What are the 3 basic guitar chords? – Learn Guitar Chords Through Progressions

December 2, 2020

There are many different options and the 3 chords they all fall under are (in order of their most common occurrence in the musical canon):

A = root note A

B = 5th note B

C = 5th note C

D = 7th note D

E = 3rd note E

F = 9th note F

Note that in my example above, E is actually a 9th note. This is because F (also found in the root chord) is the 6th of a Major scale. So in a Major scale, you’d have F at #7th, F# in F, and A#, Bb, Cb, and Db (in a minor pentatonic scale), thus creating the 4th (note that C is also the 5th of the major scale, also known as ‘major’ or ‘natural’).

So in the example above, A would be C and B would be F. In fact, F and B would also be in the Major Pentatonic (D) scale if we played the corresponding notes instead. And so on, so on.

To use chords, we basically need to understand what the note names in a given chord mean. So in our example above, A and B would be C and F, respectively.

Now that you know how chords are constructed, you can learn more about them below.

What are minor chords?

In an extended guitar style, a minor chord is what I call a “lower E” chord. In this case, this would be the 5th note of the Major scale (A), C.

So if you want to play a major scale chord, you would add on the 5th of the major scale note (the fifth of A) and play that note:

The 5th of a Major Scale chord has the same note as the Major Scale note (Bb) in an extended rock style. (And when you think about it, Bb is actually the 3rd note of the Minor pentatonic scale.)

So in our example above, you’d be doing C (F#) at C# (Bb).

You’ll notice that many of the chords below are also minor chords, as such we’ll be getting to those below soon.

Minor Pentatonic Scale Chords

All chords used in guitar are named after the 5th and 7th notes of the Major scale.

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