How to Read Guitar Chords

How to Read Guitar Chords? This is a very good question. But one that is often over looked. While quite simple once you know. Nobody is born already knowing the a guitar. Let alone how to read a guitar chord diagram.

Today is going to be the day you never have to wonder How to Read Guitar Chords. Because I am going to show you How to Read Guitar Chords.

You will learn what all the numbers mean on the chord diagram. What the vertical lines are, and the horizontal lines. And even the X & O’s. What the nut of the guitar is and how it relates to the guitar chords chart.

After today you will have a firm understanding of how to read guitar chords. And it will make practice a 110% easier. If Your ready to learn how to read chords. Than follow along, While I teach you the easiest and quickest way to get you reading chord diagrams and chord sheets.

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What Do the Numbers Mean in Guitar Chords

A Guitar Chord is like reading a map. It’s very hard without knowing what all the marks are. But after you learned how to read a map it was simple. I’n the same way a guitar chord can be just as simple. Let’s look at all the lines and marks so you will know how to read a guitar chord.

The numbers on the diagram are the frets of the guitar. When you look at the guitar chords. You are looking as if you were holding the guitar up in the are and looking at it. See a picture below on the left is Sharon, YourGuitarGuide, holding my guitar up. Then next to it is the guitar chord.

Now Look at the Diagram

The Nut of the guitar is the white bone or plastic at the top of the guitar. Then from there to the next piece of metal wire going across the neck is a fret. The number on the chord diagram signifies that that is fret one.

The space in between the metal going across the neck of the guitar is called a fret. But really the metal wire is the fret. So then fret two is the space between the first metal wire and the second. Then there is fret 3 and four. Marked as such on the chord chart. This is the first step to reading the chord diagram.

How Do You Read Chords

Next how do you read chords. Well you have vertical lines on the diagram. These are actually the strings on the guitar. There are 6 strings on most guitars. Of course there are 12 string guitars and even 7.

But for this conversation we are sticking to the normal basic 6 string. To find out about the strings and how to learn the notes that are in the chords take a look at the beginners bootcamp course I made to help you get on the fast track of playing guitar.

How to read Guitar Chord Diagrams & Charts

When you are playing a chord. Your fingers are in the space of a fret. Usually fingers one goes in the first fret space. Then finger 2 goes in the second fret space. And then finger 3 is in fret box 3. and four, you guessed it in the fourth box. This is how the numbers are also marked on the Am7 Diagram above.

Look at how your fingers are numbered to coincide with how to remember where they are to go when playing the guitar and chord.

The Big Dots that are on the strings and in a fret area. This is where you place your fingers. The example above shows two Big Dots one is located at the second string. And is in the first fret box.

Then there is Big Dot that is located on the second fret of the fifth string. This is where you place your fingers.

Above The Nut of the guitar or in the diagram for chords. The X is showing Do not Play that string. The smaller zero’s or dot at the top indiacte open strings. Meaning strings that are played but that your finger is not fretting the strings.

For more examples of chords. I did a more in-depth article about Chord charts how to read a chord diagram Click here to see it.

Related Questions

What Are the 3 Basic Guitar Chords?

There are more than 3 basic chords but the easy ones would have to be the Em. Which is spelled E minor. What makes this a great beginner chord is that there are only two fingers needed to play this chord.

Next chord would be the E chord. Which is the E Major chord. Another great beginner chord. And it is basically adding a finger to the Em chord. Then you have the Major. Which again just 3 fingers. Another easy chord is the A chord.

\Easy again for the simple fact of only having to use three fingers. And your fingers are all fretted at the second fret. If you want to learn more about how to hold your fingers and fretting hand technique. And lots more take a look at the 10 things every beginner guitar player needs to know.


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How to Read Guitar Chords Tab

Tablature is a form of writing music. To learn how to read notation is like learning a different language so to make things easier for most guitarists the form of Tab is used. This lets you know when to play a note or chord. When to bend the strings and much more. Although there are down sides to it. It is still a very effective way to learn songs.

Take a look at how to read guitar chord tab a complete lesson with Tab Sheets to help. In this free lesson what is a guitar tab.

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