Play guitar chords and triads with ease

Learn guitar chords easily by understanding how they are built

If you try to learn guitar harmony and chords by rote, you will spend hours of uninteresting, boring study, repeating patterns you don't understand.

It's best to understand chords and how they are built. There are different kinds of chords, the most common of which are 3 part and 4 part chords. In fact, if you understand these two types of chords and how to use them, they are all you will really need to practice a lot; you can derive all other interesting variants from here.

More complex guitar harmonies are built using precisely these building blocks, so don't let making sense of the intervals within triads and four-part chords scare you. Forget all about chord bibles and the like, and focus on really getting the basics.

Guitar chords are the basis to accompaniment in rock, Jazz, and many other styles. And you definitely need to know how to play rhythm guitar before you become an awesome lead guitarist, so take your time and explore this section until it all clicks...

Guitar Harmony and Chords: this subject, as most we'll cover in these pages, can be viewed from many angles. You can go as deep as you want, so take it all in one piece at a time!.
Ironically, the fastest and most effective way to learn is to go slowly: rushing never helps!!!

The most basic definition of 'chord' is very simple: two or more musical tones played together. In practice, however, the term is more often used in reference to structures that contain three or more tones (the 12 tone tempered system —on which the guitar is based— allows combinations of up to 12 tones).

The 'Grandmother Chord', invented by Nicolas Slonimsky, includes all 12 tones and 11 different intervals. It cannot be played on a guitar!!!

The chords most widely used in most musical styles are triads (three-part chords) and 7th chords (four-part chords). They are built by stacking notes a third apart (major and minor thirds).

These are the guitar chords you really have to know in order to make sense of the underpinnings of the vast majority of guitar music: once you have mastered their use, you can use triads and 7th chords in many different ways. You can even use them as assumed roots to play implied harmony of up to seven simultaneous parts.


Chord Chart 1: Major Triad Inversions
Chord Chart 2: Minor Triad Inversions
Chord Chart 3: Diminished Triad Inversions
Chord Chart 4: Augmented Triad Inversions

7th Chords, Drop2 Vocings:

Chord Chart 5: Maj7 Chord Inversions
Chord Chart 6: Min7 Chord Inversions
Chord Chart 7: 7 Chord Inversions
Chord Chart 8: b5m7 Chord Inversions
Chord Chart 9: Dim7 Chord Inversions

Guitar Chord Charts

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