How to Read Guitar Chord Diagrams

Guitar chord diagrams are a common method used to learn how to play a guitar chord. Each guitar chord diagram has 6 lines represnting each guitar string, as well as the frets used in the chord. If you picture looking straight on to the neck of a guitar with the neck straight in the air, you can see how the chord diagrams line up to the neck of the guitar, from left to right the low E string, A string, D string, G string, B string, and high E string. Dots are used to show the pattern of the chord and how the chord form lines up on the fretboard of the guitar.

Guitar chord diagrams with no number on the side are used to show the lowest area of notes on the fretboard (near the headstock side) on the guitar. This area of the guitar is also known as the open position where open chords are commonly played. A number on the side of a guitar chord diagram tells which fret the chord starts with on the guitar neck.

Some guitar chord diagrams have an "0" or "X" above the diagram. An "0" shows a string to play open or unfretted with the guitar chord and is common in open chords. An "X" shows a string to mute or leave out when playing a guitar chord. If there are no "0" or "X" above the diagram, only play the notes shown for that chord diagram.

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