Wondering how many guitar chords are there? Did you know that there are infinite guitar chords? It’s true! In fact, there are three main chord types-major, minor and dominant-and each has five variations. That means there are fifteen basic chords in total that you need to know to play any song. Once you’ve mastered these, you can move on to more complex chords for a more varied sound. So why not get started learning some today?

How many chords are there in total

There are an infinite amount of guitar chords, but we’ll focus on the basic chords that every guitarist should know. There are three main chord types-major, minor and dominant-and each has five variations. That means there are fifteen basic chords in total that you need to know to play any song. Once you’ve mastered these, you can move on to more complex chords for a more varied sound.

The major chords

The major chords are the most common and include C, G, D, A and E. Each has a variation starting with a different note from the scale-Cadd9, Gmaj7, Dmaj9, etc.

The minor chords

There are three minor chords to learn-Em, Am and Dm. Like the major chords, each also has a variation beginning with a different note from the scale-Eadd9, Aadd11, etc.

The diminished chords

Diminished chords are the least common type of chord, but are still an important part of your repertoire. There are four types-Bdim, Cdim7, Fdim and Gbdim. Again, each has a variation beginning with a different note from the scale-Bm7b5, Cm11, etc.

The augmented chords

The final chord type is the augmented chord. The most common type is Gaug, which can be used in place of an E major. There are only three types-G+/G#/A+.

Chord construction

Now that you have a grasp of the chord types, it’s time to learn how to construct the chords. In total there are three variations for each chord type-major, minor and dominant. So on top of knowing unique chords, you’ll also need to know how to play major 7th, 9th, and 11th chords too.

Using the G major chord as an example, you must know that it is made of the notes-G (the root), B (major third), D (perfect fifth), and F# (minor seventh). To form a Gmaj7, play the seventh note of the scale after playing the root. So for Gmaj7, play the seventh note of the G major scale after G-B. To form a Gm add the sixth note of the scale to the root chord. So for Gm add, play A after playing G. For a G7, play the second note of the major scale-C after playing G. To form a dominant 7 chord, play the flattened seventh note of the scale after playing the root. So for G7, play Bb after playing G.

If you want to form a major chord from a major scale, start on any note in the major scale and use every other note up to create your chord. To build Cmaj7, you’d begin on C and play C, E, and G. To form a Cmaj9, you’d play C, E, G, and B. The difference between a major chord and a major 7th is that the 7th adds a flattened seventh note to the scale from when the chord was built from the root note.

For minor chords, there are two ways to build. If you want to build by stacking minor thirds, start on any note in the scale and use every other note up until you get to the third note of the scale. So to build a Cm love chord, start on C and play C, Eb and G. To form a Cmadd9, add the flattened ninth note of the scale to the root chord. This means you’d play C, Eb, G, and Bb. The second way is to stack minor thirds and then flatten the third note of the scale by one semitone. So for a Cm love chord it would be C, Eb, and G flat-Bb in this case.

For diminished chords, there are four ways to build. To form a Bm7b5, start on B and play B, D and F#. For a Cdim7, you’d start on C and play C, E flat, and G flat. To form a Cdim7 add the sixth note of the scale to the root chord-E flat in this case. For a Cdim add the flattened seventh note of the major scale-G flat in this case. To form a Fdim7, you’d start on F and play F, A flat, and C sharp.

Dominant 7th chords follow the same method as diminished chords using minor thirds, but there’s one difference. In dominant 7th chords you need to flatten the fifth note of the scale, so in this case you’d play G sharp instead of playing G.

To form a major 7 chord from a major scale, start on any note and use every other note up until the seventh note of the scale. So Cmaj9 would be played like this-C, E, G and Bb. To form a major chord from a major scale you just play every note in the scale.

To form a minor chord from a major scale, start on the second note of the scale and use every other note up until you reach the sixth note of the scale. So to form a Cm chord, play D first then Eb and G. To build a Cmin9, add the flattened ninth note of the scale to root chord-B flat in this case. To form a Cmadd9, add the sixth note of the scale to root chord-Eb in this case.

In order to form a diminished chord from a major scale, start on any note and use every other note up until you reach the third note of the scale. So for Cdim7 you’d play D sharp first then Eb and G flat. To form a Cdim7add9, play the flattened seventh note of the scale-G flat in this case. For a Cdim add, you’d flatten the fifth note of the scale-B flat in this case.

