Forever Site Access Membership for $149 and never worry about a subscription again! Annual plan also available.

Live Streaming, Learning Ukulele with Curt on YouTube Every Thursday at 1100 EDT (USA) (-4UTC)



More Uke















A Guide to Guitar Chords

Covers basic guitar chords for beginning to intermediate guitar students.

PUBLISHED: Dec 23, 2004 UPDATED: Jan 5, 2020 • VIEWS: 69 • BOOK CODE: BC1GTR

Instruments: guitar Subjects: chordsbeginnerbasics

This Download is NOT part of your membership level. Sign-up for a Site Access or Upgrade your current access level to download this PDF or your can purchase a copy for download.

Each PDF file is a formatted high resolution file that prints out great. You'll need Adobe Reader or a PDF viewing application to view your PDF file.

This book is also available as a
Printed Hard Copy

A Guide to Guitar Chords

Product Code: BC1GTR
Author(s): Curt Sheller
Publisher(s): Curt Sheller Publications
Published: 2004-12-23 00:00:00
ISBN-13: 978-1-60321-035-5

Size: 8.5 x 11
Size: 8.5 x 11
Pages: 58
Price, Hard Copy: $15.95
Price, PDF: $9

Covers basic guitar chords for beginning to intermediate guitar students. These are the chords that ALL guitar should know - regardless of style.


After playing guitar for over 40 years and teaching guitar for 20 years I saw that most guitar players struggle with movable chords forms and the more advanced chords commonly called "Jazz" chords.

Seeing that there was a lack of clear, concise and an organized presentation of material for guiding one through the maze of chords for the guitar. I decided to create just such a text.

This book provides a guide to the common basic open position chords all guitar players should know, an introduction to movable chord forms and more advanced 4-part jazz chords.

This book is designed as a guide to guitar chords. Covering basic open position guitar chords, movable chord forms, rock chords, how to transpose chords, learning the guitar fingerboard and an introduction to 4-part"Jazz" chords and more… It is proven material developed over the years from my private teaching and extensive research, study and application.

From a few basic chord shapes and a understanding of how chords are constructed your chord vocabulary can be dramatically increased without memorizing countless more chord shapes. There are too many chord shapes to memorize.

This book will take the mystery out playing and understanding chords on the guitar.

Why Buy My Books

How to pay for this book

Thanks for visiting! I hope you’ve enjoyed the site so far. My site does not run ads. It’s supported by visitors, premium site members, and readers like you.

Short Answer

Because this book is only available directly through me (Curt Sheller), this site, and at our Funky Frets family music store. It is the only way this book can earn its keep, and its only source of revenue is visitors and site members like you. If you don’t pay, the book dies, gets no updates, etc…

Good news is you can become a Premium Site Member your get this book for FREE as part of your paid subscription.

Long Answer

I’m not a venture-funded startup nor a major corporation. I’m—a self-employed musician, author, teacher, graphic artist located in southeastern Pennsylvania, USA. And this web site, books, lessons, songs and content have been grinding along in one form or another along since 1995, the ukulele part has literally been a full time effort since 2003 - literally years of effort have gone into creating this content.

Making my books only available on this, my web site is an experiment in using the web as a serious book publishing platform. My goal is to take my music expertise and knowledge that I've gained from the past 40 plus years of serious study, research and application as a performer, student, author, private music teacher and make it available in your quest to be a better musician, enjoy the ukulele more or just having more fun in what you are doing.

I wanted to deliver and present this material with a high standard of quality typically associated with traditional printed, mass produced books by traditional publishers. While taking advantage of all the web has to offer.

All my, Curt Sheller books are the sole product, with 100% of, and all the effort, graphic design, site coding, content, marketing, fulfillment, etc... - by one person – yours truly. And with the help of a few trusted fellow musicians, family, and friends to review before a book is released to wild.

Your purchase supports all that it takes to keep this site going. And, a membership is the best way to do that. I'll not do the Pateron or Kickstarter route for begging for money (nothing against fellow artists that go that route. pateron is a great way to support an artist - just not my cup-of-tea.)

Table of Contents

Table of Contents: A Guide to Guitar Chords

  • Introduction 3
  • Open Position Chords 7
    • The Guitar Chord Diagram 8
  • Movable Barre Forms 15
    • “E/F” Barre Form 16
    • “A/Bb” Barre Form 17
    • “C/Db” Movable Form 18
    • sus, add9 and Power 5 Chords 19
    • Neutral Chords 20
    • Barre Chords Fret Chart Summary 21
    • Root & Fifth Chart 22
  • Movable Triad Chord Forms 23
    • Major Triads • String Family 1 2 3 & 2 3 4 24
    • Minor Triads • String Family 1 2 3 & 2 3 4 24
    • Diminished Triads • String Family 1 2 3 & 2 3 4 25
    • Augmented Triads • String Family 1 2 3 & 2 3 4 25
    • Tips for Remembering Triads 26
  • Movable 4-Part Chord Forms 27
    • Movable 7th Chords at Fret (1) • String Family 1 2 3 4 28
    • Generic • Movable 7th Chords • String Family 1 2 3 4 28
    • Additional 7th Movable Chord Forms 28
    • Movable 7th Chords at Fret (1) • String Family 2 3 4 6 29
    • Movable 7th Chords at Fret (1) • String Family 3 4 5 6 29
    • Tips for Remembering 4-Part Chords 30
  • 4-Part “Jazz” Chord Forms 31
    • What is a Chord? 32
    • A Few Chord Building Rules 33
    • Creating the 4 Basic Chord Types 34
    • Building More Advanced Chords 35
    • Scale Interval Formula Chart 38
    • Suggested Learning Order 40
  • Transposing Chords & Progressions 43
    • How to Transpose Chords 44
  • Practice Chord Progressions 47
    • Orlando Blues 48
    • WC Swing 49
  • Learning the Guitar Fingerboard 51
    • Reference or Key Frets 51
    • Enharmonic equivalents 53
    • Sharps to Flats 53
    • Flats to Sharps 53
    • Standard Tuning Natural & Sharp Notes 54
    • Standard Tuning Natural & Flat Notes 55
  • Conclusion 57

Errata: A Guide to Guitar Chords

  • 12/26/2004 - (20041226.1.1) Error on page 21 fixed. C/Db should be same as A/Bb column.

