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#1 2010-10-20 19:12:24

danny1313
Junior Member
Registered: 2010-07-21
Posts: 15

Help with cords

I finally decided to commit to learning cords. I've been avoiding them for some reason. (only know a hand full).
However, when I looked at the cord chart in the resources section I was completely overwhelmed.
There seems to be too many to learn in one lifetime.
Please tell me what cords are essential to know .
I would appreciate this greatly as I am a little lost.

Thanks,
Danny

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#2 2010-10-20 19:41:02

Russell_Harding
Alien moderator
From: A black hole in deep space
Registered: 2007-10-29
Posts: 6683
Website

Re: Help with cords

hi Danny welcome to Chordie this is a free program and it has all the easy chords  you need to know for any key plus a whole lot more I think you will find it easy to use and fun smile
http://download.cnet.com/Guitar-Alchemi … 10719.html
and the best part is the price FREE!


"Growing old is not for sissies"

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#3 2010-10-20 19:49:11

southrnrockr
Senior Member
Registered: 2008-07-19
Posts: 128

Re: Help with cords

Which ones do you know? You can go a long way on A,Am,A7,C,Cadd9,D,E,Em,F and G. You will eventually need to learn barre chords but you have to start slow and work your way up. Start with 3 or 4 chords(I started with G,C and D) and learn them flawlessly and then you can build on them one chord at a time. Don't let the number of chords on the chart intimidate you, just learn the basics and in time you will be able to learn a new chord everyday if you want to. I'm sure someone else will reply with some more advice. Oh yeah, I wish now I would have learned to play E and C with my middle, ring and pinky fingers in order to make barre chords easy to learn

Just out of curiosity, are there any members on here that know every chord on the chord chart?

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#4 2010-10-20 20:42:57

jerome.oneil
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From: Bellevue, WA
Registered: 2006-06-15
Posts: 3074
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Re: Help with cords

You really only need to know 5, and it's not even the chord you need to know, its the shape your hand makes.

C A G E D:  Learn those 5, and learn to play them barred, and you can play every major chord on the neck.

Then learn their minor derivatives, and you can play every minor chord on the neck.

The best way to learn them, though, is to understand how they are built.  What makes a major a major, and a minor a minor, etc...  If you know that, you won't even need a chord chart.  You can just construct them as you need.


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#5 2010-10-20 21:22:03

Buzzwagon
Senior Member
From: Hampshire, UK
Registered: 2008-11-23
Posts: 306

Re: Help with cords

jerome.oneil wrote:

You really only need to know 5, and it's not even the chord you need to know, its the shape your hand makes.

C A G E D:  Learn those 5, and learn to play them barred, and you can play every major chord on the neck.

Then learn their minor derivatives, and you can play every minor chord on the neck.

The best way to learn them, though, is to understand how they are built.  What makes a major a major, and a minor a minor, etc...  If you know that, you won't even need a chord chart.  You can just construct them as you need.

Good post, excellent advice.

Jerry


Live the life you love, love the life you live

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#6 2010-10-21 02:24:36

AccoustikNoyz
Senior Member
From: Chesapeake,VA
Registered: 2008-11-12
Posts: 332
Website

Re: Help with cords

You need to learn what Jerome is saying and keep reflecting back on that.  In the meantime, G,C,Em and D go a long way, then add A and Am.  You'll probably be able to use the capo to help get more mileage out of these.  That's just a start.   I remember how desperately I wanted enough chords to just make a song so know what you're going through.   It's coming so hang in there and keep us posted.

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#7 2010-10-21 02:50:39

Butch8844
Senior Member
Registered: 2009-11-16
Posts: 605

Re: Help with cords

Go to the public songbooks and click on absolute beginner and you'll find a bazillion of easy songs (exagerating)

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#8 2010-10-21 03:11:50

Doug_Smith
Moderator
From: Western Oregon,US
Registered: 2008-07-22
Posts: 1266

Re: Help with cords

Hi Danny and good for you in plotting a new course in your musical Voyage.

I'll Second all of the above!  Good advise all!

Just one question.... what have you been doing so far?  Assuming you have been playing music, are you using Tab, or standard notation?  If you have a musical background (even in another instrument) you should have the basics to understand Jerome's comment regarding how chords are built.  With that said it is only a matter of locating the notes on the fretboard and then the chords are self evident.  It still takes practice, but you will be successful! Guaranteed!

Naturally there are a bunch of folks (as you can see) that are eager to give whatever assistance you could desire.

Take Care;
Doug


"what is this quintessence of dust?"  - Shakespeare

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#9 2010-10-21 10:42:15

Roger Guppy
The Laid Back Moderator
From: Almancil, Algarve, Portugal
Registered: 2006-09-02
Posts: 4818
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Re: Help with cords

Hi Danny,

Looking at a the 100s of chords available on a chart and then thinking about learning chords can be pretty daunting. Do not try and learn chords per se instead learn songs.

Pick a song that you like that has say just three chords in it. Finger the first chord and strum it making sure that none of the strings are deadened then try playing a repetition of three beats on that chord and lifting your fingers just off the strings for the fourth, put them back on back on for the 5th, 6th, and 7th and lifted for the 8th and so on whilst keeping the beat constant. Do this for each chord individually and them try playing 4 beats of each chord in turn. Then put it to the song. You can then gradually increase the complexity of the songs you are playing.

