paisley from drone

The most significant barriers that most people face when they pick a guitar for the first time are the numerous chords they have to learn. Many may try to learn many of the Chords, while others may go ahead and get into barre chords known to be a little tricky. 


Therefore, the biggest question is usually how many chords are there? The answer to it is that it depends on many factors, such as whether all positions of chords on the guitar are included and whether we are only counting chords from using regular tuning.

The most relevant question is to know the different chords guitar for beginners, what the chords are and when you can learn them.



These chords are the different ways you can play the same chord. Open chords have one string open, while barre chords have your index finger pressing all strings in a fret. You can play A minor open and barre, and you will find that they sound nearly the same, and the notes define a chord.



B minor and A minor are different chords but are the same type, which is minor. For every type of chord, there exist different chords.

  • Power Chords

Power chords are not considered chords but dyads (two notes). Chords are three or more notes that sound concurrently.  In reality, power chords perform similar roles to chords.

  • Chord equivalents

Some chords have the same kind of notes hence making them the same chords. For example, Amin7 and C6 are similar notes. Chord equivalents have different roles in harmony, but they are used interchangeably.



  • Triads 

Triad chords have a stack of three notes and exist in intervals of thirds. There are four kinds of triads which include: 

Minor and major triads made of 1st, 3rd and 5th note of their scale and Minor and major triad chords are commonly used in music and are essential to learning first.

The augmented triad is made of a root, 3rd major and 5th augmented and diminished triad are made of a root, 3rd minor and 5th diminished. These two chords are less in use, and you can learn them eventually.

  • 7th Chords

Adding the 7th interval from a root to a triad forms 7th chords. The most popular 7th chords are Cmaj7, Cmin7 and C7. These chords are frequent, and hence it is best to learn the 7th chords early. The half-diminished chord is also essential in many musical contexts, so it is good to know it. Other chords are not so frequent and quite unlikely to encounter.

  • Extended Chords

Most extended chords are in use in Jazz and therefore are referred to as Jazz chords. You stack 3rds above 7th; we have 9th, 11th and 13th to form extended chords. We have the frequently encountered major, minor, dominant of the extended chords. There exist other variations, but the notes would require alteration forming other different types of chords.


Learning chords is beginning with the most frequent and slowly adding others with time since learning all at once may frustrate the process. The guitar is a lifetime process and requires lots of practice with hand placement, but it becomes easier with practice. Just begin and trust the process.