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2 Aug 2020

Making sense of guitar chord diagrams

instruments Making sense of guitar chord diagrams

Chord diagrams

There's lots of different kinds of chord diagrams and the ones that we use, we want to shed some light on.

In books with sheetmusic, often, there's a legend with all kinds of notation symbols used in the book. Sometimes there are chord diagrams there.

If you want to know more about chords on the guitar, follow our guitar chord series!

In the diagram used by us, theres a table that's 6 x 5 and accounts for 5 frets on 6 strings. The Roman number on the left side indicates what fret is on the top row in the diagram. In this case it's the 3rd fret (G). The capo sits on the 2nd fret (F#) and acts like the nut in this kind of open chord. 


The diagram on the left is called a tablature (tab for short) and is used very ofter with instruments that have frets, like ukeleles, bassguitar and guitar. Here it says what fret is pressed on which string. When a chord is displayed in a tab, it's numbers are relative to the capo. So it would say 3-2-0-0-0-3 in stead of 5-4-3-3-3-5 . 

Tabs enable, people that can't write music notation, to accurately write out solo's, riffs and arpeggio's without knowledge of what notes are played exactly.

You could turn the diagram on the right, a quarter clockwise and stretch it out on the fretboard. With the low E-string on top, and the high E-string below:

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