This portion of the site is devoted to the study and application of chords in theory and as applied to the guitar. The lessons build on previous lessons, so if you come across an unfamiliar term or idea not explained in the lesson, it might help to go back and read through previous lessons. Some of this information can be found in a different form in either the lesson archives, or the on-line book. These lessons are more streamlined and do not contain as much review per lesson.


Beginner's Chord lessons

These lessons work step-by-step through the conventions, and abstractions considered foundational to further studies.

  1. First chords
  2. How to read chord diagrams
  3. How to place fingers down on the fretboard
  4. How to read TAB
  5. Open major chords
  6. Troubleshooting finger problems
  7. Chords that go together
  8. Simple strumming
  9. Root notes
  10. Open minor chords
  11. Finding the 5
  12. Alternating bass
  13. Up the neck
  14. Slash Chords
  15. Voicings
  16. Arpeggios

Chord Book

Glossary of terms


Intermediate Chord Lessons


  1. Building a context
  2. Intervals, pt.2
  3. General Chord theory
  4. Major chords
  5. Minor chords (m)
  6. Power chords (5)
  7. Diminished chords (o)
  8. Harmonizing the major scale (triads)
  9. Harmonizing the major scale (seventh chords)
  10. Progressions
  11. Voicings
  12. Voicings, pt.2
  13. Voicings, pt.3
  14. Arpeggios, pt.2
  15. Dominant seventh chord (7)
  16. Minor seventh chord (m7)
  17. Major seventh chord (maj7)
  18. Half-diminished seventh chord (m7b5)
  19. Sus and add chords (sus4, add9, etc.)
  20. 6, m6, mb6
  21. Dominant nine chord
  22. Harmonizing the major scale (ninth, eleventh, thirteenth chords)
  23. Altered chords

  24. Augmented chord
  25. minor/major seventh chords
  26. diminished seventh chords
  27. Arpeggios, pt.3
  28. minor nine chords (m9)
  29. major nine chords
  30. Borrowed Chords

  31. Passing chords
  32. Major Eleven (maj11)
  33. Dominant eleven (11)
  34. Minor eleven (m11)
  35. Major Thirteen (maj13)
  36. Dominant thirteen (13)
  37. Minor thirteen (m13)


Chord Syllabus


Advanced Chord Lessons

This part is under construction. Anything listed without a link is in the editing phase or on the list to be edited soon.


  1. Polychords
  2. Polytonality
  3. Alternate harmonizations: in 4ths
  4. Alternate Harmonizations: in 5ths
  5. Modulation
  6. Chord Substitution


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Last updated December 19, 2009
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