How to Play the D Guitar Chord

If you’re having difficulty playing a D chord cleanly, try barring off its bottom string (also called leaving out or eliminating it). With practice comes proficiency at fingering this chord without hitting any unwanted strings.

D chords are known as triads, meaning that they consist of three notes that are separated by an interval of a third.


One of the first chords most guitarists learn to play is a major chord, an accessible chord with many variations on its fretboard.

Major chords contain the first, third and fifth notes from any major scale as its root note: CAGED chords contain these notes as their basis and contain C, A, G as their root notes respectively.

Another chord which utilizes the major chord is known as a sus2 chord, which substitutes the 2nd note for 4th in its scale. This sound works particularly well before or after playing major chords, and has been popularly utilized by artists such as Led Zeppelin, Bryan Adams and KT Tunstall.

One method for playing major chords is by barring it on the second string with your index finger, though this might prove challenging if your fingers are quite fat – as you need to place it close enough without touching any frets!


Minor chords are one of the first types of guitar chords most beginners learn, along with major chords. One key distinction between major and minor chords is their different thirds – minor chords produce a more melancholic and tragic sound than major ones.

One common way of playing a minor chord is with the shape shown here, an easy version without barring that can prove challenging for beginner guitarists. Strumming this chord should ensure each string rings out clearly – just ensure all fingers strum!

Add a minor seventh note to the basic shape to create more of an expectant sound, similar to Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin. Simply remove finger three from the basic chord and place it onto string 3 fret 8. When strumming the chord, make sure all strings ring out clearly.


As its name implies, a dominant chord consists of both a major triad and three whole step intervals (tritone). This chord produces a powerful sound.

Typically, dominant 7th chords contain minor sevenths to create tension within the music by being distant from its tonic triad and giving rise to dissonant sounds that create tension within it. In turn, this gives way to resolution in the chord and can serve as an ideal way to close off a piece or section of music.

Starting your guitar chord learning off right with an open A shape is an excellent place to start learning dominant guitar chords. Practice switching between major and dominant shapes while making sure to press firmly enough with each finger press for clean sounding chords.

Next, we will explore four dominant 7th drop 2 voicings that you can use on guitar. These chords are formed by dropping the third highest note in a closed dominant seventh voicing down an octave; each chord is color coded accordingly – black for root position; blues and red for 1st inversion and 2nd inversion respectively.


Augmented chords and diminished chords are two groups of non-diatonic triads that are less frequently heard than major and minor chords. A C+ chord, for instance, consists of a root note, major third note, and an augmented fifth with the latter raised by one semitone from its counterpart C major triads.

Augmented chords can be used similarly to diminished chords and often appear together. Their use works best when used to drive forward progressions or add tension within pieces of music.

Example 4a illustrates a barre chord in second position with its lowest note located on string 6’s sixth fret – this allows it to be played from other positions on the guitar’s fretboard; see diagrams below for possibilities. By raising any chord tone by half-steps you can create a minor triad, making modulation between close keys much simpler.