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
, 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
. 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
,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).
, the more difficult but extremely versatile movable
, aswell as the simplest of all chords,
, used a great deal in rock and blues.