Every beginner guitarist should know the chords on this page. They are
easy to finger, provide vibrant open voicings and you'll use them
throughout your entire guitar playing life. Many epic songs have been
written exclusively using the simple chords on this page!
Or, see the "poster" version below, best for viewing on your
screen or larger scale printing (click the image to see full
These are the basic open position chords most guitarists learn
as beginners. They are divided into triads, major 7th, dominant 7th and
minor 7th chord forms.
worry about what these
names mean right now - as time goes on you'll either learn more
about the theory behind their construction or you'll just learn to
associate the chord
names with their sound and the shapes they form on the guitar fretboard.
on the charts means don't play
minor beginner chord
Also known as major and minor triads,
because they only contain three
notes. For example, even though the E major chord uses all
six strings, the only notes contained within the shape are E, B and G#.
Notes in a chord shape may appear on multiple strings (for example, in
E major, the note E appears three times - on the low E string, D string
and high e string).
Major 7th chords add depth to the basic major triads above. All we're
is adding an extra note (called the major 7th), giving us four note
chords (triad + an extra note). This means you'll need to
alter the fingering slightly to accomodate this new note. Try and see
how the major chords above have been modified to create the major 7th
chords below. It's just one note/fret difference.
major 7th chords, four note dominant 7th chords thicken up the basic
When playing the chords in the chart below, experiment with using them
in a chord progression, along side standard major/minor chords and
major 7th chords.
Four note minor chords built on
the basic minor triad chord forms from earlier.