This article will show you how to best use the free guitar chord charts that you can find online. As the internet changes, sites dwindle and new ones emerge, so I won’t risk this resource becoming obsolete by discussing where to find your free guitar chord charts, but just how to use them to start playing guitar.
You can easily put together a nice collection of chord charts and lyrics of your favorite songs to help you learn to play the guitar. If you feel like you should learn a lot of music theory and how to read music notation, but somehow feel it’s not you, then that’s okay – start with what you feel most excited about. Once you’ve started learning how to use the guitar chord diagrams you purchased or downloaded for free, you may see as you go along that you’ll need to know a little music theory to see how chords and scales fit together.
If, however, you feel comfortable learning the chords of your favorite songs, keep doing it.
So let’s start with the little basic steps and come up with some really useful knowledge about guitar chords and how points on the charts relate to musical sounds. You know that the frets on your guitar neck somehow show you where the notes are, so let’s get into a little more technique. You will see when you use scale tables to learn how to play guitar pieces that in a certain position on the fretboard, you will sometimes need to move up or down a fret or two. If you play the note on the first fret and then move up to the second fret, you have moved up one semitone. If you’ve raised two frets, it’s called a tone. The distance between the notes E and F or B and C is one tone. The distance between the notes C and D is one tone. So, as you learn the songs in different keys, you will start to see that what you are playing when you play the scales are different tone or semitone patterns on the guitar neck.
If you’ve seen guitarists play, you’ll have noticed that they sometimes put their index finger on all six strings. This is called a bar. When you start learning songs, you will use the chords played in the FIRST position on the keyboard. These are mostly open agreements, i.e. agreements that do not use the barre. You can try playing the chords on the bar at any time, but it’s a little ambitious to expect to be able to use them until your hands have practiced some open chords.
When learning chords to accompany songs, you’ll likely make use of your chord charts by showing you chords that use all of the guitar strings. But if you want to start playing solos, start with three-note chords called triads. The three notes in a triad are the base notes of your chord, so by learning the triads you will begin to see how the guitar chords are structured. Also you can move your triads up and down on the keyboard to create new chords.