How To Read Guitar Chord Diagrams

Guitar and social distance

Often, the first steps of mastering the guitar begin, no matter how strange it may sound, with chords. Once upon a time, when there was still no Internet and social distance was closer. People gathered in yards, chatted, exchanged news, told jokes, and shared ideas. In those days there was a tradition to play the guitar with friends and acquaintances, a very unforgettable experience of such gatherings when the collective in chorus pleasantly sings here or another song. Naturally, after a couple of dozen songs, there were people who, after the gathering, wanted to learn from the experience and learn to play the guitar. At that time, many of them began their training with the masters of courtyard songs, and the latter was taught to take the first chords.

With the advent of the Internet, everything has changed dramatically, social distances have receded, and the guitar has turned into a hobby, which also warms the soul, as before, but the masters of yard songs have been replaced by thematic sites, forums, and songbooks. On such sites, you can often find musical terminology and it is not always possible to understand what is written. Especially when it comes to chords or notes. Today I will show you how to read a guitar diagram, a diagram in which the fingering of chords is recorded.

Fingering is the position and alternation of fingers when playing a musical instrument, as well as pointing fingers in notes using numbers or letters, depending on the particular instrument.

Empty chord diagram

To record chords, guitarists use chord fingering diagrams, below is an empty diagram.

blank chart

This is a visualization of a part of the neck, it needs to be understood, let's figure out how to read a clean diagram.

  1. The thick horizontal line is the beginning of the fretboard (nut)
  2. The thin horizontal lines are the frets
  3. The vertical lines are the strings
  4. Strings are counted from right to left (6 - 5 - 4 - 3 - 2 - 1)

Blank guitar diagrams are used to record chords, for example, in the process of learning from a guitar teacher, this is convenient and optimizes the learning process.

Chord diagram vertical position

Let's take a look at the guitar diagram in action.

Example 1. Guitar diagram of an E major chord, vertical arrangement of strings.

The letter notation of the chord is E.

 E chord

  • The circles (not sketched dots) are open strings
  • Black dots are pinned strings

Parsing the record, right to left.

  1. The first string is open.
  2. The second string is open.
  3. The third-string is the first fret held down.
  4. The fourth string is the second fret held down.
  5. The 5th string is the second fret held down.
  6. String 6 is open.

Chord diagram horizontal position

Example 2. Guitar diagram of E-major chords, the horizontal arrangement of strings.

The letter notation of the chord is E.

chord chart

Parsing the record, right to left.

  • The strings are counted from top to bottom (1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6)
  • The circles (not sketched dots) are open strings
  • Black dots are pressed strings.
  • To the left of the nut (thick vertical line) are the string names.
  • The numbers 3 and 5 are the frets.

Parsing the record, from top to bottom.

  1. The first string is open.
  2. The second string is open.
  3. The third-string is the first fret held down.
  4. The fourth string is the second fret held down.
  5. The 5th string is the second fret held down.
  6. String 6 is open.

Conclusion

I think you now understand how guitar diagrams are read.

Remember playing chords requires more force to press down on the strings and usually, your hand can get tired quite quickly. Listen to your body in the early stages, take breaks.

When your hand becomes stronger, then devote more time to playing the guitar, learn new songs, patterns, solos, learn new information, fill yourself with the right and real. Ask yourself questions and you will definitely receive an answer from the universe. All creative mood and inspiration.

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