How to read chord diagrams

The chord chart or diagram is a schematic presentation of a chord, in this case for the guitar. Chord charts are the easiest way to learn how chords should be played. If you are uncertain how to interpret charts this guide will teach you.


A chord diagram is packed with information:

  • The name of the chord.
  • Fret positions (explains the position of the chord on the fretboard).
  • Finger placements (on this site violet dots mark where you should place your fingers).
  • Strings (six horizontal lines represent the guitar strings, the thickest strings are to the left).
  • Frets (vertical lines are representing the frets on the guitar).

This diagram explains further how to read a chord chart.

Chord chart

Look, it's the same chord!

Every picture below shows a G chord. The last diagram is that Guitar-chord.org use and that delivers the information you need in very a cut down design. The simplification makes it fast to read and easy to understand.

different chord diagrams

You may miss instructions about which fingers to use, but the thing is sometimes the same chord can be played with different fingerings. As a rule of thumb use what comes naturally for you and what doesn't involve unnecessary stretches.

Read also about How to play guitar chords.

JamPlay ad