Music Theory

    Open Chords Lessons

Open position Chords are the first thing every guitar player should learn below are all the popular open position chords.



common open chords

i suggest you learn them once you can play them all easily move on through in the order of the lesson plan below .

 Lesson plan

  • building chords – scales and chord spellings
  • C.A.G.E.D System – chord forms
  • pentatonic – scales
  • Exercise musically – advice on learning scales

These open Chord forms are what the C.A.G.E.D. system is based on so be sure to look into learning that system after you have your open positions down.

The open position chords are shapes that you can move up and down the Fret Board

when you move them they become bare Chords and the names changed based on what the root Note is for the Chord.

Songs are made from these Chords in any given key you may have heard of Formulas like the I-IV-V  progression. when you hear things like that its just referring to order the chords appear in any given key.

Keys and Chord Orders

In any Key chord follow each other in order till they reach the end just like scales lets use the key of c major for example to try and under stand keys and progressions.

In the key of C major the C is the first Chord so You would call it the I chord in the Progression, the II chord is the D chord and the III chord would be the E Chord, IV the F , V would be G, VI A, and VII B. as you can see the chords go in order from the first chord of the key (whatever it may be) to the last and are numbered in that Order.

from this you can see how just saying key of c major I-IV-V you can derive the Chords and if you were to say key of F major I-IV-V you could get different chords but you could be able to figure out what they should be with this formula.

key of C major I chord C major IV F major V G major

key of F major I Chord F major IV B- major V C major

using a formula like I-IV-V or I-VI-IV-V is awesome for telling other musicians what Chords to play for a song.

for learning how to tell what chords go on what degrees (major minor ect) look into the Chord spelling section of the Site click here 


for ideal’s on how to improvise check out my riff section .(coming soon)