Guitar Chords – Stand by Me

Stand By Me is one of the most iconic songs in music. Its chord progression can be played across various music genres and is relatively easy to learn as its chords aren’t particularly complex.

Uning the harmonic functions of each chord will give you much-needed flexibility when working with other musicians.


This song utilizes C, Am and F chords to evoke an intoxicating, soulful mood – ideal for intimate acoustic performances! Additionally, its simplicity makes it easy to play! Check out our video on how to learn it!

Ben E. King first recorded it for the Drifters in 1961, and its chord progression is widely used across music genres from gospel and soul to reggae music due to their C-Am-F-G chord combination creating an infectious pentatonic sound when played together. Beginner guitarists can find this song an ideal starting point; using a capo on the first fret may make playing it simpler; just remember to strum down on downbeats and up on upbeats!


Learning jazz chords requires mastering the art of fingerboard reading. To accomplish this, start with four note voicings on strings 6, 4, 3 and 2, these shapes providing multiple harmonic functions.

Jon: To my understanding, musicians initially learn these voicings by simply identifying each grip as being for one chord – for instance C for C chord and D for D chord etc – however as time progresses they come to realize these voicings actually have functional definitions.

Likewise, a major 7 chord is defined as a major triad with a flattened seventh note added, creating enormous tension. But to musicians this chord simply represents another triad with the same root note and they often refer to its intervals using terms such as Mi/Fa and So/Ti to refer to its intervals.


This song offers three major chords that are easy to pick up by simply moving your pick along each string starting with one without an “X” above it and working your way down to the lowest string.

Horse With No Name was released by America as their debut and most successful single in 1971. This song uses G, C and D chord progression with an infectious melody to help beginners create their own narrative within music.

As this list of 24 chords illustrates, musicians can express an incredible range of emotion and songwriting skill with just the basic G, C and D chords. Mastering them will develop your ear as well as help you recognize chord progressions used in songs you encounter along your musical journey.


Minor and diminished chords are more difficult to form using movable bar shapes than major chords, as their formation requires three notes which are three frets apart and may involve some fingerwork. A major 7th chord uses four notes that are four frets apart while for minor 7ths this distance decreases to three frets between notes that make the 7th of a chord.

E G B Am is an easy and versatile chord that creates an uplifting atmosphere and works well in various songs, yet its relative minor of G can alter its intended purpose, leading to bassier tones during bridges or middle eights than usual.