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22 essential chords all guitarists need to know

(Image credit: Future)

Guitar Skills: We're breaking our 22 chords into three areas – essential beginner guitar chords, folk and blues. There's plenty of inspiration here for any style and skill level though. There's also audio examples for every chord too. 

10 beginner chords every player should start with

(Image credit: Future)

These are the 10 must-learn chords that every guitarist uses all the time. If you don’t know these chords, learn them right now. The dots tell you where to put your fingers. The numbers tell you which of your four fingers to use. Black dots are root notes.

Check out the audio examples of how they should sound below the chord boxes too.

 

(Image credit: Future)

(Image credit: Future)

(Image credit: Future)

(Image credit: Future)

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Essential folk chords

Get a folk vibe to your playing with these chords, which are more colourful and interesting than the simple open major chords you may already know. each shape uses open strings – this is a great way of adding intervals that would be impossible to stretch to. Try experimenting with moving the shapes up and down the neck to create new sounds.

(Image credit: Future)

(Image credit: Future)

Essential blues chords

The general theme with these shapes is the dominant 7th sound, which is essentially a major chord plus a b7th. This is a great way of injecting some ‘blues’ flavour into your chord progressions. You can also add 9th and 11th intervals for more colourful sounds a well as a #9 interval for that classic Hendrix sound.

(Image credit: Future)

(Image credit: Future)

(Image credit: Future)

Check out more chord lessons