How to Play Guitar Chords in the Key of a Key

To play an A major chord, simply number your fingers and strumming five of its strings below it – leaving the low E string “open”. This form is known as strumming major chords.

Once guitarists master fundamental chords like major and minor triads, they often advance to seventh chords. A major-minor seventh chord combines two major triads with one minor triad in order to supplement its tertian third interval with quartal and quintal harmony harmonies.


Selecting chords in any given key can significantly change how happy or sad a song sounds, so becoming a more versatile guitarist requires learning chords and scales as well as how to utilize them within chord progressions.

Major triad chords are the easiest type of chord to form as they consist of only three individual notes. Their interval between them is known as a major third and includes two full steps (plus an octave).

Basic chords featuring the major third are known as major chords, which also form the basis for other extended or altered forms of chords. To better understand them, look at how their shapes move up and down the fretboard; some “shapes” may be easier for finger-style techniques than others (for instance a D minor seventh chord can be more comfortable to hold than an F# ninth).


Minor chords consist of the first, third and fifth notes of any major scale, making their formation very similar in any key (e.g. C F G in C minor or D G A in D minor) since these notes all make up its composition.

To play the minor chord, it can be helpful to strum all five strings down at once; however, for easier fingering it’s often simpler and faster if four are played at once; additionally this allows for muted E string playback.

To gain a deeper knowledge of chords, try playing them in various combinations and see how your newfound understanding translates to different moods – both expected and unexpected! Additionally, browse our song library’s chord progressions and observe how these chords fit into popular songs – this way putting your new skills into action while further expanding your knowledge about music theory along the way!


The dominant chord has an undeniably close connection with its tonic (root). Even when sounding unstable or discordant, its dominant seventh will almost always resolve into its tonic counterpart.

One of the easiest ways to build a dominant chord is by beginning with a major triad, then adding one minor third on top. This shortcut can come in handy because playing all three thirds at once may not always be feasible in standard tuning guitar.

Note that all chords must respect registers when creating this chord; lower notes could clash with higher ones and cause the sound to be unpleasant. Therefore, it would be useful to learn extensions so you can be more flexible in creating chords.


Suspended chords can add dimension and interest to regular chord progressions. They can be played alone or combined with other chords to add tension and uncertainty; one such example can be heard in The Police’s song Message in a Bottle where multiple suspended chords create suspense before finally leading into major chord resolution.

Suspended chords differ from triad and dominant chords in that there is no definitive major or minor third; this ambiguity can be used artistically to create an air of openness or uncertainty in music, creating a more dynamic and captivating musical experience.

Dependent upon which note replaces the third in a suspension chord, suspension chords can either be sus2 or sus4 chords. Chords wherein second notes take up this role typically use sus2, while ones wherein only sus is present are written as sus, without numbers or letters being mentioned.