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A guitar chord is a number of different notes played at the same time to make a specific sound. The chord is made up of a number of individual notes and is named after one of them. In order to play a chord you must apply pressure to the appropriate strings, pushing them against the appropriate fret while strumming the strings with the other hand. Four of the most important chords to learn for playing the guitar are E minor, C9, D, and G. If you learn just these four basic guitar chords you will be equipped to play literally thousands of songs – you’ll be surprised just how many, and then which ones.

In the diagrams below you will see the tab for these four chords. When reading the tab, remember that “0” means an open string, i.e. don’t put your fingers on it, and ‘X’ means a dead string. For a dead string you must notstrum on that string.

E minor
e (1)~-0————–~
B (2)~-0————–~
G (3)~-0————–~
D (4)~-2————–~
A (5)~-2————–~
E (6)~-0————–~

G
e (1)~-3————–~
B (2)~-3————–~
G (3)~-0————–~
D (4)~-0————–~
A (5)~-2————–~
E (6)~-3————–~

C9 (Cadd9) chord:
e (1)~-0————–~
B (2)~-3————–~
G (3)~-0————–~
D (4)~-2————–~
A (5)~-3————–~
E (6)~-x————–~

D
e (1)~-2————–~
B (2)~-3————–~
G (3)~-2————–~
D (4)~-0————–~
A (5)~-X————–~
E (6)~-X————–~

A few notes; the C9 chord is also known as the Cadd9 chord – don’t get confused. Also when you’re switching from the G chord to the C9 chord you shouldn’t move your little finger from the high e (top string); leaving it there makes the change considerably easier and makes little to no effect on the sound.

With all chords, as you are pressing the strings against the frets with the one hand the other hand should be gently brushed across the strings from the top to the bottom. Use your thumb for this action and make sure that you are strumming all the strings with an equal amount of pressure. The exception of course is when you are playing a chord with a dead string, for example the A and low E strings for the D chord.

The best way to learn to play the guitar is by practicing and learning how to play the most important guitar chords one step at a time. Start by perfecting your strum; even without pressing down on any of the frets, practice your wrist movement until you find for yourself an even strum and a fluid movement. You can then start the finger formations of the chords. Many find it easier to first become familiar with the finger movements and moving the fingers between the chords, and only then bring it together with the strumming.

This entry was posted on Friday, April 9th, 2010 at 4:23 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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