Chords to start studying guitar

The good sound relationship between several notes that are played together is what adds more richness and harmony to the songs. In this sense, approaching the classical or Spanish guitar can be easier if you know some chords, which are basic to accompany thousands of melodies.

There are, perhaps, countless guitar chords. Some are so beautiful that it doesn’t matter how difficult they are to play, and many musicians make it a point to practice them in order to incorporate them into their compositions. However, for those who want to learn to play the guitar, the good news is that it is enough to master some very simple chords to accompany countless popular songs.

how to play the guitar

To learn to play any instrument, you must first understand it and know a little about its design . In this context, a guitar can be understood as an arrangement of notes, which are arranged in a grid. Something that contrasts with the piano, where the notes are arranged in a linear way.

This has a reason for being, and it is that the guitar is an instrument that, in a very compact format, aims to offer a very wide scale of sounds. In this way, the notes on the guitar can be accessed simultaneously, whether they are high or low, and with only one hand. Something that would be impossible to achieve on the piano.

Now, things get a bit complicated when we realize that some notes on the guitar fretboard are repeated. This can be disconcerting from a beginning student’s point of view, but from a practical point of view, it is very convenient. This is because the interpreter will have the possibility to choose to press the position that is easiest for him.

what is a chord

Now we come to the main point in this article: the chords. We have already said that several notes can be played simultaneously on the guitar, in a broad sense; that’s a chord. But what strings do you have to press to make them sound good? How are they identified in a score?

reading chords in music

In traditional guitar sheet music, that is, those that are on a staff, the chords are identified because we can see several notes, generally aligned vertically. 


In tablature notation, we will see that the chords are indicated by several numbers aligned vertically , as seen in the following diagram, where each number tells us which string to press and at which fret.

To make reading easier, and organize them better, each chord has a name , according to the notes that compose it and the musical signature to which it belongs.

According to Anglo-Saxon custom, the letter code can be used to identify the chord, being C for Do, D for Re, E for Mi, F for Fa, G for Sol, A for A and B for the note B. There are many other notations in chord names, but we won’t talk about them here.

As we can see, the letters and the chords have a close relationship in this type of nomenclature. So, while some name a chord “C”, others simply write C. Some people may find it more comfortable to see the name, rather than the letters, but it’s worth getting familiar with both ways, as in a tutorial guitar, for example, could be either of two forms.

Diagrams, a simple way for everyone

The easiest way to read chords in a melody and learn them is through diagrams. In them, the section of the guitar fingerboard is drawn, the frets and with numbers the fingers that are going to press the strings are identified. This will be the way in which we will present the 12 simplest chords used to accompany melodies. That way, you don’t have to know what guitar notes are at each fret for each string.

Complexity level

We will measure the degree of difficulty according to the number of fingers needed to press the strings that will allow the harmony of sounds of the chord. In the selection we have made, you will find chords that only need 2 fingers, another three and only one requires 4 fingers to play. In no case will you need a capo, so you don’t have to worry. 

Along with the diagram, you can also see the tablature of each chord. Keep in mind that in a tablature the numbers do not mean the finger to be used, but the fret on which the string is plucked.

my minor

E minor on guitar is one of the easiest chords. It is said that it has a somewhat sad undertone, due to the sounds that make it up, but it combines very well with other major chords.

My 7

Also using 2 fingers you can play the E 7 chord. This chord is generally a dominant chord when used in succession.

the 7

With a brilliant sound, but which always invites you to continue the succession with another higher chord, La Séptimo is also played by plucking two strings.

The biggest

Using the same fret as in the seventh, we are going to press the middle string that had been left free. This is how you can play the A major chord.

My biggest

The E chord is part of the major chord family, its sound is bright and you could say happy.

the minor

The A minor guitar chord is another of the most used. It belongs to the well-known Sol circle. The organization of the fingers is very similar to that of the E chord, you only have to lower one string to execute it.

D major

Upping the complexity of finger placement a bit, we’ve chosen the D major chord. The placement of the ring finger is what can make it a bit awkward when first played.

king 7

With an inverted accommodation to the previous chord, D seventh uses frets one and two.

D minor

Although it also uses three fingers, putting each one on a different fret is the challenge of this chord. You can slightly tilt your hand towards the headstock, to make the position more comfortable.

G major

With a nice and bright sound, G major is also among the basic chords to learn.

C major

Like D minor, the C chord on guitar requires one finger on each fret, so it takes practice and more control of the ring finger to master.

For those who want to play the C minor variant, you can find three ways to do it, but since it is a barre chord, we will study it another time.

C 7

We have left the C seventh chord for last, since it is necessary to use the little finger to execute it.

As we have mentioned, these chords are just the beginning of a long list. In fact, you can create your own chords knowing how each note has a special relationship with the others. If you want to delve into the subject, you can find guitar chords in PDF, so you can download them and analyze them in detail.

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