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Understanding Chord Diagrams

I don’t know about you, and I am not ashamed to say this, but I can’t read music.  I guess it might be because I never really paid much attention to my music teacher when I was at school.  I was always more interested in the actual playing of an instrument rather than the music theory side of it.  But thankfully this has not been an impediment to me learning how to strum a basic tune on my guitar.  This is because there are numerous tools out there that have been specifically created for the musically challenged like me.  One of these fantastic tools is the chord diagram.  To illustrate the value of chord diagrams it is worth considering an example.  Take a look at the picture below.

Understanding chord diagramsIf like me you can’t read music you will have absolutely no idea what this is or how to play it on the guitar.  But really that should not stop us from being able to play the guitar, should it?  I have it on good authority that this is the chord of D Major in music notation but it could be Beethoven’s 5th for all the good it does me.  To be able to translate this into something that I can play on the guitar it needs to be represented in an easy to understand format and that is where the chord diagram comes in.

The chord diagram is designed to replicate the finger positions that you must hold on the fretboard of the guitar to play a particular chord.  The slide show below hopefully illustrates how to use chord diagrams and how they are so useful.

And that is pretty much all there is to chord diagrams and how they are used.  Next time I will look a little bit more deeply at chords themselves, how they are constructed and how they go together so that they sound good.

If you are looking to improve your chord vocabulary then there are some great chord books which are reasonably priced.  These will give you all the basic chords, diagrams and how to play them that you could possibly want to get started.  The chord book we like is Picture Chord Encyclopedia for Guitar you can get it through Amazon for £6.95.

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