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Chord charts

Chords! Lots of them!


Man, there’s a lot of these things. The problem isn’t that they’re not useful. The problem is that they encourage you to stop exploring. What if you need an Ab9 chord, but you don’t like the sound of the one on the chart? Just use the one on the chart anyway?

Well, there’s this.


Make your own stuff

Or you can learn some basic chord theory and key signatures. Then you can make your own stuff instead of depending on someone else. You also need to know where all the notes are on the neck of the guitar.

This type of work develops your brain and allows for creativity. Learning a chord from a chart doesn’t. It just trains your fingers.


Exploring C major

Take the C major triad. It’s made of three notes: C, E, and G. Find as many combinations of those notes on the neck as you can. Find a C on the G string, then find the closest G and E.

Now find the C on the D string. Where’s the closest G and E?

Play the open high E string and the C on the G string. Where’s the G?

Now use this same procedure for a G chord. Or any other chord. Move between the C chords and the new chords.


Chords, keys, and notes

Here’s a post that talks about building chords.

And another one that talks about building chords in different keys.

Here’s one on notes on the neck of the guitar.


Once you start moving between the chords you make, it begins to feel a lot like composition instead of just going between the same old C an G chords. You start getting new ideas.

And you don’t have to depend on outside resources if you don’t want to.

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2 Responses

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  • Shayan Javadi on

    I’ve just created a website for learning every single chord out there. would love to hear your feedback as someone that’s deep into music:

    • dwall on

      Hey Shayan. I really like your site. Very clear and useful. I have a question about one of the chords I found – Cmaj7#9#11. You explain what the intervals in the Cmaj7 chord are, but you don’t mention the #9 and the #11. Is there a reason why? Also, when I clicked on the audio example, it sounded like a minor chord with a major seventh. If you respell it, it turns into an Emin-maj6/9 chord. Not a criticism at all about how you named the chord, just an observation about how cool it is.
      Anyway, great work! Thanks for sharing.

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