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StringDancer Chord Book

StringDancer Chord Book

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Published by Jeffrey A Foster
This doc offers guitar students an introduction to simple "open" chords, basic barre chords for major, minor and dominant chords, and the ever-popular "power chords". The book also connects the dots with a little music theory, as well.
This doc offers guitar students an introduction to simple "open" chords, basic barre chords for major, minor and dominant chords, and the ever-popular "power chords". The book also connects the dots with a little music theory, as well.

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Published by: Jeffrey A Foster on Apr 05, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/23/2011

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Page 1 of 12StringDancer_Chord_Book.rtfd3/2/09 2:53 PM
by Jeff Foster 
~~ Guitarist and Webmaster of StringDancer.com ~~
Chords are among the most basic components of all the songs we hear.
Armedwith nothing more than a handful of chords and a melody in their heads, songwriterssince the beginning of time have been spinning their tunes. Chords are also thefoundation supporting every instrumental masterpiece ever written.
A series of different chords come together in what we call a
 progression
, and theparticular arrangement of chords create the melodic possibilities of the tune.
Oftena songwriter will start with a series of chords, explore the melodic alternatives resultingfrom the progression, and eventually settles on a melody for the song. Other times asongwriter will have a melody in mind, and explores various chord progressions,looking for a particular sequence of chords that sounds good behind the melody.
Chords can be very simple, with as few as two or three notes.
A 3-tone chord iscalled a
triad 
. Standard guitar chords often utilize octaves of notes already used, so afull 6-string chord may still involve only three pitch names, each pitch doubled anoctave higher or lower. There are two primary forms of triads, the
major 
and
minor 
,which can be extended by adding other notes, to the point where up to six distinctnotes can be included in a guitar chord.
While by no means exhaustive, this chord book should give beginning guitarists ahandle on the most commonly-used guitar chords (plus a little theory).
It coverssimple
open chords
, the more difficult but extremely versatile movable
barre chords
, aswell as the simplest of all chords,
 power chords
, used a great deal in rock and blues.
 
Page 2 of 12StringDancer_Chord_Book.rtfd3/2/09 2:53 PM
Reading Chord Diagrams
Chord diagrams are simple graphic representations of how chords"look" on the guitar. In the example on the left, the vertical linesrepresent the strings, and the horizontal lines represent the frets. Thedots indicate where your fingers are to be placed to produce thechord.The numbers or symbols between the chord name and the top of each string indicatesthe finger to use for the note on that string:1 = index2 = middle3 = ring4 = littleO = open (not fingered)X = closed (not played)You will notice that most of these dots are black, but that some are red, and thosechords without red dots have a small blue underline on one of the open (unfingered)strings. This red indicates the
root 
of the chord -- in other words, if the chord is C major,the red dot is a "C" note; if the chord is A minor, the red underlined open fifth string isan "A" note.Identifying the root of the chord is important for later making these simple open chordforms movable. As they are fingered here, these chord forms are *not* movable (e.g.the C major *cannot* be shifted up the neck to create a major chord of a differentpitch), but with some simple alterations in the fingering, these basic forms can bemade movable. We will cover the most common movable chord forms in another chart.These simple major and minor chords will get you through a lot of songs. If you comeacross a chord with just a 7 in it (C7, G7, etc), use the major form for now. These so-called "7th" chords are more properly known as
dominant chords
, and you will want tolearn them to flesh out your chord arsenal.
 
Page 3 of 12StringDancer_Chord_Book.rtfd3/2/09 2:53 PM
Basic Open Chords
This chart gives you the basic major and minor chords for the guitar in standard tuning.You will notice a "4" sitting on a fret line in the last two minor chords. This indicates thatthe 1st finger should be positioned at the fourth fret.
A Note On Relative Major and Minor Chords
For every major chord, there is what we call a relative minor chord. On our chart, therelative minor chord is immediately below it's relative major chord (e.g. C major - Aminor). If you are familiar with a major scale, the root of the relative minor is the sixthtone in the scale (Do, re, me, fa, so, LA, te, do). Relative majors and minors shareseveral notes, and while not interchangable, do produce compatible harmonies.
An easy way to locate the root tones of relative majors and minors is to remember this simple rule:
If you're playing a major chord, take the root down three frets to find the root of therelative minor chord. Conversely, if you're playing a minor chord, take the root up threefrets to find the root of the relative major chord.

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