Open Chords For Guitar: Diagrams For All Open Position Chords

What Are Open Chords For Guitar?

Open chords are guitar chords that contain one or more of the guitar’s six open strings. Because open chords contain these unfretted, “open”, notes, they tend to sound brighter and sustain longer than barre chords, whose notes are all held down by the fretting hand. In addition, open chords are usually easier to play than barre chords because not all of their notes are fretted.

Open E Chord For Guitar
Open E Major chord. In this chord, 3 strings (bottom E, B, and top E) are unfretted ("open"), and are allowed to ring free. The remaining 3 strings are fretted, as per the diagram. Scroll down for diagrams of all common open guitar chords.

On this page you’ll find diagrams for all open chords that are commonly used by guitarists. These include major, minor, dominant 7th, and several other types of chord.

  • If you don't know how to read chord diagrams, then visit this page first: How To Play Guitar Chords
  • You can use the Open Chord Index, below, to find the open chord you need.
  • Any questions? Feel free to ask them in the comments section at the bottom of the page.

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Open Chord Index

Click on the required chord type or individual chord from the list below (or continue scrolling to see all of the chords).

Additional Info

Major Open Chords For Guitar

Major chords have a cheerful, optimistic sound. A basic major chord consists of three notes: the root, the major third and the perfect fifth. In a major guitar chord, at least one of these notes is usually repeated at a different octave, which is why these open chords usually have more than three notes.

The symbol for a major chord is a single capital letter. So, if you see a “D”, you play a D major chord, and if you see an “E”, you play an E major chord, etc.

Open Chords Guitar Major
Major Open Chords For Guitar

Open A Guitar Chord

A Open Guitar Chord

Open C Guitar Chord

C Open Guitar Chord

Open D Guitar Chord

D Open Guitar Chord

Open E Guitar Chord

E Open Guitar Chord

F Guitar Chord

F Open Guitar Chord

The F major chord above is not an open chord, but it is played in open position (i.e. the first four frets) and is a useful chord to know.

Open G Guitar Chord

G Open Guitar Chord

Minor Open Chords For Guitar

Minor chords tend to have a “sad” sound. Like major chords, minor chords contain three notes, but instead of a major third, minor chords contain a minor 3rd.

As with most guitar chords, one or more notes in a minor may be repeated in a different octave within the same chord, which explains why the following minor open chords consist of more than three notes.

Open Chords Guitar Minor
Minor Open Chords For Guitar

Open Am Guitar Chord

Am Open Guitar Chord

Bm Guitar Chord

Bm Open Guitar Chord

The Bm chord above is not an open chord, but it is played in open position and has been included for completeness. You can play the open D string as part of the chord, but to our ears it doesn't sound quite as good. Mute the D string by gently resting the index finger of the fretting hand on it.

Open Dm Guitar Chord

Dm Open Guitar Chord

Open Em Guitar Chord

Em Open Guitar Chord

Open Dominant 7th Chords For Guitar

Seventh chords are also known as “dominant 7th chords”. They have an “expectant”, unstable sound that is often used by songwriters and composers either to lead the melody back to the starting key, or to introduce a key change.

In most cases seventh chords are used before the major chord whose root note is a perfect fifth lower than that of the 7th chord.

Try playing an E7 chord, followed by an A chord. Upon hearing the E7 chord, the ear expects to hear an A chord. (You can try the same thing playing an A7 chord followed by a D chord, or a G7 followed by a C chord.)

Open Chords For Guitar 7th

Open A7 Guitar Chord

A7 Open Guitar Chord

Open B7 Guitar Chord

B7 Open Guitar Chord

Open C7 Guitar Chord

C7 Open Guitar Chord

Open D7 Guitar Chord

D7 Open Guitar Chord

Open E7 Guitar Chord

E7 Open Guitar Chord

Open G7 Guitar Chord

G7 Open Guitar Chord

Open Minor 7th Chords For Guitar

Minor 7th chords have a “bluesy”, “jazzy” sound and can sound quite dark and mysterious. You can use them to play funky, “cool” rhythms.

