How to Play Guitar Chords in the Key of D

Guitar chords are one of the most essential tools in a guitarist’s toolkit, but it can be challenging to identify exactly which chords are being used without consulting an accompanying key chart or chord library.

The D family of chords is typically the second chord family learned during learning guitar, sharing similarities with its A counterparts in shape.

D Major

D Major is one of the most frequently employed chord shapes on guitar. As a building block chord that can adapt to many chord progressions and styles, this chord can serve as an anchoring base. D major can be found everywhere from Led Zeppelin songs to those by KT Tunstall; its usage makes for an excellent starting point when creating more complex harmonies such as D sus 4 or 2 chords.

These chords can be created by stacking thirds from the D major scale, creating various open triad chords to which seventh notes may be added to create major or minor 7th chords – an effective technique for building chord progressions as you can choose any key you like!

Open D major is an easier open string chord to learn, thanks to its close spacing of notes that should make for smooth finger placement on every fret. Some players, however, may experience difficulties when strumming on thinnest string as thumb often touches it which may result in muting issues when strumming.

D Minor

The D Minor chord is a barre chord, meaning you need to hold one finger across all four fretboard frets (frets two, three and four) when strumming it. While it requires more stretching for fingers than other chords do, most electric and 14 fret acoustic guitars should find it straightforward and accessible; plus you could experiment with occasionally loosening grip on strings for unique percussive strumming effects!

D minor chords work particularly well when used to add urgency and brightness in songs that tend towards darkness or broodiness; Queen Bey’s “Crazy in Love” stands as an excellent example, featuring D minor to add hope in her lyrics.

D minor is an ideal key for practicing hammer-ons and hammer-offs on the first string, especially with your first finger pressing down hard enough not to cause buzzed strings – something which may occur on cheaper guitars that have not been set up properly.

D Sus4

Suspended chords are an effective way to add tension and color to a chord progression, by replacing the third of a chord with one lower on the scale – usually the 2nd or 4th degree – such as Dsus4 guitar chord, also referred to as an Asus2 or Fsus4.

To play this chord, place your first finger on the second fret of string three and your third on the fourth fret of string two, and strum only the thinnest four strings.

Reminding ourselves that there are variations of these chords is key; their function and implications vary from context to context – for instance in jazz music, sus chords with fourth might suggest quartal voicings while rock could employ major7sus2. Here is an idea of these possibilities (table below).

D Sus7

The D Sus7 chord is one of the key guitar chord shapes you will encounter frequently. Although initially difficult, with practice it will become simpler and quicker.

These chords may appear confusing at first because they lack a third note, typically used to distinguish major and minor chords from each other. By replacing it with either second or fourth notes instead, chord quality will change but still retain the same sound and function.

Suspension chords (chords without a third), also known as suspension chords, add movement and color to chord progressions. A D Sus7 chord can be an excellent way to introduce tension into a song before transitioning into more stable or major sounding chords; examples can be found in Queen’s “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” or Dave Brubeck’s “In Your Own Sweet Way”.