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Understanding Chord Diagrams, Scale Diagrams & Chord Progression Diagrams

Chord Diagrams
Below is a G Major chord expressed as a chord diagram. Notice there is only one note hit per string.

Notice the play button under the diagrams... Hit them to see and hear and examples of how these diagrams work.

Scale Diagrams
Next we see a G Major scale expressed as a scale diagram. Notice that with scale diagrams you hit more than one note per string.

Chord Progressions
Chord Progressions are just a series of chords in a particular order. This site is concerned with the order of chords not how they are played. For example, in the progression below I show the chords that are to be used and the order they go in, I don't try and tell you how the chords should be played.

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Mike Lindyn
Friday 2:01 am, 2/12/2010 Report
Hi dreadnaught,

No, this is not a mistake although I see what you mean and this can be a little confusing.

When you draw chord diagrams you don't have to start at the top of the neck (at the nut). In fact, you can start it anywhere on the fretboard. If you do start at the nut you put a really dark line (or just two lines) on the top of the diagram. See the G Major Chord diagram below.

However I can also write a G Major like this:

This chord is played on the third fret not on the second even though in this diagram it looks like it is. If you don't see the line representing the nut above a diagram you have to go by the number on the side of the diagram.

So, just remember if you don't see an extra line (or reaaly dark line) at the top of a diagram it means you have to look to the number on the side of the diagram to see where to play the chord or scale.

I do see how this could be confusing for players who are starting out so I might change the diagrams on this page.


Wednesday 7:09 pm, 1/27/2010 Report
Yeah, it's cool, but since I play guitar, G is on the 3rd fret of 6th or 1st string. Here, maybe an error: we see "3rd", but chord is played on 2nd fret. Sorry...

Sunday 3:04 am, 8/3/2008 Report
Very cool! Great tools to use here!