How To Read Chords
You may find guitar chords represented a number of ways across the internet. Here at beginner electric guitar we use a very simple method to represent them diagramatically which you should be able to interpret quite easily. This way is very common and is the standard way of representing chords in music books and music theory.
The chord below (an Am) is going to be used for demonstration. Firstly, you'll notice the name of the chord labeled up the top. Next you'll see a "grid" below it. This grid represents your guitar fretboard. The 6 lines running downwards represent the six strings on your guitar with the fattest and lowest sounding string on the left hand side. The horizontal lines represent the frets on your guitar neck. The top line is the top of the neck.
The chord being shown on the guitar neck
The numbers below the chord tell you which fingers you should be using to form the chord. Finger one is the finger closest to your thumb and then it goes across until finger four is your pinky. The image below shows this labelled for you. If you're playing a left handed guitar you'll have to use the mirror image of these pictures. The thumb doesn't get a number because it is very, very rarely used when forming chords.
The white circles along the top of the chord tell you that you should still be strumming those strings with no fingers pressed on them. If you see an X above a string that means you should try not to strum that string while playing the chord.
The numbers for each of the fingers.
Using this chord notation you will be able to read all the chords used here and begin to learn all of our beginner guitar songs which will help you pick up the basics of the guitar and quickly learn some fun and popular songs.
Follow here to see all of our beginner guitar chords.
And follow here to find all of our beginner guitar songs
Back to top