Keep in mine what Jerome has said as you will have to learn all these chords eventually but walk before you try to run lol.

Roger


“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.” -Plato
Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.
We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing. (George Bernard Shaw)
Do, or do not. There is no try. (Yoda)

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#10 2010-10-21 17:52:26

tubatooter1940
Retired Beach Bar Entertainer
From: Alabama Gulf Coast
Registered: 2008-06-24
Posts: 1818
Website

Re: Help with cords

I started learning guitar because I love the instrument. What ever you can play on guitar at any level sounds great if you take time to learn to play it clean.
I had a job playing trumpet in a 7-piece rock band the day I brought a guitar to the gig the first time.
I had a guitar rhythm line in mind that I wanted to play on just one of the tunes on our list. I had worked that guitar line over enough at home to where I could play it really tight with what the other band members were doing and I was really proud of it - but my band mates swiped my guitar and hid it. I got no respect sad.
I lived to prove myself but that first night was rough.
I learned that we buy tools as the job reqiures them. I learned chords as the new songs I added to my list required me to use them.
This we we can see how the new chords fit in with the chords we already know - begining with majors, then minors, sevenths then 9ths, 11ths and 13ths and using augmenteds and diminished chords going in and out or bridges in songs.
I had a book containing 2,404 chords for guitar and another book with 6,404, but most of these are different inversions of the same chord in all possible places on the neck.
There aren't that many different chords - even in all possible keys. I don't know the actual number but the total is very finite and learnable by most any duffer like me if we're lucky enough to find the time.


We pronounce it "Guf Coast".
Ya'll wanna go down to the Guf?

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#11 2010-10-21 18:39:38

dino48
Honoured Member
From: los banos,california
Registered: 2007-04-06
Posts: 4930

Re: Help with cords

Hi danny all good advice on the above posts,I think jerome lays it out in a way which would always work. Trying to learn every chord will drive you nuts.


my papy said son your going too drive me too drinking if you dont stop driving that   Hot  Rod  Lincoln!! Cmdr cody and his lost planet airman.

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#12 2010-10-21 19:44:03

danny1313
Junior Member
Registered: 2010-07-21
Posts: 15

Re: Help with cords

Great advice guys. Of course you are right. Start with the basics, major's and minor's first and go from there. You have put me on track and I appreciate it greatly.

Southrnrockr, I think you have answered a second question for me. That is-should I learn to form all the cords in the open and first position with my last three fingers instead of my index finger so moving up the neck will be easier?

I would appreciate advice on this from anyone.

Doug_Smith, To answer your question. I have a minor musical background but it's been so long that at this point it's irrelevant. (some things just don't come back).
I started back with the guitar in Jan. and concentrated mainly on scales. Then used minor pentatonic and blues scales to improvise.
However, I wanted to play recognizable songs so I tried tabs but found it confusing as you move up the neck. (I guess I'm a bit of a simpleton) lol I know it takes practice.
At this point I don't feel that I'm making any significant improvement and I know that learning cords is something I need to do.

Thanks guys,
Danny

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#13 2010-10-21 20:22:14

bensonp
Honoured Member
From: Tooele Ut
Registered: 2006-03-04
Posts: 3858

Re: Help with cords

Learning your open chords with your last three fingers is the way to go.  I didn't do that all these years and it makes it very difficult to do barre chords.  If you learn it that way from the beginniong, you will be that much further ahead.


You can see all my video covers on http://www.youtube.com/bensonp1000
I have finally found happiness in my life.  Guitars, singing, beer and camping.  And they all intertwine wonderfully.

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#14 2010-10-22 01:27:58

AccoustikNoyz
Senior Member
From: Chesapeake,VA
Registered: 2008-11-12
Posts: 332
Website

Re: Help with cords

Danny
I think you'll find chord changes easier depending on the way you play certain chords.. G in particular.  If you make a point to work a bit on two different fingerings you'll find one works better when changing to a C chord or to shift to a bar chord for example.  There's a neat site here you may enjoy showing these two shapes (look at the first two G shapes on the web page). 
1st G: ring finger on red G, middle finger, pinky.  Alternate G: index finger on red G, middle finger, ring finger, pinky. 

http://www.chorderator.com/cgi-bin/gene … mp;size=30

Hope that makes sense, and welcome to CHordie...

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#15 2010-10-25 04:04:40

Astronomikal
Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Moderator
From: Texas
Registered: 2009-11-01
Posts: 644

Re: Help with cords

bensonp wrote:

Learning your open chords with your last three fingers is the way to go.  I didn't do that all these years and it makes it very difficult to do barre chords.  If you learn it that way from the beginniong, you will be that much further ahead.

+1 times 1000.  Great advice.

I wish I had learned to make just an open G with fingers 2-4.  I'm trying to do that now and am failing miserably.


"Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid." - Despair, Inc.

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#16 2010-10-29 19:05:36

danny1313
Junior Member
Registered: 2010-07-21
Posts: 15

Re: Help with cords

I can't thank all of you enough for the advice. I've started to relearn the cords I know with my last three fingers and have started on the major's and minor's.

Thanks to Russell_Harding and Accoustic Noise for the great links. They are a real help.

I will be in touch Pete.

This is a great site!

Danny

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