Our First Chords (part 1): The Chord Of A

Rhythm guitar and lead guitar are of equal importance in blues. We’re going to learn some great licks and solos throughout this course, but there’s also going to be a strong emphasis on mastering rhythm guitar. If you play blues, or any form of music, for that matter, you’ll most likely spend more time playing chords and accompanying other musicians than you’ll spend soloing.

In just a few lessons from now, we’ll learn to play 12 bar blues, which is based around just 3 chords. We’re going to learn 3 of the most important guitar chords right now, regardless of the style of music you play. These are the chords of A, D and E, starting, in this lesson, with the chord of A.

Lesson sheets accompany many of our videos. There is no need to read standard music notation, since these sheets feature either chord diagrams or guitar tablature (tab). Both are very simple to understand.

How To Read Chord Diagrams

The vertical lines correspond to the guitar’s 6 strings (L-R: EADGBE). The horizontal lines correspond to the frets. The dots tell us where to put our fingers and the numbers correspond to the right-hand fingers. It’s as simple as that!

Additional information for understanding chord diagrams:

X = Do NOT play this string
O = Open string

How To Read Guitar Tablature Or “Tab”

Again, reading tab is very easy: Each horizontal line corresponds to a string on the guitar. The lowest line is our low E string and the topmost line is our high E (see how the chords of A, D and E are written in tab on our lesson sheet, below the chord diagrams).

The numbers correspond to the frets, with “0” being an open string.

Later in the course, we will see other symbols appearing in our tabs, such as string bends, hammer-ons, pull-offs and slides. These should be easy to follow, since we will introduce each new technique separately.

Backing Tracks

Lesson Sheets

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