How to Read Guitar Chord Diagrams

Guitar Chord Diagrams and basically diagrams showing you how to play a certain chord or shape. It is important that you know how to read these diagrams as they are commonly shown on tablature, music sheets, and music books to illustrate certain uncommon guitar chords. Even if you know the basic chords, there are still hundreds of variations and chord shapes you might not know how to play.

A chord diagram is very straight forward, it just basically illustrates how a guitar fret board looks and shows numbers and symbols to indicate how it should be played.

Here is a simple illustration of the common symbols you will find on a guitar chord diagram, you should be able to read guitar chord diagrams after you examine and understand what each symbol represents.

It looks very straight forward and should be very easy to understand and remember.
Chord Fingering Notes:
There are diagrams which do not show any fingering numbers, and basically lets the reader decide which finger he/she should use to execute the chord. The numbers on some diagrams are just there as a guide, you are however not required to follow them exactly, there are times when you might prefer to perform a chord in a different way in which you are most comfortable.
Guitar Bar Chords (or barre chords/barré chords)
Bar chords are chords in which you need to use you index finger to "bar" or press all the string in a single fret in essence replacing the nut of the guitar. This may be very hard to perform especially for beginners who have not developed finger strength yet. There is no real quick way to master it except for repetition and practice to develop finger strength.

Here is an example of a basic Bar Chord you will need to learn:

There are other simple and easy to execute chords to replace the bar chords, but you will not be able to get a richer or fuller chord sound as with Bar chords.

Here is a much more simpler way of executing an F major chord, but it is still advisable that you practice on the full F major bar chord as it will be vital to your progress as a guitarist to master performing bar chords.

You can check our complete guitar chord diagrams for more simple variations of bar chords.

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