Archive for the ‘Chords’ Category

Power Chords You Need to Play

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

In the entertainment industry they sometimes say, “power is money.”

In the alternative, modern rock, and metal genres of music – power chords are money. If you have money, you can rule the world. Power chords provide that raw, aggressive edge to your music. They’re brash, bold, and daring. But did you know, that power chords (PC) are technically not ”true chords”? What I mean by this, is that a chord is defined as a musical presence that utilizes three or more notes.

Technically speaking, power chords are not true chords. A chord is made up of three or more notes. ”PC’s” are only made up of two different notes. So, with that being said, it’s now time to look at these “non-technical guitar chords.”

A major chord is made up of the 1st, 3rd and 5th notes of its corresponding major scale. For example, take a look at the C Major Scale. The C Major Scale is made up of the following notes:


In order to play a C Major Chord, the guitarist would strum the 1st, 3rd, and 5th notes of the C Scale, or the notes: C, E, & G.

C Major Chord

All Major Scales follow the same progression, which means that regardless of whether it’s the C Major, A Major, or E Major – they all incorporate the 1st, 3rd and 5th notes of its corresponding major scale.

So, for example, you need to play a C Power Chord. Which notes do you need to play. All power chords use the 1st and 5th notes on the scale. As you’ll note from above, the 1st note in the C Major is C while the 5th note of the scale G. Thus, to play the C P. Chord, the guitarist would simply strum the guitar with the C and G notes:

C Major Power Chord

Despite popular opinion, power chords are not difficult to play. They may ring off this thunderous, complex sound in your earlobe, but these chords are accessible for both the advanced and beginner guitarist. If you are looking for some of the most popular PC’s, try your hand at a few of these notoriously simple and common chords:

A Major Chord A Power Chord
B Major Chord B Power Chord
C Major Chord C Power Chord
D Major Chord D Power Chord
E Major Chord E Power Chord
F Major Chord F Power Chord
G Major Chord G Power Chord

It’s important to keep in mind that while power chords are easy and fun to play, the beginner guitarist too often gets caught up with the sound. Sure, they really pack a nice punch. But as previously stated, they are not “guitar chords.” Learning to play complex three to four note chords will really expand your musical spectrum.

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As always, the web provides numerous opportunities to expand your knowledge and learn about guitar chords. If you are an absolute beginner, check out this great “Power Chords for Dummies” explanation. Also, Guitar Allegiance provides a nice lesson for free and as always, Guitar Lessons Critic features a detailed review of some of the best guitar courses available.

Another useful reference is to begin with basic music theory and guitar chords. It is here where you will understand the many, many different chords available at your disposal.

Intro to Major Chords – E and G Major

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

Chords are exciting and difficult for beginners. They’re exciting because it means you’re getting closer to playing a full song, they’re frustrating because you’re going to need your fingers to move in ways they have never had to before.

There’s a lesson video below that fully explains the tab and shapes for these chords. It would be good to read through this brief article and then also watch the video.

Tips Before Starting

When you first learn chords proper technique is important. Remember to use the tips of your fingers and keep your thumb flush on the back of the neck.  Also below I talk about finger numbers, your fingers are numbered one to four starting with your index finger (1) to your pinky (4).

Let’s get started…

The E major Chord

E – 0 –
B – 0 –
G – 1 –
D – 2 –
A – 2 –
E – 0 –

To play the E chord you use your first three fingers. Finger two is placed on the 2nd fret of the B string, finger three is placed on the 2nd fret of the G string and your first finger is placed on the first fret of the D string. Play all six strings when you strum.

The G major Chord

E – 3 –
B – 0 –
G – 0 –
D – 0 –
A – 2 –
E – 3 –

To play the G chord you also use the first three fingers on your hand. Place your second finger on the 3rd fret of the low E string, your first finger on the 2nd fret of the A string and your 3rd finger on the 3rd fret of the high E string. All six strings should be strummed when playing the G chord.

Practice Tips

When learning chords proper technique is a must. It takes time for your fingers to feel comfortable making these shapes on the guitar neck. I suggest start by making the shape correctly then squeezing your hand and fingers and then releasing them. Next make the shape again and repeat. This will help create muscle memory in your fingers.

Also learning to play slowly and then adding speed and changing between chords is better then trying to do it right away and getting frustrated. All things worth learning take time!

