Dansm's Beginner's Guide to Chords

Chord Notation

The six vertical lines in my notation refers to the six strings on your guitar, low strings appearing on the left. Basically this is how your strings would appear if you held your guitar neck vertically and looked at it. The numbers refer to the fret on each string that you press to make the chord. The numbers have nothing to do with which fingers you use to play each string. So a D chord is notated and played as follows:

The "O" at the top of the diagram indicates that this string should be played as an open string (i.e. pick the string without fretting a note on it). The "X" at the top of the diagram indicate that that string should not be played.
The next part of notation deals with the fingers used for each string. As an example, I will use the same D chord shown above. Each 1, 2, and 3 indicates which finger you use to fret that note.

The fingers represented on the diagram by 1, 2, 3, and 4 are:

If you have any more questions regarding chord notation, please e-mail me.
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1997 Daniel E. Smith. Last updated 12-20-97