37 Open Chords

This post includes 37 open chords that are used in the book 'Open Chords Made Easy'. Each chord has a unique number so that you can easily locate a particular chord when playing one of the pieces. This is all explained in the lesson, how to read the strumming guides and chord charts. 37 chords? Yes, that's a lot. There are really only 15 main open chords, but there are a lot of small variations, which is why so many have been included. … [Read more...]

How To Read Chord Diagrams

You might already know how to read chord diagrams. If so, you can skip this lesson. However, if you find that interpreting chord diagrams is a bit hit and miss - sometimes you get them right, other times everything is upside-down etc, then you will find this short tutorial quite useful. Chord diagrams are relatively simple diagrams that tell us how to play a certain chord. Let’s look at a chord diagram for the D major chord: … [Read more...]

Save Space With Repeats

Repeats are used to save space and reduce clutter. Why write something out five times when you can use repeats? In the book 'Open Chords Made Easy', there are multiple types of repeats that are used. The first type of repeat is a symbol that looks like a percentage sign. This is a repeat symbol that is used commonly (it is not specific to this site or book) to indicate that the previous bar is to be repeated. We will only be using it in the chord charts and only to indicate that a strumming rhythm is being repeated, not necessarily a chord. If a chord is to be repeated, it is simply written … [Read more...]

How To Read The Strumming Guides And Chord Charts

Each piece in the book 'Open Chords Made Easy' contains a rhythm guitar part that is divided into two sections: Chord Chart Strumming Guide Chord Charts A chord chart (as seen below) is a standard way of transcribing the chords of a particular song or piece of music. Chord charts vary in format and depth of detail. The thing that makes the chord charts that are in the book easy to follow, is the inclusion of rhythms with each bar, and the accompanying strumming guide. Look at the example chord chart below and then read the following explanations. … [Read more...]

The Relationship Between Rhythm And Strumming

If you read the previous lesson on the basics of rhythm, you should have a good understanding of what rhythm is and how it relates to the beat and the meter. In this lesson, we are going to explore the relationship between rhythm and strumming. Firstly, strumming, on a basic level, involves playing a certain rhythm by striking the strings using a combination of downward and upward ‘strums’. I know that might seem very simplistic, but on a basic level, that’s what it’s all about. Any connection (clap, strum etc.) that is played on a number (1, 2, 3, or 4) is said to be played on a down … [Read more...]

Rhythm – Pulse, Meter And Subdivision

In this first lesson from 'Open Chords Made Easy', we are going to explore what rhythm is. If the concept of rhythm is at all confusing to you, you've come to the right place. This section is a bit lengthy, but I have written it using very simple concepts and without relying on standard music notation. This is not to dumb it down at all. I have kept it simple for two reasons; Firstly, to demonstrate that rhythm is a simple and instinctive concept. If you can count, you can understand rhythm. If you have ever clapped along to a song, danced, or tapped your foot, you intuitively understand … [Read more...]