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Learn Guitar Chords – All Of Them

Whether you’re trying to learn guitar chords for the first time, or if you’re already solid on the fundamentals but desperately want to play something other than the same old major and minor chords, you’re going to find valuable information here.

I’ve specifically not made this one of those cookie-cutter “Learn 800,000 Different Guitar Chords” -style pages. I won’t throw a multi-colored fretboard graphic with a hundred little dots at you and say “Alright, there you go. There are your chords”.

That would just be wrong. Learn Guitar Chords   All Of Them

No, my primary goal with this page is to clarify, to teach you what chords are about, what the different types are, and what you can do with them.

Let’s get started. I’m using guitar tab and chord diagrams to cover this so if you’re not sure what those are now is the time to find out.

To make it easy there are three options:

  • If you’re relatively new to this and just starting to learn guitar chords, take a close look at the section immediately following this one and get trained in the fundamentals before continuing.
  • If you’re good on the basics but just want to expand your knowledge a bit, or learn about those weird chords -like F#susAdd9- head further down the page and I’ll have links to relevant info.
  • I covered this elsewhere and they aren’t technically chords, but if you were looking for info on power chords check that out.

Learn Guitar Chords – The Basics

I remember when I first tried to learn guitar chords I didn’t really know what to play, so I basically made up my own chords. Sometimes that strategy works beautifully but more often it leads to frustration and a dusty, unused guitar.

After a few lessons and a bit of practical experience, however, I learned to play chords that actually sounded pleasant and encouraged people to stay in the room rather than try to get out of it. Learn Guitar Chords   All Of Them

Learn Guitar Chords   All Of Them

It will be the same for you. If you’re new, you just need some guidance.

Here’s what you don’t need:

  • Natural Talent
  • Luck
  • Private Lessons With Eric Clapton
  • A Crazy-Expensive Guitar
  • 16 hours a day to practice
  • Bigger Hands

What do you need, then? Really, just the desire to do it. If you have a guitar and two hands you’re set. You can learn the rest, believe me. If you’re capable of reading this, I give you my word you’re capable of learning that. Sooner than you probably expect you’ll be playing real songs.

Click on over to basic guitar chords to get started with the basic open-position chord types, or:

  • Major Chords
  • Minor Chords
  • Dominant Seventh Chords

Run through the sample progressions, practice the switches, take your time and make sure it’s all clean. Yes, the next section is just a few paragraphs down, but if you’re not ready you’re not ready. There’s no shame in that. When I first started I worked out of the same slim book for months at a time. Take a day, week, or month if you need to make sure you’re comfortable holding and switching between the basic chords.

Remember, there’s no rush. Just have fun and keep playing and, almost as if by magic, you’ll start getting better. Rapidly.

Now, when you’re really ready…

Learn Guitar Chords – Barre Chords

This is the next step, and yes, barre chords get their very own section. Why? Simply because they are the most important “type” of chord to learn. They make your job as a guitar player so, so, somuch easier.

To illustrate why, let me ask you a question: if you worked through the basic chords section, you probably noticed that I left some chords out. While I covered A,B,C,D,E,F and G, I skipped all flats and sharps, plus a few majors and minors.

Here’s why I did that:

- For most sharp and flat chords, and a few major and minor chords, the open-position fingering is either too tricky to hold or virtually nonexistent.

For these we need barre chords, which, though very versatile, are trickier to hold and require a bit more in the way of finger strength and perseverance. It is a more advanced technique.

But once you get it down, the rewards are awesome: you’ll be able to take simple shapes, slide them up and down the neck, and play any chord you want.

Let’s get to it, then.

To make this as easy as possible, check out the guitar notes page before continuing on. For our purposes here pay specific attention to the low E and A strings. Make it easy on yourself and open that page in a new window so you can refer back to it. (To do this just right-click and choose “Open Page In New Window”)

When you’ve gotten those notes pulled up and ready to refer to, head on over to the barre chords page and get ready for some fun. Or torture, depending on your point of view. Learn Guitar Chords   All Of Them

Barre chords are difficult to play at first, but I feel confident I can get you through this without you a) “accidentally” leaving your guitar in plain sight in an unlocked car parked in a bad neighborhood with the windows down, or b) being admitted to a mental institution.

You’ll make it through, and once you’ve gotten them down, you’ll be a much stronger player, I promise.

Learn Guitar Chords – Blues Chords

Once you’ve gotten a hold of that, you may ask, “How can I get in touch with my bluesy side? These chords are great, but I’m here for the blues! Help!”

Fear not, I’ve got the start of those answers over in the blues chords section. That will get you going in the right direction. If you’ve followed along for the lessons further up the page, you’ll already know a good number of the chords traditionally used in blues, but I’ll show you which ones to use and a few common variations you can use to maximum effect.

Learn Guitar Chords – Guitar Strumming

Now that we’ve covered basic chords, barre chords, and all sorts of other things, it’s time to learn about guitar strumming.You should know how to hold all sorts of chords at this point, but do you know what to do with your picking hand? You probably know that always strumming down-down-down-down in a predictable rhythm is pretty lame, but do you know what you should be playing instead?

Well, in a nutshell…

The key is variation. Repetitive down-down strumming is bad, but so is repetitive up-down strumming. Mix it up. Always.