Welcome to our online library of guitar chords. I’ve designed this page to start you off with some beginner guitar chords and slowly progress you to more advanced chords played in different positions on the fretboard. Bookmark this page since you’ll be revisiting it often.
The chord diagrams are placed right on the page – click on any for more details on how to play. Each diagram shows six strings and the corresponding fingering. (If you are working with a guitar teacher, you are sure to impress them if you learn all of the chords and concepts on this page!)
Table of Contents
Basic Guitar Chords
Where to start? If you’re a beginning guitar player, I recommend starting with these 5 basic guitar chords. Together, they make up the CAGED system, which is built on five open chord shapes whose diagrams are below: C major, A major, G major, E major, and D major. Begin by learning these essential chords and you’re well on your way to playing many of your favorite songs.
The open chords are some of the more common guitar chords you learn as a beginner guitarist. They are played in the first position and involve the use of open strings (in other words, strings that you strum without pressing down on a fret). Every guitar player should know all of these chords.
The first thing you notice is that major chords sound bright and happy. Learning all of these major chords is a good start, but you’ll also need to learn the minors if you want to play songs.
Sort of opposite of major chords, minor chords sound more dark and sad. You’ll find that playing a song in a major key, it still has minor chords in it. Learn all of the minor chords for every major you learned above and you will have a great foundation for becoming a proficient guitarist.
Barre chords are chords that are played with the first finger barring across several strings. Once you learn a few barre chords and get used to using your first finger in this way, it really opens up the fretboard to play chords all over the neck. Here are a few examples of barre chords below. See if you can come up with even more chords by changing the root note of the chord.
Power chords are guitar chords played with just two notes, the root and the 5th. The 3rd is left out of power chords, and because of this the power chord has neither a major nor a minor sound. Here are a few examples, as you can see these are very simple guitar chords. Once you know one, you know them all.
There are several types of 7th chords, but the most common ones are the dominant 7ths. There are also major 7th’s (maj7) and minor 7ths (m7).
Dominant 7th’s are common found in blues and rock chord progressions.
Major 7th chords (abbreviated as maj7 in chord names) have a unique sound, and are common chords in jazz. These are great to learn if you are getting into jazz guitar.
Minor 7th chords, abbreviated as m7 in chord names, uses four notes (some notes may be repeated). You’ll find them in many different styles of songs, and nearly every jazz song has some minor 7th chords for added color.
When learning these chords all over the fretboard of the guitar, you will see some hand shapes repeating. These are called chord shapes. A quick way to see this in action is when learning the barre chords mentioned above. You will see the C, A, G, E and D shapes.
A fun exercise is to use a capo and play through all of the open chord shapes. See how the capo changes the root note to form different chords out of their natural shapes. For example, if you are capo’d on the 2nd fret and you play a chord in the G shape you are actually playing an A chord.
A chord progression is nothing more than chords played in a sequence. Chord progressions are noted with roman numerals 1 through 7. Uppercase roman numerals represent the major chords, and lowercase represent the minor chords and diminished chord. There is much more to learn here in regards to music theory, but for now we can just stick to that simple explanation.
If you want to see how the same chord progressions are used over and over again in pop music, check out my post on 200 songs using four basic chords.
If you are just starting out, try to use a down down down up down up strumming pattern. This is a simple pattern and helps you get your right hand rhythm established. Once you master this pattern you can explore other strumming patterns, and you can quickly learn new ones by mimicking the strumming you hear in songs as you learn.