The latest download ( PDF or eBook ) always has the latest changes and errata changes incorporated and contain the most up-to-date version of the file. If you download the book from you'll be notified when there is a new version of the book available.

Related Lessons

Related Lessons for A Guide to Guitar Chords at this time.

Basic Open Position Guitar Chords - Standard Tuning • Updated: Aug 22, 2015

Not to leave our guitar players out of the action here is a chart for basic chords for guitar. The basic open position chords that all guitar players should know. These are typically the first chords beginner learn.

Guitar Fingerboard Chart - 6 String, Standard Tuning • Updated: Feb 12, 2013

<p>Fingerboard reference chart of natural, sharp and flats note names for six string guitar in standard tuning (E A D G B E).</p>

Understanding a Guitar Chord Diagram • Updated: Jun 4, 2012

The traditional/standard guitar chord diagram is typically used for showing chords. It is also used for showing scales-shapes, licks, and runs.

Related Books

Related Books for A Guide to Guitar Chords at this time.

A Guide to Ukulele Chords for Lefties
Updated: Jan 10, 2020

Covering basic ukulele chords that ALL uke players MUST know, movable chord forms, rock uke chords, how to transpose chords, learning the ukulele fingerboard and an introduction to 4-part jazz chords and more... FOR LEFTIES - Tunings: C, G, or D Tunings. Low or high string four variations.

A Guide to Ukulele Chords, 2nd Edition
Updated: Jan 10, 2020

A Guide to Ukulele Chords, Second Edition is designed as a guide to ukulele chords. Covering the basic ukulele chords that ALL ukulele players SHOULD know. A Guide to Ukulele Chords covers movable chord forms, rock chords, how to transpose chords, learning the ukulele fingerboard and includes an introduction to 4-part, a.k.a jazz chords and more...

Related Songs

Related Songs for A Guide to Guitar Chords at this time.

Any Song Will Do Updated: Dec 7, 2015

This is not really a song, but simply saying that for the purposes of a lot of the lessons and lesson series on this site ANY song will do for exploring the lesson's material and concepts presented in the lesson.

Site Access Plans for

Forever Access - With Forever Premium Access, you get Unlimited 24/7 access to ALL lessons, downloads, songs, play-along jam tracks, videos, email access to Curt, resources, related assets, and ALL books by Curt as FREE downloads. Pretty much everything on the site and NEVER worry about a subscription or surprise payment again. And jump the queue for responding to any questions.

If your anything like me (Curt) and getting Subscription overloaded with everything on-line wanting money from you once a month — I'm with you. For like-minded individuals, this forever plan is a pay once and your done.

The price for Unlimited Forever access is right around the cost of a few months of private lessons. I can guarantee that is more material on-line to keep you busy for a long, long time. And, you get all of my books for FREE. That along is more than the cost of this plan.

Premium Access - This premium gives you Unlimited 24/7 access to ALL lessons, downloads, songs, play-along jam tracks, videos, email access to Curt, resources and related assets. As well as ALL books by Curt Sheller as FREE downloads.

Basic Access - A limited selection of basic lessons — ( currently over 140 ) and 100+ songs for ukulele as well as basic general music reference material — Completely FREE — Simply Register/Signup. HOWEVER - I've been doing ukulele and since 2003 and probably have given too much away already - as reflected in my income from the site in relationship to the time spent on the site. So help support this site and its continued development by signing up for one of the below Premium Access Plans or buy a few of my books. - Thanks, Curt

NOTE: Each higher access level includes ALL the benefits of the lower levels. Private Lessons include all the benefits of a Premium Access Plans as long as you remain a student on the schedule.

Just browsing over both books, they look fantastic! I'm a guitarist and uke player for over 25 years and was thinking about writing a ukulele book but you've already written what I think are the best, most comprehensive and thorough books I've ever seen for the instrument. I just might end up buying every book you've written and I'll be giving my highest recommendation for your books to my friends and students. Thank you so much for taking the time to write such great books!Peter Rhee

Aloha, Curt, All I can say is WOW! What you have accomplished is simply incredible! All the bestGlen Hirabayashi, The Aloha Boys

Folks, if you haven't stopped by Curt's site, do so right now! ..And get his books, they are fantastic. This guy knows his stuff and is able to pass it along too.Alan Johnson Proprietor, The 4th Peg

I can highly recommend Curt's Uke books — I have four of them and they are excellent.fatveg — Portland

Thanks for visiting and checking out the site!


Original Curtie Animation from 1987 for my first web site on a Macintosh II. 34 years ago. Man, does time fly.

“Built for myself (Curt), and sharing with the `Ukulele community!” has one of the largest collections of lessons, songs, and TABS, luthiers, ukulele builders, ukulele festival and club information, and, ukulele links on the web. I’ve been on the ®Internet since the early 1990's and This site just never stops growing!!!

Content is added and updated almost daily - so check back often. I really do need to get out more ;-)