Guitar Chords List

A chord chart is a visual aid that shows which fingers to use on each string of your guitar. Horizontal lines indicate frets while the thickest line at the top of the chart represents the nut (also called zero fret).

Black dots represent chord notes, with “1”s inside black dots indicating which note should be played with your index finger; “0s or Xs” mean no further action are to be taken with that string.


The major scale is an excellent way to build up your guitar playing skills. It is easy to learn and provides lots of possibilities for chord building, melodies and improvisation.

A major scale consists of seven notes separated by whole steps with the exception of its first and fifth notes which differ by half steps – this structure makes it extremely flexible, making it applicable across a wide variety of genres of music.

To construct a major scale, start with your root note and follow the interval formula of that key – for instance F is one whole step higher than G and one half step above A. Finally, move up one octave.

Tradition holds that major scale is taught using the CAGED system, which divides fretboard into five scale patterns that correspond with open chord shapes. Each scale pattern ascends or descends string set like an accordion (index finger on second fret, middle finger on third, ring finger on fourth and pinky on fifth fret) so practice shifting between these patterns.


Minor scales are an invaluable building block to creating various chord progressions. Additionally, their scales can be reconfigured into different chord types such as minor sevenths.

Minor chords produce a dark and introspective sound and are the second-most-common form of chord after major ones. To write one of these melodies out correctly, follow its root note with an “m” (for “minor”).

Minor progressions typically begin with a minor third chord, followed by minor sixth and then minor seventh chords. Minor sevenths can often provide a powerful perfect cadence resolution in musical phrases; Kool and the Gang’s hit “Celebration” provides an example of this; its use of Cm7, Dm7, Bbm7 and E9sus4 chords add depth and drama to its performance.


Triads are an accessible chord structure which can be used to craft any number of melodic progressions. Composed of three notes – roots, thirds and fifths (the old 1-3-5 format) they can be arranged into various inversions and altered soundscapes to produce endless chord progressions. There are four kinds of triads: major, minor, diminished and augmented which each possess different qualities and sounds which will alter how the sound and feel.

To play a triad, either use your first finger to fret the thinnest three strings with just your first finger, or all four of your fingers – whatever suits you best! Open-voiced triads are great beginner pieces as they are very straightforward.

Add a 9th to your triad for an altered chord with more jazzy overtones; this technique is often employed in neo-soul and R&B guitar styles.


Barre chords can be more difficult for beginners to learn than open chords as they require multiple fingers for a different fingering pattern and more complex fingerwork. Chord charts typically display horizontal lines spanning left to right with Xs or Os showing which strings need to be played by each finger. At the top, a thick horizontal line symbolizes the nut while its first vertical line represents fret 1. Xs or Os indicate which ones to focus on with your fingers.

Most major chords feature a root note which gives the chord its name, as well as major third and perfect fifth intervals. Gaining an understanding of these intervals will make playing guitar chords listed here much simpler.

Once you’ve mastered major and minor barre chords, it’s time to venture beyond. Advanced guitar players will soon discover more complex chords such as D7(#5) or C13(#5b9) which require knowledge of music theory as well as fretboard layout. For beginner guitarists this can be challenging and requires extensive practice on both.