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How to Read Chords part 2

Hi again, Firstly apologies that this second part has taken so long to show itself. I have been extremely busy with other projects. Anyhow – lets get back to business.

In How to Read Chords part 1 we talked about using Tab to read chords. Whilst this is a great method it can sometimes look a little messy and difficult to easily see what is going on. Here I am going to introduce the Chord Chart.

If you asked a guitarist to write a chord for you or, if you bought a chord book the chord would most likely be shown as a chord chart.

A Chord

The chart above is an illustration of an A chord. Don’t worry to much about why it is an A for now. The important thing to understand is how to read the chord.

The 6 vertical lines represent the strings on the guitar. From left to right, E , A, D, G, B, E. The horizontal lines represent the frets. The Dots are where you put your fingers. How simple!

Two other things you may have noticed here are the additions of the o and the x. The x is over the E string. This means you do not strum or play this string as it is not part of the chord. The o next to the string indicates that whilst there are no fingers on the frets, the note is still played.

So in this example we have three notes fretted, five strings strummed and the bottom E string not played at all. If you can play this you have successfully read a chord from a chord chart.

Some chords will show you the recommended fingers to use for each fretted note. This is represented by a number right next to the fretted note. 1 would mean your index finger, 2 your middle, 3 your ring finger and 4 your pinky. In this example you will have to see what is most comfortable for you. We will go deeper into which fingers to use at a later date.

Cm Chord

In this second example you will see the addition of the number 3 . This means that the chord starts on the 3rd fret. So the first note shown is actually on the 3rd fret rather than the first. Again in this example 5 notes are strummed missing out the bottom E.

This should have given you a good starting point to reading chords.

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