Learning to Play the Guitar

Chords can be represented by either tab or chord windows. If there is no particular picking style for the chord it is usually represented via chord windows, as they are easier to read. There are different ways of writing chord windows, for example:

[Image - horizontal chord window] and [Image - vertical chord window]

The second way is the most common and the one that I will explain (although you should be able to figure out how to use the other method once you understand this one). Reading chord windows is really quite easy when you know how: Each vertical (up/down) line represents a string. Reading from left to right we have the fat E string to the thin E string. Each horizontal (left/right) line represents a fret, and the first (and thickest) is the nut, i.e. an open, unfretted string.

G chordNow if we wanted to play a G chord it could be shown like this:

So looking at this chord you can see that to fret a note (to push down that string) a " " symbol is placed on certain strings and frets. So the first fretted note is on the fat E string, and on the third fret. The next note is on the A string and the second fret. Now the next string has no fretted symbol on its fret, but there is another symbol - "o" - which means that the string is played open, i.e. do not fret any note, simply play the string as it is. The next string is also an open note, and the final two notes on the third fret.

Look at the picture of how the chord is supposed to be held down, and try it yourself.  Once you have this chord held down, strum it to see if it sounds right. If you don't know what "right" is, and you know piano notes, you can check using a piano or keyboard.  If it still doesn't sound right you better try again!



Now try two other chords:

C chord                        D chord

Another symbol to be aware of is the "x" symbol.  This means that that note is not played in the chord.

Now that you can play a few simple chords try to play these songs: Wonderful Tonight or Brown Eyed Girl. For more songs check out Olga.net


Now that you can play a little, the last part is playing any chord you see. Download the Ultimate Chord Chart to learn any chord that is known to man!


Back to Home

Site created and maintained by Ben Newbold
Any questions, comments or problems please email me at: