Open Chords on Guitar

The most fundamental shapes that all guitarists learn are the "Open Chords". These shapes are all played within the first three frets of the guitar and always use at least one unfretted string.

First, learn each major shape from A to G and be able to play them consecutively at faster tempos. Then try the same thing with Minor, Diminished, etc. Below is a rundown of all of the shapes.

A Major - Play the E on the D string with the first finger, the A on the G string with the 2nd finger, etc. Let the A and E strings ring out. When playing, make sure every note is sounding and is not getting cut off by a stray finger.

A Major Open Chord for Guitar

Go to Jazz Chords from Open Chords Guitar

B7 - A straight B major is not very practical to play in this position although it is not impossible. A lot of times you are playing in the key of E for example so you are using a B7 as a dominant five relationship rather than a straight B major anyway. For this reason, I am showing you the B7 shape.

B7 Open Chord for Guitar

C Major - Here is one of the greats of all time the C Major. Your third finger will be on the C of the A String, 2nd finger on the E note and index finger on the C on the B string. This shape rings out nicely. From bottom to top you get root-third-fifth-root-third.

C Major Open Chord

D Major - Next is what we call a good old Oklahoma D. Although small, this shape packs a lot of punch. Keep in mind you are only strumming the top 4 strings on this one. Although, it's not the end of the world if you hit the open A string since that note is the fifth of the D Major anyway.

The D string sounds the root, finger one on the E on the G string, finger two will sneak underneath and play the F# on the E string and lastly finger three repeats the root with a D on the B string. This is a very crisp and clean sounding shape.