Guitar Chords – The D Chord

The D chord is one of the initial major guitar chords most beginning players learn, and can be found in songs across genres. Any serious musician should use this chord as part of their toolbox.

As new guitarists may find it challenging to master this shape and know which strings to mute, this article provides several variations that make the chord easier for playback.

Major Triad

The Major Triad chord features three notes in its structure – root, major third and perfect fifth (steps one, two, and three of a D major scale). This chord offers open consonance with its tonic note for an energetic sound; additionally it pairs nicely with sus2 chords for added dimension! Be sure to experiment with these two shapes together!

This triad can be played in root position, first or second inversion and even transposed up or down an octave without changing its name due to octave equivalence and wide intervals.

Beginning your triads journey is easiest with this chord’s familiar shape and presence in many songs. Once comfortable with it, move onto other types such as suspended and sixth chords to expand your bassline options and increase creativity. Always keep in mind that triads are about rhythm more than notes alone!

Minor Triad

Minor triads consist of three notes separated by what’s known as a minor interval, creating a more mournful sound than its major triad counterpart.

To build this chord, start at the roots of your scale, in this case C and E, before creating the triad using any three notes that alternate down until reaching a seventh note – until finally moving back up until reaching the root of a minor scale.

Construction of minor triads follows similarly, but with one important difference. This one features a flatter third which makes fingering on your fretboard easier.

As with other triads, these shapes can be moved freely along the guitar fretboard so long as you remain within their respective group of strings. Furthermore, chords may also be inverted to change the position of their lowest note in an inverted chord.

Suspended Triad

Suspended chords differ considerably from the major and minor triads we have been studying so far. They consist of major chord patterns with one major third raised to its fourth degree – creating tension which usually resolves into more traditional chords; one example being Brian May’s use of Dsus4 chord in Queen’s “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”.

Suspended chords differ from other inverted chords in that they can be played both open and barred position. To do this, take the second note of a root position triad and move it up one octave – this results in 5/3 notation on a staff diagram.

At times, suspended chords may use the second note instead of the fourth to act as the fifth tone and replace it. These sus2 or simply 2 chords can be played using similar fingering techniques as add2 chords above.

Sustained Triad

Suspended chords (also referred to as sus chords) are triads in which the third note (known as sus2) or fourth (known as sus4) has been modified with either an interval of one second (for sus2 chords) or four notes (sus4 chords) placed between them to create dissonance and tension; usually this leads to another triad being formed from this suspended chord.

Sustained chords can be an effective way to embellish and add movement to a song, often being employed by jazz musicians as an alternative to standard triads. Bruce Springsteen often utilizes sus2 and sus4 chords in his compositions.

All suspended chords share similar qualities with triads: each note interval quality can either be diminished, minor, major, perfect, or augmented. While their names differ slightly between chords, similar principles still apply: for instance doubling and open spacing can help identify suspended chords easily.