Open chords guitar m7

Open Am7 Guitar Chord

Am7 Open Guitar Chord

Open Dm7 Guitar Chord

Dm7 Open Guitar Chord

Open Em7 Guitar Chord

Em7 Open Guitar Chord

Major 7th Open Chords For Guitar

Major 7th chords have a bright, jazzy sound. Jazz musicians often use them in place of standard major chords for a slightly more colorful sound.

Major 7 open chords guitar

Open Amaj7 Guitar Chord

Amaj7 Open Guitar Chord

Open Cmaj7 Guitar Chord

Cmaj7 Open Guitar Chord

Open Dmaj7 Guitar Chord

Dmaj7 Open Guitar Chord

Open Fmaj7 Guitar Chord

Fmaj7 Open Guitar Chord

Open Gmaj7 Guitar Chord

Gmaj7 Open Guitar Chord

Open 6th Chords For Guitar

You can often substitute major chords with 6th chords to give a song a more interesting, somewhat ambiguous sound.

A 6th chord contains the same notes as a minor 7th chord with a root note a minor third (3 frets) lower.

For example, a C6 chord contains the notes C, E, G, and A; an Amin7 chord contains the notes A, C, E, and G. In general, the note used as the bass note determines whether the chord is a 6 chord or a min7 chord.

6 Open chords For Guitar

Open A6 Guitar Chord

A6 Open Guitar Chord

Open D6 Guitar Chord

D6 Open Guitar Chord

Open E6 Guitar Chord

E6 Open Guitar Chord

Open G6 Guitar Chord

G6 Open Guitar Chord

Open Add9 Chords For Guitar

Add9 chords are major chords with an additional note: the ninth note. They have a bright, “optimistic” sound that can add “sparkle” to your songs. Try replacing major chords with add9 chords to hear what we mean.

add9 open chords for guitar

Open Aadd9 Guitar Chord

Aadd9 Open Guitar Chord

Open Cadd9 Guitar Chord

Cadd9 Open Guitar Chord

Open Eadd9 Guitar Chord

Eadd9 Open Guitar Chord

Open Gadd9 Guitar Chord

Gadd9 Open Guitar Chord

Open Sus4 Chords For Guitar

Sus4 chords substitute the 3rd note of either a major or a minor chord with a perfect 4th note. For example, a C major chord contains the notes C, E and G, whereas a Csus4 chord contains the notes C, F and G.

Following a sus4 chord, the ear expects to hear the normal major chord. For example, if you play a Dsus4 chord, your ear will expect to hear a D chord.

sus4 open chords for guitar

Open Asus4 Guitar Chord

Asus4 Open Guitar Chord

Open Dsus4 Guitar Chord

Dsus4 Open Guitar Chord

Open Esus4 Guitar Chord

Esus4 Open Guitar Chord

We encourage you to experiment with all of the chords on this page. The “standard” major, minor and 7th chords are the “building blocks” of most songs. Major 7, minor 7, sus9 chords can add new and interesting sounds to chord progressions, and can provide inspiration for new songs and compositions.

Open Position Chords

Open chords are also known as open position chords, because the fretted notes of the chords are generally played within the first three or four frets. Chords and melodies played within this fretboard position often contain open (unfretted) notes, hence the name “open position”.

(In guitar playing, “position” means the fret number at which the fretting hand is positioned. For example, if you’re playing a barre chord with your index finger on the third fret, you’re in 3rd position.)

Open Chords Vs Barre Chords

Barre / bar chords don’t contain open notes and require the player to stretch the index finger over the fretboard in order to play more than one note at the same time.

F bar chord for guitar

A bar chord being played. Note how the index finger (the “bar”) is placed over the fretboard to play more than one note at the same time. This blocks off the open strings, but also allows the chord to be moved to different frets.

Unlike bar chords, open chords for guitar aren’t “movable”. This is due to the open strings contained in open chords; if you move the other fingers, the open strings will still be the same notes. Because the open strings don’t change pitch in relation to the other, fretted, notes, the chord won’t have been transposed.

  • For a complete description of bar/barre chords, together with diagrams of all common bar chord shapes, see this page: Bar Chords For Guitar

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