Interested in learning more beginner guitar chords and techniques? Why not consider trying a beginner guitar dvd? Self study programs such as dvd and online videos are quickly becoming the new private guitar lessons of the 21st century.

3 String Beginner Guitar Chords C, G and D7

Wednesday, January 20th, 2010

When we start to learn guitar the thing on our minds is almost always chords. We want to learn to play songs that we know and we know that learning to play chords is what will get us there.

Today I’m going share with you some beginner guitar chords you can learn quickly. All three of these chords are three string chords, meaning they only require you to strum 3 strings and that’s it. So lets get going.

C Chord

E — 0 —
B — 1 —
G — 0 —
D — X —
A — X —
E — X —

A quick note about what the guitar tab means above. The X’s mean you do not strum that string, the 0′s mean to play that string open and a number refers to a particular fret that you press when strumming the 3 strings.

For this three string C chord you are pressing down on the first fret on the B string and playing the G and E strings open.

G Chord

E — 3 —
B — 0 —
G — 0 —
D — X —
A — X —
E — X —

To play the three string G chord you play the G and B strings open and the 3rd fret on the high E string.

D7 Chord

You will find the D7 chord a bit more challenging then the G and C chords we covered first. Why? Because you have to press on a fret on the three bottom strings at once.

E — 1 —
B — 2 —
G — 1 —
D — X —
A — X —
E — X —

For the D7 chord you must place your second finger on the 1st fret of the E string, your third finger on the 2nd fret of the B string and your first finger on the 1st fret of the G string.

This will feel uncomfortable at first but focus on using the tips of your fingers and keeping your thumb on the back of the neck. I give more explanation in the video below.

After watching the video below grab your guitar and give these three chords a try. Don’t get discouraged if at first you find it difficult, also don’t try to immediately switch between them while strumming. Before you trying strumming them and switching between chords ensure you can easily make the shape and strum the chord on it’s own.

To learn more beginner guitar chords fast why not try a learn to play guitar dvd? Self study dvd courses teach you beginner guitar skills at your own pace from the comfort of your own home.

Intro to the CAGED System – Locating all Major Chords on the Guitar Neck

Monday, December 7th, 2009

As a beginner learning to play the open major chords is a very big accomplishment. It opens a door to learning to play some popular songs and even write some of your own. When you want to stretch your legs a little further you need to enter the realm of barre chords.

Learning the same major chords at different positions can be a little more difficult. After all there are a lot of frets and a lot of note combination’s to choose from.

In this post I want to introduce you to a unique system that is sure to help you find, play and memorize several versions of all seven major chords on the guitar.

The CAGED guitar system is a method of finding 5 different versions of all 7 major chords using familiar chord shapes from the open position. As the name might have given away those shapes are from the C-A-G-E-D major chords.

A quick example: If you barre the 5th fret and play an E chord shape you have an A Major chord.

The system works like this. Using those 5 chord shapes you can find five versions of each major chord at different locations on the neck. You do still need to find those variations and if you want memorize them, but this system makes it a lot easier to locate them.

I’ve created a brief video below that explains the CAGED guitar system and also provides a complete example of finding four different variations of the E chord using the D, C, A and G chord shapes as barre chords. Take a few minutes to watch this video and then grab your own guitar to give it a try.

Interested in learning more guitar tricks and techniques like the CAGED system? Not interested in taking private guitar lessons? Why not try a learn guitar dvd course? Learn at your own pace from the comfort of your own home.

5 Essential Chords to Learn on Guitar

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

When I first started playing guitar, about 12 years ago, I tried learning songs with individual notes (think “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, etc.), as opposed to full chords, because it was tough to play the chords.

However, as time went on, I found that chords were the basis for every song I wanted to learn to play, so I couldn’t stay away from learning them for long!

If you want to get a head start learning the chords that will have the highest impact on your song-playing abilities, these are the 5 most popular chords to learn on guitar:

  • C Major
  • G Major
  • D Major
  • E Major
  • A Major

While the order of importance of these chords is widely-debated, most anyone would agree that learning these chords (and being able to transition between them quickly) will get on you on track to playing 100′s, maybe 1,000′s, of popular songs.

To learn to play each chord, check out ChordBook’s interactive chord charts. They should help you learn the fingerings, but you’ll have to practice to learn how you prefer to switch between the chords quickly enough to play in a flowing manner.

Enjoy learning the top 5 guitar chords!