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CH-000 • Chords Index Page

The Justinguitar.com lessons on Chords

Putting notes together to make chords...

Welcome to my Chords page where you will find just about every chord that is commonly used on the guitar... well you will in a couple of years when I get it completely finished ;) but all the main ones are here now!

You would be best avoiding the ridiculous "1,000,000 Chord Shapes" books, they contain many useless chords that are just there to make the numbers up, impractical and sound awful and never used by real guitar players. I know because I have friends who have written some of those books and I know they get pressure from publishers for numbers, not quality. Same with many of the online chord dictionary things, even though the chords are theoretically correct, they just don't sound good.

I suggest working you way down the page and making sure that you know ALL the chords and when you find one that you don't know - click on it and do the lesson. That said I would STRONGLY suggest going all the way through the Beginners Course. (if you have not done so already) because there are many hints on the chords and more importantly, how to use and practice them!

 

The Eight Essential Beginner Open Chords

All there chords are covered in the Beginners Course. If you don't know them I would strongly suggest you going through the course and learning them properly - as well as knowing the shapes you should learn how to practice them, use them and change between them!

Click on the chord to go to a lesson that teaches it!

D Chord
A Chord
E Chord
G Chord
 
C Chord
A Minor Chord
E Minor Chord
D Minor Chord

 

Dominant 7th Open Chords (Beginners)

Dominant 7th Chords shapes are really cool for blues and folk. They are taught in my Beginners Course too. These are all essential chords and every guitarist worth their salt should know these too!

Click on the chord to go to a lesson that teaches it!

G7 Chord
C7 Chord
B7 Chord
A7 Chord
D7 Chord
E7 Chord
     

 

F Chord For Beginners

The F Chord is famous for being a bugger to learn. Check of the lessons on the Beginners Course so you work out which one is the one for you for where you are at right now...

Click on the chord to go to a lesson that teaches it!

F Chord (easy)
F Chord (easy-ish)
F Chord (full barre)

 

Suspended Open Chords (Beginners)

Suspended chords are usually used to embellish normal chords - so it's important to learn how to use them, not just what the shape is! Again, these are covered in the Beginners Course...

Click on the chord to go to a lesson that teaches it!

Asus2 Chord
 
Asus4 Chord
Dsus2
 
Dsus4 Chord
Esus2
<--- no lesson on this Esus2 because it doesn't sound as cool, it's not as easy to use at the others. I've just included it here for the sake of completion! It kinda looks like a B Power Chord but with the E bass note.
Esus4

 

 

Common Open Slash Chords (Beginners)

No they have nothing to do with Slash from Guns 'n' Roses - they are chords with a bass note other than the root. These are all covered in the Beginners Course and are all very common and sound cool. There are many thousands of possibilities, but these are the ones you are most likely to find in the real world because they sound good!

Click on the chord to go to a lesson that teaches it!

D/F# Chord
G/B Chord
C/G Chord

 

Power Chords (Beginners)

These are the starting point for barre chords, learning these first will make the transition to full barre grips a load easier! They again are part of Beginners Course... The cool thing is that the shape remains the same, you just have to move them around! Click on the chord shapes to get the full lesson and learn how to use the root notes and all that! It's real important...

Click on the chord to go to a lesson that teaches it!

Power Chord (6th string root)
 
Power Chord (5th String Root)



E Shape Barre Chord Grips (Intermediate)

These are covered in The Intermediate Course and links will be added when the course is fully live...

Major Barre Chord
 
Minor Barre Chord
7 Barre Chord
 
Minor 7 Barre Chord

 

 

A Shape Barre Chord Grips (Intermediate)

These are covered in The Intermediate Course and links will be added when the course is fully live...

Major Barre Chord
Minor Barre Chprd
7 Barre Chord
 
Minor 7 Barre Chord

 

 

Triad Chord Grips (Intermediate)

These are covered in The Intermediate Course and will be added when the course is fully live... but I also have a lesson on them that I will pull down once the intermediate ones are live, cos I think I did the lesson better on that and it's essentially the same!

