to your songs!

Major Chords

Beginner guitarists tend to start out by learning major chords. These chords are easy to play and will be featured in numerous songs; additionally, major chords generally sound brighter and happier than minor ones.

Major chords are triads, meaning that they only contain three notes. To read a chord chart effectively, look for black dots by each string and their letters that correspond with your fingers (index finger, middle finger and pinky). In some charts there may also be an X or circle around one note to signify not fretting (it should ring freely when playing an open string).

These eight common open chords provide an excellent starting point. To take it a step further, our Guitar Chord Bootcamp can also help you learn these chords more efficiently through practice tips and special exercises – you’ll also gain access to an interactive fretboard map so you can see exactly where these chords form along the neck.

Minor Chords

Minor chords often feature a flattened third, meaning the third note has been lowered an octave (one fret) lower. All of the same notes remain but their overall sound becomes somewhat darker and melancholy.

Minor chords consist of three components, which include a root note, minor third note and perfect fifth tone. An augment or major 7th chord can also be added for added complexity.

Chord diagrams are an invaluable way to get acquainted with your guitar’s fretboard. Horizontal lines represent its strings while vertical ones show frets; any strings marked X should not be touched with fingers when strumming; those marked O should.

Learn the natural notes on one string at a time and practice pronouncing their names while moving up and down the neck. Once comfortable with these, progress on to other types of chords.

7th Chords

Seventh chords add a further tone to a basic triad structure and come in various variations such as major, minor, dom7b5, or dim7.

There are also movable seventh chord shapes that can be moved up the neck to form different quality seventh chords; for instance, Cmaj7 can become Cdim7 just by moving it one fret up the neck.

These chord progressions work very well for funk progressions as their sound is thicker and won’t crowd out the bass player as much. Since they require additional fingers to play them properly, take your time learning them before trying to incorporate them into any songs.

Some chords have an exciting tension that makes them enjoyable to play, particularly the m7(#9) and m7alt chords, constructed by adding a sharp ninth to a dominant seventh chord and used by rock musicians such as Jimmy Hendrix as well as jazz and funk musicians.

Barre Chords

Even though barre chords can seem intimidating at first, they’re an essential component of your guitar chord chart! By making full chords (using all or most strings) completely portable across and down the fretboard!

Basic barre chords are composed of major or minor open chords moved up one string; for instance, an E major can be written like an F major with your index finger barred across all strings on the first fret instead. Just be sure to mutes any lower strings as otherwise you will end up with an unpleasant sound!

Next step after open chords is barre chord shapes shown below, each of which can be moved up or down the fretboard to form various other chords. When playing these, use your index finger as your “barre” while filling in each shape with other fingers – practice these basic chords until they become second nature!