Here's 22 guitar chords every guitarist needs to know

Chord
(Image credit: Jorge Elizaquibel / Getty Images )

Guitar Skills: Today, we're breaking these 22 chords into three areas – essential beginner guitar (opens in new tab) chords, folk and blues. 

There's plenty of inspiration here for any style and skill level though, plus audio for every chord. Tuck in!

Start with these 10 chords 

(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)

The 8 best acoustic guitars for beginners 2020 (opens in new tab)

Acoustic guitar on a sky blue background

(Image credit: Future)

Take your first steps with the best acoustic guitars for beginners from Taylor, Fender, Epiphone and more (opens in new tab)


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 (opens in new tab)

MusicRadar is the number one website for music-makers of all kinds, be they guitarists, drummers, keyboard players, DJs or producers...

GEAR: We help musicians find the best gear with top-ranking gear round-ups and high-quality, authoritative reviews by a wide team of highly experienced experts. TIPS: We also provide tuition, from bite-sized tips to advanced work-outs and guidance from recognised musicians and stars. STARS: We talk to musicians and stars about their creative processes, and the nuts and bolts of their gear and technique. We give fans an insight into the craft of music-making that no other music website can.