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How to read a chord diagram

Chords are basically a group of notes played together and they form a nice tone. Therefore a few notes have to be pressed on the guitar at one go and when strummed – they produce the magical sound. Chords are like the background music for all songs..

That’s why you see people strumming and singing, the strumming part is like the background music, and their voices are the melody. 🙂
 
Ok so let’s get started.. Here’s what you’ll usually see on a chord diagram:
 
 

Now that’s a C chord. Before we learn how to form the chord, let’s take another step back and look at this:
 
 
 
 
This picture shows how a chord diagram should be read. The diagram you see is exactly the same position as it is shown on the real guitar. Meaning – The six vertical lines you see on the magnified diagram represents the six guitar strings on the guitar as shown in the picture of the real guitar. The horizontal lines represents tho
se metal-like lines on the guitar which are called frets. Frets are the spaces between the metal you see on the guitar, so on the diagram, the horizontal lines represent the frets.
 
So now you know how the diagram represents the guitar, we can try to read the C chord diagram again and try to form it.
 
 
 

EADGBE
 
You can see that below the diagram I typed EADGBE. That is the standard tuning of a guitar. The first E on the left which means the most left string you see now on the diagram, is the thickest string you see on the guitar. (Recall how the diagram rep
resents the guitar above) The A string would then be the 2nd thickest, followed by D, G, B and E where the GBE strings are thin strings. Therefore the E at the most right of the diagram represents the thinnest string on the guitar.
 
Now that you know how it works, let’s try to form it. The black dots are notes that you must press/put your fingers on, on the guitar fretboard. Let’s start reading from the left side of the diagram. The first black dot you see is on the 3rd
fret, A string, am I right? Try searching for it.. I hope you can find it! The next black dot we see is on the 2nd fret D string. The last black dot we see is on the first fret, B string. Now these are the 3 positions you must press on to form the C chord.
 
Ok you must be wondering which fingers must you use to press the notes. I guess showing a picture would be many times better than trying to explain with words. So here’s how the C chord looks like:
 
 
 
There you have it, the C chord! Use your guitar pick, and strum it downwards and you’ll be able to hear it. Take note for the C chord, do not strum the E string (thickest string). Because it simply doesnt sound good in lay man terms. 🙂 In musical terms, we wouldn’t want to have an E note as a base for the C chord, unless we are playing chords like C/E. So keep in mind.
 
For the rest of the chord diagrams you see, try forming them, it should be easy now that you know how to read the chord diagram.