Chord Diagrams


For this lesson on How To Guitar, we are going to be looking at chord diagrams.  Chord diagrams are a visual representation that shows you the fingering and note placements in order to play chords on the guitar. These are relatively simple diagrams in a form of a box.

How To Read Chord Diagrams

To read chord diagrams, first of all start with the very left vertical line.  This line corresponds with the low E string of the guitar. As you move to the right of the diagram, every vertical line indicates a higher guitar string ending with the high E string on the very right.  Every horizontal line represents a fret of the guitar starting at the top of the diagram (open in this case) and going down.The following guitar chord diagram indicates how to play an A Major chord:
chord diagrams

The following diagram shows the placement of the diagram on the guitar and also shows a chord diagram for a D Major chord. Fig.2 also shows the fingers of the guitar if you were planning to play fingerstyle which we will not be teaching in this series.  To play these chords, we will be using the guitar pick and picking all of the indicated strings simultaneously.

how to read chord diagrams

Chord Diagrams

Learning chord diagrams will allow you to become familiar with a wide variety of different guitar chords that you can use when learning other people’s songs or composing your own.

Learning how to read chord diagrams is an important step in learning how to play the guitar.  In future lessons, we will be learning many more guitar chords in order to play songs and these chord diagrams are going to be our teaching method so make sure and brush up on this lesson now!

For homework, go to youtube, search for your favourite guitarists and try to understand some of the basic chords they may be playing.  Imagine the chords placed into a chord diagram like these.

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