CH-008 • Triad Chords

Triad Grip 1
Triad Grip 2
Triad Grip 3

 


The CAGED System (Intermediate)

I have a 6 lesson series on The CAGED system, starts with a video and is then text and illustrations (it's also the last part of Practical Music Theory) and at this stage you really need to understand what it is and how it works and WHY it's so important!

CH-900 • CAGED Logic
Ever wondered why the CAGED chords come from?

TB-030 • The CAGED System Video (explains the whole thing)
After you watch the video you might want to work through the notes below...

TB-031 • The CAGED System 1
In the beginning, the formation of CAGED...

TB-032 • The CAGED System 2
Seeing the E in CAGED

TB-033 • The CAGED System 3
Seeing the D in CAGED

TB-034 • The CAGED System 4
Seeing the C in CAGED

TB-035 • The CAGED System 5
Seeing the A in CAGED

TB-036 • The CAGED System 6 
Seeing the G in CAGED

 

Extended 4 Note Chords in The CAGED System (Intermediate)

I explain a great way to learn and UNDERSTAND most of the extended 4 note chords in the CAGED System in my Chord Construction Guide ebook. It really works and will help you understand how barre chords are constructed and how to play them - if you do it properly you no longer need to memorise hundreds of chords, you will understand how to create them from the basic CAGED shapes! See the unedited reviews in the forum here. It really works!

 

Basic Jazz Chords (Intermediate)

This lesson cover the ten jazz chords that you will need to get down to start playing jazz. I made it for the jazz section - but it is needed here too ;) JA-001 • Basic Jazz Chords

Click on the chord to go to a lesson that teaches it!

Maj7 Chord
 
Major 7th Chord
Min 7 Chords
 
Minor 7th Chord
Dominant 7 Chord
 
7th Chord
minor 7th b5 Chord
 
min7b5 Chord
Diminshed 7 Chord
 
diminshed 7th Chord

 

Basic Funk Chords (Intermediate)

Probably the best introduction to using extended chords is to check out some Funk! Learn how to use your 9th, 11th and 13th in a funk context. It's always a good idea to be putting things into practice, and funk is a great style for playing about with dominant chords!! RH-021 • Basic Funk Chords

Chord Extensions (for serious players!)

Once you understand how chords are constructed and can find the notes on the fingerboard pretty much instantly you should now be making up your own chords and exploring them yourself!!

My advice is to print out a chord box paper page for each chord type (Major, Minor, Dominant, Altered) in each of the CAGED positions (so you will have 20 pages) and then fill in as many chords as you can in each position.

For example in "A Shape" / "Major chords" - you should have maj, a couple of maj 7, a couple of maj 9, maj 11, maj 13, maj 6, maj 6/9, maj 7#11 etc.

It should now be up to you to find and explore chords on your own. I should just be sparking off new ideas and showing you where to look, but you need to do the finding yourself. You might want to start exploring the chord grips I show in these lessons and then take it further yourself. These lessons are based in a jazz context but can be applied to any style really!

JA-021 • Major Type Jazz Chord Extensions
A look at some chords that you can use as Major Chord substitutions

JA-022 • Minor Type Jazz Chord Extensions
Some cool minor type chords you can substitute for minor chords.

JA-023 • Dominant Type Jazz Chord Extensions
Various chords that you can use to replace a good old 7th chord.

 

Altered Chord Grips (for serious players!)

Once you understand all your extensions and how to find them, the last task as far as chord knowledge goes is to look at altering any chord you like. The best way to do this is to start by altering your Dominant 7th chords (this is used loads in jazz) and the skill will allow you to alter any chord you want!

There are a whole series in the Jazz Section that explains how and why you can alter chords and you should make sure you understand all that before you spend time learning the chords, or you will never know how to use them and it will be a complete waste of time!

JA-026 • Altered Chord Grips

 

So what else is there?

There are many more areas to study, it's never ending, but here are some more...

Chords built in 4ths

I have the following lessons planned but they might be a while off yet because I have so many things to get done on this site...

Chord Scales

Voice Leading (started to cover in II-V progressions here)

Dissonant Chord Grips

Advanced Inversion Techniques

and I'm sure I'll think of more stuff to keep you busy too ;)