What is a guitar chord? A guitar chord can be simply defined as playing two or more notes at the same time on a guitar. Some people say that you need at least three notes to make a guitar chord, but it seems more logical to say that since two notes can be played at the same time to make a harmony, that is all that is needed to make a guitar chord. By the way, if you are looking for how to play A guitar chord (an A major guitar chord lesson), just click that link!
Notes In A Guitar Chord:
The root note of any guitar chord (the lowest note in the chord) is also the key of the chord, and all other notes in the chord are relative to the root note, and are named as such. For instance, the simplest of all chords is called a power-chord and it consists of only two different notes which are the root note and the perfect 5th. The perfect 5th is the name for an interval that describes the distance of two notes. The perfect 5th is always seven notes away from the root. Now, lets say we add another type of note to the mix, a note known as the 3rd. This is interesting because 3rds are either minor or major, and which one you use will determine whether you are playing a major or a minor chord.
Major & Minor Guitar Chords:
For example, a D minor guitar chord contains three different notes. The key of the chord is D, so D is the root note. The perfect 5th is an A note (7 notes away from a D), and the minor 3rd is an F note (3 notes away from D). Without the F note, we simply have just a D5 power-chord (power chords are neither major nor minor, which is why the 5th is named perfect). Now, if we were to play a D major guitar chord we can see that the root note and the 5th remain, but now instead we’re adding the major 3rd interval, which is an F# note (4 notes away from D).
Other Notes In A Guitar Chord:
As you have probably noticed, there are many different types of guitar chords, but they can be easily understood when you realize that it all depends on what the interval of the notes are, relative to the root note. The nice thing about playing guitar chords is that the fret board shapes you are holding down can be transferred to any key without changing the shape. This means that all major bar chord shapes are the same, and all minor bar chord shapes are also the same, depending on what string the root note is on! With the knowledge of musical intervals, we can construct any guitar chord, whether it be a dominant 7th, or a major 7th, or a diminished 5th or even simply a power-chord, it’s all possible when you know the interval distances from the root note. The good news is you don’t have to figure guitar chords out yourself, you can learn about it through the videos on this site, and eventually understand how these chord harmonies are created by thinking of the relativity of each note to the key of the guitar chords you are playing.