Guitar Chords Sheet

Chords are composed of notes separated by what’s known as an interval, which refers to any space between non-consecutive scale notes; for instance C and E on an ascending THIRDS scale are two such intervals.

Chord charts can be extremely beneficial in showing where to place your fingers on the fretboard and providing important details like its name and intervals.


Music notation may appear complicated at first glance, with its myriad symbols, squiggles and circles, but once you understand its language it becomes easier than ever to read and interpret.

Symbols on a chords sheet indicate how to play notes at specific frets. For instance, an X indicates to mutes strings rather than play them while an O indicates open (unfretted) string playing.

Other symbols on a guitar chords sheet indicate extensions, which are ways of playing chords that do not form part of the original music and may have been notated from specific recordings.

Sharp or flat chord symbols indicate that notes should be played one or two octaves higher or lower than indicated. Diminished and augmented chord symbols use plus (+) or minus (-) signs to show increased richness to chords without changing their original key of song.


A chord chart shows frets as horizontal lines, starting at its thickest top horizontal line called the “nut”, down each of its vertical lines to represent strings, each fret is marked with numbers to show you which finger you should use to play it (for instance if there’s a 1 at the bottom, that indicates playing it using index finger on B string first fret).

On a guitar chord sheet there will also be “Xs and Os.” These signify when strings should be muted or played without mutes; Os mean that these strings should be played openly.

On a chord chart, another symbol you might come across is a “slash,” which denotes different versions of the chord. For instance, A minor played open is equivalent to A minor barred; their only difference being that its bass note has been reduced by one octave.


Beginner guitarists may benefit from knowing what each string on the guitar is called. Some chord sheets include the names of all strings above a diagram; sometimes an open string (with or without fret numbering) will be marked off with an X, while an otherwise empty fret might have its name listed therein.

If a note needs to be sharpened or flattened, a little “#” or “b” sign will appear next to it. Chords also have symbols to indicate whether the chord is being amplified or suspended.

Beginner guitarists typically begin by learning basic chords like major and minor triads and dominant sevenths. Once familiar with these, guitarists may begin playing suspension chords (known as sus2 and sus4 chords) which use an augmented or diminished third interval for extra sound effects and to convey different moods and emotions; these chords can also be read quickly.


Many songs that use guitar chord charts don’t require guitarists to read traditional notation; rather they simply require a list of chords. Beginner guitarists may find these charts easier to learn as they show simplified versions that cater more closely to their level. Furthermore, these charts may exclude bar chords or complex finger positions.

Tabs also indicate which strings need to be played with a capo, as well as which note should be the starting point when creating chords. They may contain symbols Xs and Os that help a guitarist identify which strings to open or muted play on.

Tabs also contain rhythm markings to give guitarists an idea of the length of time each string should be held down, for instance whole note, half note, quarter note and eighth note are all commonly seen markings on tabs. Some tabs also display symbols that look like waterfalls to represent natural harmonics (played by lightly touching a fret with your finger without pressing down), creating notes similar to what can be found on a harp.