Basic Guitar Chord Charts

16 Essential Chords

This basic guitar chord chart contains the 16 basic chords a beginner guitar player needs to know!  With these few chords you will be able to play most of your favorite songs.

A song you learn later may have a new chord or two, which will be easy to learn once you know the sixteen essential guitar chords.

The chords are shown in order of the most commonly used.  I recommend learning them in order.

If you are left handed, and are using a left handed guitar, you will find the Left Handed Guitar Chord Chart easier to use. The chart will open in a new re-sizable window, and can be used alongside these lessons.

How to Use the Chord Chart

This is how your fingers are numbered ... 1 is your index finger ... 4 is your baby finger etc. The circled number in the diagrams indicates which finger is used to push down on which string, and where to place that finger on the guitars neck.

How to number your fingers for use with the right handed guitar chord diagrams

How to Read the Basic Guitar Chord Chart and Diagrams

How to use the basic guitar chord charts

The chords are shown below from left to right in the order that they are most frequently used in music.  Learning the chords in the order they are presented will give you the ability to play many songs relatively fast.

You will also find necessary tips in strategic locations within the guitar chord lessons.

The top row of the chart shows the three most commonly used chords, in order: G, D, and C. Thousands of songs only use these three chords, and a few only use two.

Once you learn the G and D guitar chords, you will find several song lessons that use only those two chords, or their chord shapes and a capo.

You can click on the individual chord diagram to view instructions and tips on how to play them.

G major guitar chord diagram from a chord chart for right handed players
D guitar chord diagram from a guitar chord chart for right handed guitar players
C guitar chord from the basic guitar chord chart for right handed guitarists


Those first 3 chords make up the "major" chords in the key of "G".

Future Lessons From The Essential Guitar Chord Chart

After you learn the "A" chord below, you will know the three major chords in the key of "D", which are D, A, and G!

After you learn the "E" chord below, you will know the three major chords in the key of "A", which are A, D, and E!

After you learn the "F" chord below, you will know the three major chords in the key of "C", which are C, F, and G!

You can play an incredible amount of songs using those 4 keys!

A guitar chord from the basic guitar chord chart for right handed guitar players
The
The


The following "minor" guitar chords are important because many songs use at least one of these!  Minor chords evoke more of a serious feeling than major chords.

The E minor guitar chord from the basic guitar chord chart for right handed
The A minor guitar chord from the basic guitar chord chart for right handed
The B minor guitar chord from the basic guitar chord chart for right handed


The D minor guitar chord from the basic guitar chord chart for right handed


The A7 guitar chord from the basic guitar chord chart for right handed
The B7 guitar chord from the basic guitar chord chart for right handed
The D7 guitar chord from the basic guitar chord chart for right handed


The E7 guitar chord from the basic guitar chord chart for right  handed
The G7 guitar chord from the basic guitar chord chart for right handed


Because it is used more than any other chord, the first chord in the guitar chord chart is the G Chord.

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