To form a dominant 7 chord from a major scale, start on any note and use every other note up until you reach the seventh note of the scale. So to form a C7 chord start on C and play D, F sharp, and G. For a G7 you’d play the flattened fifth note of the major scale-B flat in this case. To form a dominant 9 chord from a major scale start on any note then use every other note up until you reach the seventh note of the scale. So to form a C9 chord start on C and play D, E flat, G and A. For a Gmaj9 you’d play the flattened ninth note of the major scale-D in this case.

To form a dominant 9 from a major scale you need to flatten every single note of the major scale. So to form a G9 chord you’d play A, B flat, C sharp, D, E flat, etc. To form a dominant 13th chord from a major scale start on any note then use every other note up until you reach the seventh note of the scale with one difference-you need to add the flattened thirteenth note of the scale to root chord. So to form a C13 chord start on C and play D, E flat, G sharp, A and B double flat.

Dominant 13 chords follow a similar method as dominant 9 chords using minor thirds instead of whole tones. To build a dominant 13th chord from a major scale you need to flatten every note of the scale, so C13 would be played like this-C, D flat, E flat, F sharp, G sharp, etc.

In order to form a dominant 13add9, you’d play the flattened seventh note of the major scale along with the flattened ninth note of the major scale with one difference-in this case you’d add the thirteenth note of the major scale-G double sharp in this case.

How Many Guitar Chords Are There

To form a minor 7 chord from a major scale, start on the third note and use every other note up until you reach the sixth note. So to form a Cm7 chord, play E flat first then G and B natural. To form a Cmin7add9, add the flattened ninth note to root chord-G in this case. To form a Cm13, start on the third note and play every other note up until you reach seventh note. So to form a Cm13 chord play E flat, G, B natural and D flat.

The difference here is that, as opposed to using a major third interval from the root note as in Cmaj9 and Cmaj13, you use a minor third from the root note. So if we wanted to form Eflatmin7add11, you’d play F sharp first then A flat and B double flat. To form Ebmin6add11, play E sharp then B natural, F and A. To form an Eb13add11 you’d start on the third note of the scale and play every other note up until you reach seventh note of the scale. So to build an Eb13add11 chord start on E sharp and play F, G flat, G double sharp, A flat, and B.

To form a major 7 chord from a major scale, start on the third note and use every other note up until you reach the sixth note with two differences-you need to add sharped eleventh and thirteenth notes of the scale to root chord. So for Cmajor9 chord, play E first then G sharp, and A. For Cmaj9add11 you’d add sharped eleventh and thirteenth notes of the scale-F and B in this case.

To form a major 13 chord from a major scale start on any note and play every other notes up until the seventh note with two differences-you need to add sharped ninth and thirteenth notes of the scale to root chord. So to play Cmajor13 chord, play E first then G sharp, and B. To form Cmaj13add11 you’d add sharped ninth and thirteenth notes of the major scale-F double sharp and B in this case.

To build a major 7 chord from a major scale, start on the third note of the major scale and play every other note up until seventh note with one difference-add sharped eleventh note to root chord. So to form Cmajor7add11 you’d play E flat first then G sharp and A flat. To form an Emin7add11 you’d flatten every single note except for the eleventh note-G in this case. To form a C13sus you’d play the flattened seventh note of the major scale along with every other note up until the seventh note except for the thirteenth note. So to form a C13sus chord start on C and play D, E flat again then G sharp again and A.

To build a minor 7 chord from a major scale, you need to flatten every single note in the scale. So to form a Cmin7 chord you’d play A flat, B natural, C double sharp, D and E flat again. To form an Am9 from major scale you need to add sharped ninth note of the major scale-B sharp in this case. To form an Ar9add11 add both ninth and thirteenth notes of the major scale-B and F sharp in this case.

In order to form a minor 7 chord from a major scale, you need to flatten every note except for the seventh one. So Cmin7 would be played like this-C, D flat, E flat again, G double sharp and A. To form an Amin9 you’d add both ninth and thirteenth notes of the major scale-G and B natural in this case.

Conclusion

There are many variations of chords that can be played on the guitar. But these are some of the most basic and commonly used chords. Once you’ve mastered these, you can move on to more complex chord structures for a richer sound. Keep practicing and soon you’ll be able to play any song!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.