Guitar chords are 3 or more notes played at the same time. There are all types of guitar chords, but all will fall under two categories: major and minor chords.
Learn Guitar Chords
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Playing Guitar Chords
When you’re first learning to play chords, it can be very difficult to get your fingers to cooperate. After a few days of practice your fingers will start remembering where to go. It’s important to spend a little time everyday with problem chords until you are comfortable with playing them.
Your fingertips on your fret hand will become sore and tender to the touch. If it becomes too painful, by all means stop practicing for the day and try again the next day. With steady practice you will develop calluses on your fingertips and this won’t be any more problem.
If you’re hearing a buzzing sound or the sound of the notes being played sound dull, then your not pressing hard enough on the strings, or one or more of your fingers is catching a nearby string. When you strum the chord each not should ring out clearly. You may find it hard at first to press all of the strings down firmly against the frets. Don’t worry, your hands will build up the strength in no time with practice.
Guitar Chord Tips:
- Don’t let your fingernails get too long! They will prevent you from fingering the fretboard correctly.
- Make sure your fingers are standing straight up and down. Otherwise they may mute other strings.
- When playing guitar chords your fingers should be arched at the joints so that your fingertips come in contact with the strings and not the flat fingerprint part of your finger.
- Your fingers should make contact with the strings slightly behind the frets if at all possible. The further your finger is from the fret the harder it is to apply the proper amount of pressure, hence the more likelihood that you’ll get a “buzzing” sound.
- The size of your hand and the width of your instrument’s neck can significantly affect which fingers you use to play the guitar chords. All of the chord charts on this site use the most commonly used chord fingerings. These fingerings will work for 95% of all guitarists.
- You may come across a suggested chord fingering that you simply cannot contort your fingers to play. In this case try experimenting with alternate fingerings.
- The Open C Chord
On the guitar there are only 5 basic major chord shapes. These chord shapes found on the guitar are C, A, G, E, and D. Together they spell the word CAGED which should help you remember them. All other chords that you will learn in the future come from the C, A, G, E, and D chord shapes.
CAGED is system of fretboard patterns for guitar chords, scales, and arpeggios. It is derived from the unique tuning of the guitar. The C, A, G, E, and D basic guitar chord patterns are just the beginning of the CAGED system. They are the first step in opening up a door to total fretboard domination.
Every other guitar chord, scale, and arpeggio can be built from these 5 patterns. It has been rumored that Jimi Hendrix’s vast abilities stem from his knowledge of the CAGED system and look at what it did for him. Understanding and mastering the CAGED system is the greatest achievement for any guitarist and GuitarAlliance.com will show you how to do this and more!