As a beginning guitar player, one of the first things you will learn is how to play chords. Guitar chords are made up of 2 or more strings being played at the same time.
In this video guitar lesson you are going to learn how to read guitar chord charts. Chord charts are the way you are going to learn how to play guitar chords as a beginner guitar player.
How to Read Chord Diagrams for Guitar
(Video Guitar Lesson)
This how to read guitar chord charts lesson comes from my Rhythm Guitar Mastery course. If you want a systematic way to build your vocabulary of essential guitar chords, and learn how to strum like a pro…check it out.
Reading Guitar Chord Charts
A guitar chord chart is a picture of a section of the fretboard and neck if it was standing up vertically. The vertical lines are the strings, and the horizontal lines are the fret bars.
The vertical line furthest to the right is the 1st string, and the furthest to the left is the 6th string. If the top horizontal line is thicker, then that represents the nut of the guitar. (see parts of the guitar) Then the next lower horizontal line is the 1st fret bar, and the next lower would be the 2nd and so on.
The dots tell you where to put your fingers, and the numbers underneath the chord chart tell you what fingers to use. A 0 stands for an open string. An X means to either not play the string, or mute it. We will talk more about muting a string shortly. If there is a T, then you use your thumb to play that note.
Finger Numbers in Guitar Chord Charts
Different instruments use different numbering systems for your fingers. On the guitar your index finger is your 1st finger, and your pinky is your 4th. Your thumb is just indicated with a “T”.If you also play piano this may be a little confusing because your thumb is considered your 1st finger, and your pinky is considered your 5th finger.
Need help with guitar chords? …or are you stuck in a strumming rut? Check out my Rhythm Guitar Mastery course.