Skip to content

Guitar Chords – Lessons And More

Chord Dictionary

Learn how to play the various chords for the guitar.

Types Of Chords

The most common types of chords are major chords and minor chords, but there are other types of chords such as 7th chords, suspended chords, diminished chords, and so on. Some of them may have strange-sounding names at first but don’t let the names scare you.  Usually, we’re just adding or changing a note here and there to create different sounds.

As a general rule, major chords can be substituted with anything in the “major” table. And minor chords can be substituted with anything in the “minor” table. Keep in mind that substitutions should only be used sparingly unless you really want to jazz it up. Let your ear be your guide!

Then there are the dominant 7th chords which are called ”dominant” because they are a common substitution for the dominant chord in a song. The dominant chord is the 5th (V) of the tonic (I) (in other words the 1st chord which is the key signature).

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 every day 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 problems.
If you’re hearing a buzzing sound or the sound of the notes being played sounds 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 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 likely 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.