Major Bar Chords

For a beginning guitarist, it is only important to know the basic differences between types of chords. For our purposes, a major chord is a chord denoted simply by a letter, such as A, C, or G. This includes the open major chords and the bar major chords. Major bar chords have two shapes- one like an E chord and one like an A chord, each with a bar behind it. These two shapes can be moved up and down the fretboard to make many different major chords, with the name of the chord determined by its root note.

Minor Bar Chords

Minor chords are denoted by a capital letter with a lowercase m, such as Am and Em. Like major bar chords, minor bar chords have two shapes- depending on whether the root note is on the E string or the A string- with one like an Em chord and one like an Am chord, each with a bar behind it. These two shapes can also be moved up and down the fretboard to form different minor chords.

Seventh Bar Chords

Though not as prevalent as major and minor chords, seventh chords are very popular in jazz music and used less frequently in other popular types of music to provide a nice, different tone to a song. There are open seventh chords just like there are open major and minor chords, but for the sake of simplicity we will only discuss the bar seventh chord shape as this one shape can be used to make many different seventh chords all along the fretboard.