A beginner guitarist can get overwhelmed with the seemingly unlimited array of chords, chord types and voicings needed to play songs. Here are the basics that need to be mastered before moving on to tougher chords all over the fretboard:

What Are Open Chords?

Open chords are any chords played on the guitar where open strings ring out. These are your typical, root position G-D-Em-C chords found in many songs across genres. These chords form the basis of all other chords played on the guitar, so it is important to have a firm grasp on them before moving on to Barre chords. It is important to know the names of each chord, along with what strings should be played so that they are done correctly.

What Are Power Chords?

Power chords developed alongside the development of loud, distorted electric guitar amps. They are simple, 2 or 3 string chords that only consist of two notes as opposed to three or more different notes that full open or Barre chords possess. Power chords can be moved all over the guitar fretboard and are a good introduction to how Barre chords work. It is important to know the notes and roots of these chords too, and not just memorizing where to play the chord shape for a given song.