Do you want to learn how to play guitar chords like a pro? Whether you are a beginner or an advanced guitar player, you need to know how to play guitar chords.
What are Guitar Chords?
When you are getting into guitar chords there are several basic categories those chords can be put into. There are the standard Major and Minor chords.
Then, there are 7th chords which add a little bit of a bluesy or jazzy flair. You can also have major and minor 7th chords which get even more into a jazzy sound.
Main Types of Chords
In this section, we are going to lay out the main categories of “types” of chords that you can dive deeper into:
- Open Guitar Chords = These are the standard chords that will be played at the first 3-4 frets of the guitar. They usually contain open guitar strings (strings where a note is not being held down or fretted). These will also sometimes be called Cowboy Chords. These can be major, minor, 7th, etc.
- Barre Guitar Chords = These are chords that can be played all over the neck. They will commonly have your first finger lying flat and holding several notes down at once. That’s why it’s called a Barre or Bar Chord. These can also be major, minor, 7th, etc.
- Power Chords Guitar = Power Chords are much more simple chords to play. They can be played anywhere on the neck and normally only contain 2 notes. The 1st note (root note) and the 5th note of the Major Scale. Being that it is neither major nor minor it gives a very powerful sound that’s great for everything from pop, rock, hard rock, roots music, metal, etc.
- Complex Guitar Chords = Complex Guitar Chords are the ones that you going to use to create tension, they are used in jazz, as well as even rock and country. These are the chords that are beyond the basics.
In those descriptions, we mentioned Major, Minor, 7th, and others. Think of those as the feeling behind the chord. Above are the “types” of guitar chords you can play. But, each of those can be in different keys (The letter names: ex: F Major Guitar Chord) and different in the feeling or emotion that they convey.
For instance, Major Chords “sound” happy. Minor Chords “sound” sad. 7th Chords tend to sound restless or tense like they need to be resolved or finished. They are often used in blues and country music when the song wants to create a sort of lively tension.
It may seem very simple laid out like this. However, there are a lot of variations of chords available as we will see in later lessons. Our goal is to keep this all as simple as possible to make sure that you understand everything along the way.