Guitar Chords – The Building Blocks of Music

guitar chords library

Chords are the foundation of music. Basic guitar chords follow Western musical theory conventions.

Major chords tend to convey positive emotions through music. Conversely, minor chords elicit sadness through sound.

Barre chords require multiple fingers pressing down on multiple strings simultaneously. Explore all of their possible shapes with this free guitar chords library!


A chord is composed of multiple notes played together; its most fundamental form is a major or minor triad.

Triads are one of the core tools every guitarist must understand in order to play various genres of music. Intermediate guitarists will also learn seventh chords – which consist of multiple major or minor triads linked together by an additional chord – for use when performing more complex pieces.

This library’s chords are presented using a fretboard diagram and suggestive fingerings. Each circle bears a number indicating which fingers should be used to fret that particular note. Meanwhile, strings with an “X” indicate which should remain unfretted and not played by hand.

Each chord also has a name displayed prominently in the top left corner, detailing its type and quality. This allows you to quickly change its root note in order to find new keys quickly – helping improvise or compose songs more quickly!


The guitar is a multi-timbral instrument (able to produce more than one note simultaneously), giving it the capability of producing chords. Chords consist of three or more notes that are played together with respect for musical conventions (musical intervals).

Triads, in general, consist of the first note in a scale (the tonic note), third and fifth notes; often doubled up (for instance C Major d5) for an even stronger sound; this can also be done with minor chords.

To play these chords, we need to know their fingerings; these can be found in the diagrams below. Clicking any diagram will open a fretboard map showing this chord’s fretboard map; by clicking one, its chord will also display either in strumming mode (similar to strumming with plectrum) or pick mode, where chords will continue playing until either you stop them or time runs out.


A chord is composed of multiple notes which come together to produce one tone, and guitar chords can be extremely effective at producing this sound due to being capable of playing multiple notes at the same time – thus creating a rich full sound, making them popular with rock and blues musicians alike. Woodwind or brass instruments cannot play more than one note simultaneously so their chord-making requires excellent timing and coordination to produce satisfying sounds.

Every guitar key contains three major chords and multiple minor and diminished chords. You can identify a major chord by its first, fourth and fifth notes in its scale. A minor chord can be distinguished from its major counterpart by having its 2nd, 3rd, and 6th notes comprise its scale instead.

There are various modes, such as Lydian (bright and cheerful), Dorian (tense and dark) and Phrygian (melancholy and hopeful). Knowing which mode will bring out the desired feel in your solo performance.


Chords are the foundation of music, and without an understanding of rhythm it will be extremely challenging to advance your playing. Chords are comprised of multiple voices which flow into one another over time; viewing them as isolated shapes can give the false impression they are straightforward structures.

Each chord contains at least three notes (some have more). When using a chord symbol with a “slash,” a bass note may be played instead of its root note, altering rhythmic patterns and altering its sound.

With the Chord App you can select any Root and Type combination and hear an array of guitar chords playing back one after another at any tempo you choose. They’re performed either continuously until stopped or individually with pick mode which plays them sequentially like you were picking with plectrum.