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Video:What Is a Guitar Chord

with Christopher Pennington

Guitar chord are a series of notes played at the same time. Most songs are built on chord sequences. Learn how to read and play guitar chords with this helpful tutorial.See Transcript

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Transcript:What Is a Guitar Chord

Hi, my name is Christopher Pennington and today I'm going to explain to you what a guitar chord is.

Root Notes Name Guitar Chords

A chord is simply a group of 3 or more notes which are played at the same time. A chord's name is derived from the name of it's root note. Now that might sound confusing, but it's actually quite simple. For instance, this a C chord because the root note is a C . Here's a G chord. We call it a G chord, because it's root note is a G note. And here's an D chord, and it's called a D because. You guessed it, the root note is a D.

Read Chords on a Guitar Diagram

Now let me show you how to read a chord diagram. Here's one of the most common guitar chords; a C chord. In the chord diagram, the vertical lines represent the six strings of the guitar, and the horizontal lines represent the frets. And the dots show you where to place your fingers. In this particular chord, you place your first finger on the 2nd string just behind first fret, your 2nd finger on the 4th string behind the 2nd fret, and your 3rd finger on the 5th string behind the 3rd fret.

Songs are Built on Chord Sequences

Chords are the building blocks of what we know as modern music. A song is made up of a combination of chords played in a sequence to accompany a melody. Songs can be made up of a dozen or more chords, or in the case of a lot of folk and country music, there can be as few as only 1 or 2. For more helpful tips like this on how to play the guitar, please join us on the web at About.com. Thanks for watching!

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