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What are Chords?

A chord is more than one note played at the same time. Not all instruments can play chords and even among those that do, the guitar has unique advantages. Not only can the guitar use chords to accompany singers and other musical instruments, it also provides an effective rhythmic sound. The pick against the strings doubles as a percussion instrument. Even in fingerpicking styles, the rhythm of the fingers creates a steady pattern, adding texture to the music.

Why do I Need to Know My Chords?

There are many different chords and different types of chords, almost too many to list. However, the more you know, the better your overall understanding of the layout of the guitar will be. At a more advanced level, chords are like a "connect the dots" picture for a scale. They illustrate the primary tones in scales and modes and help to make possible a comprehensive, visual understanding of the key in which one is playing. Also, at a kinesthetic level, chords are a way for our fingers to physically automate our playing. As much as we want to always be mindful theoretically of what it is we are playing, muscle memory can play a huge part in our level of competence and fluidity on the guitar.





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