As a guitar player advances in skill level, the toughest part he must face is learning a core group of basic guitar power chords. Anyone who plays guitar must realize chords are like the framework of nearly all rock and pop songs. Chords work in harmony with a melody or an instrumental solo. This is why it's imperative that any guitar player must learn basic chords.
Think about the memorable rock riffs from the past: AC/DC's "Back In Black" or the Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again". They are played by a rhythm guitar based on basic chords. Did you know that by learning only 10 to 15 simple guitar chords you can be skilled in playing thousands of rock and pop songs? It's amazing and true.
In order to understand chords we must understand what one is. A chord is three or more musical notes played together. Thus, a guitar chord is created when three or more notes are strummed or plucked at the same time, sounding a series of three notes. The highest number of notes in a chord can be six, hence the number of strings on a guitar. All chords can be categorized as Major, Minor, or Seventh according to their musical structure. Each of these chord groups has its own "sound" and "feel". Major chords have a stable or complete sound. Minor chords convey a somber or pensive mood. Seventh chords are jazzy and have a rather incomplete sound. Knowing these facts is important when learning guitar chords.
Regardless of what level you're at in your guitar practices you must take time out to master guitar chords. But there's one little catch: There is no one set of "basic guitar chords" that is universally defined. Still, there is a list of between 8 and 18 open string, basic guitar chords every guitarist must be able to play by heart. These chords are shared between all genres of music from rock to pop to country, jazz, and classical. Once you have these chords down you'll have the expertise to play a great assortment of songs and will have the flexibility to entertain a greater variety of audiences.
Here are some basic guitar chords you'll need to know, including the Major and Minor chords from common musical keys A, G, C, and D. They're referred to as "open chords" meaning that at least one string is not pressed down with a finger (fretted). Open chords are easy to learn guitar chords and should be mastered before attempting the more advanced chords like those further up the guitar neck or even the Barre chords. A great set of major and minor chords are as follows:
A Major (or A), A Minor (or Am), C, D, Dm, E, Em, F, G
These chords are group according to key in categories or "families". When played in combinations they produce great sounding chord sequences and hence are what many well-known riffs are composed of. The concept of grouping chords in families makes learning guitar chords more amusing than just memorizing them in a random order.
These chords grouped by chord family (key) are as follows:
A Family (Key of A): A, D, E
D Family (Key of D): D, Em, G, A
G Family (Key of G): G, Am, C, D, Em
C Family (Key of C): C, Dm, Em, F, G
Here are some pointers regarding guitar chords to learn:
1. Pick a Chord Family and master it. This will give you rapid results and enable you to play great sounding progressions in a short amount of time.
2. Use a Guitar Chord Chart as a reference tool. A chord chart shows each chord as an easy to read "chord diagram" including finger positions.
3. Find the chords and lyrics for an easy song that is based on the chord family so you can make use of your present skills. Numerous popular songs are based on only three chords!
4. Ensure each string sounds right. Take care to make sure that each string is sounding clearly, and that only the strings that should be played are played.
5. Practice, practice, practice! Master one chord family before moving on to another. Practice changing from one chord to another, on a daily basis, until you're able to do it quickly.
6. Master all the basic chords first. Only then move on to Barre chords and other more complex chords once you've got the basic chords down.
7. Expand with 7th chords. Expand on your basic chord knowledge by adding 7th and minor 7th chords based on the nine basic major and minor chords.
8. Have fun using your new skills! Once you know and can play 5-10 songs by heart you will enjoy guitar playing even more.
Liam Gibson of LearnGuitar-User-Reviews.com, specializes in helping aspiring guitarists get the info that they need to make the right choices. Liam, a stage guitarist himself, leads his team of guitar experts to constantly review new courses and products in the market and make sure you get the best value products that work for you. Check out actual user reviews and feedback of the most popular guitar courses at LearnGuitar-User-Reviews.