A chord is considered to be two or more notes played together. This definition opens up a world of possibilities, not only of combinations of sounds, but the creative potential is limitless. There are common chords that will become the staple diet of every musician, and there are chords that color the world of music with harmonies so rich we will never reach the end. I like to think that the amount of music that can be created by the chords that exist is expanding at the speed of light, like our universe. All this soul searching comes back to starting the search with the basics. So lets start there. If you are a young beginner and you want easier versions of these chords to start with, click on this link for the "Young Beginners guitar chords chart."
Major and Minor Chords
There are 4 methods of playing chords on the guitar. There are
- Open Chords
- Power Chords
- Bar Chords
- Movable Shapes
Major and Minor Open Chords
There are 5 essential major open chords to learn. They are C A G E D. These are constructed from the 1st, 3rd and 5th of a major scale. (see the lesson on major scales to understand this). Notice the order I have listed the chords spells the word caged. This is a handy pattern that will help you learn many other principals on the guitar. There is a entire method of learning called the "Caged" system that we will investigate.
Seventh Open Chords
Seventh chords are an extension to major chords. They contain the same notes as a major with the addition of the lowered seventh (b7) of the major scale (see the lesson on major scales to understand this). Learn these shapes after you have memorized the major and minor chord shapes.