Guitar chords are combinations of notes that produce musical harmony when strung together on an instrument. Chords are commonly found in songs.
The black dots on a chord diagram represent frets you should press with your fingers; sometimes they even contain numbers to help indicate which finger should use which fret.
Barre chords can be challenging for beginners as they require holding down multiple strings with just one finger at the same time, but once mastered they become extremely useful.
1. C Major
C Major is often one of the first chords beginners learn, drawing upon an E major open string chord with its root placed at fifth string third fret to create a fuller six string version (ideal for Townshend-style windmilling).
C#9 chord extensions are the go-to way of expanding E major open string chords, adding the flat 7th and sharp 9th notes from C major scale into an E major open string chord.
Another useful variation is a sus chord, which replaces the third note with its 2nd counterpart. Practice making these transitions until they become second nature – having an in-depth knowledge of C’s patterns will make reading music and speaking harmony with greater ease and precision.
2. E Major
E Major is a key that’s widely utilized for blues and rock music, offering a gritty sound with some seductive qualities, perfect for lyrics addressing rejection and powerful physical desires.
Minor is also an ideal key for use in minor chord progression, since its minor, melancholic quality sets it apart from C. The Circle of Fifths tells us that every major scale has an accompanying minor scale one major sixth (six semitones) above and three semitones (3 semitones) below it – another useful insight!
Ayla will show you some of the essential chords to learn first and how to play them with progressions. Keep practicing these and soon enough you’ll become an expert!
3. G Major
G Major chords are great to start learning on because they lack sharps. That makes fingering easier; but for best results it is wise to build muscle memory slowly before moving them further up the fretboard.
This chord resembles C Major in that it contains a minor third between root and fifth notes. As it contains five notes, its sound will be fuller than with C major.
As is true with all scales and keys, it’s advisable to begin practicing G chord hands apart until you become comfortable playing each octave of notes in each octave individually. Once this step has been accomplished, work can begin on connecting them and forming chords; once your knowledge of G chord is secure it should translate well to other chords in future studies.
4. B Major
B Major chord is an iconic rock chord with a melancholic sound often associated with breakup songs. Additionally, this key provides chord progressions like I – VI – IV.
B Major requires using all five fingers simultaneously, so it is best to warm up first before attempting it. Also known as a barre chord, this one will require your to place multiple fingers across multiple strings simultaneously.
An effective way of learning the fingerings for B Major guitar chords is to look at a chord diagram. Each box represents a fret, while each number indicates whether index finger, middle finger or ring finger should be placed there.
5. D Major
D Major is an accessible chord that works across several musical genres. Comprised of the first, third, and fifth notes from D scale’s scale of notes 0-5, D Major offers strong sound that lends itself well to rock songs.
This chord can add suspense when played immediately before or after another major or minor chord, as well as being used to bridge between motifs in songs – for instance from an F Major 7 chord to C Major.
Its open form resembles that of a C chord, making it an excellent choice for beginners. Additionally, like other triads, any of its notes may be doubled without altering its designation as a major chord.