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How do I learn chords on HandyChord?

This website is designed for visual learning.  You do not need to know any notes on the guitar fretboard or any music theory.  All you need is a guitar in your lap, and some eyes.

Topics on this page:
Find Chords   Learn   Perspective   Comment   Share   Learn More

Find Chords

You can find chords that you're looking for by either typing the chord name into the search box,

or by browsing for them in the chord browser.

If you are a beginner and just want to learn some basic chords, go to the chord browser and select "Open Position" and "Beginner" from the filters column on the left.  That will show you the most common beginner level chords.

To find a specific type of chord, use the filter in the left column.  For example, if you want to find only chords in the 5th position of the guitar neck, you'd select 5th position.  If you are looking for advanced level F chords, you'd select F as the root, and "advanced" as the difficulty level.  The chord browser allows you to filter by root note, chord quality(major, minor, diminished, etc...), difficulty level, strings used, and special tags such as "Open Position", and "Uses Thumb".  You may also conduct a chords only search by clicking on the search tab at the top of the chord browser.


When viewing a chord, you'll initially see the video with the diagram overlay on top.

You can use the fader to adjust the display to show more of the diagram, or more of the chord video.  This can help you to get a better idea of what should be happening when you play that chord.

Use this fader at the top right of the screen...

...to fade the chord display between video and diagram.

The numbers above the guitar neck are the fret numbers.  The red dots are finger positions.  Red circles at the nut(farthest end of the fretboard) indicate open strings.  Let those strings ring out.  If there is no red dot or circle on a string, it is meant to be silent, or muted.  Try to duplicate the finger positions and technique that you see in the video.  If you're having trouble understanding where to position your fingers, slide the fader to display more of the diagram.  When you understand the string/fret positions, try fading back to the video to copy the technique.  If you're having trouble wrapping your head around the chord, changing the perspective might help.


If you want to see the chord as if you're looking down at the guitar in your lap, rotate the perspective by clicking the rotate button in the control bar.  Using a first-person view might be the best way for you to learn.

Rotate Button

Also, if you're left handed, you can mirror the video to effectively change between left, and right handed chords.  
If you forgot your glasses, or just need to see the chord up close, click zoom. 


Once you master a chord, leave a comment on it!  Something like "I came, I saw, I conquered this chord."  The comment area is just beneath the chord's sharing links in the center of the page.  Just fill in your comment and click "post comment".  You'll also need to have an account and be logged in.  Bear in mind that any comments you leave appear in your account activity and are searchable by anyone.  Keep it nice :)

Create an Account

To create an account, click "register" at the top right of the page underneath "log in".  Fill out the form and click "register".  You'll also need to agree to the privacy policy.  It's as easy as that.  You'll get an email that contains a link where you can activate your account. Once you activate the account, you'll be able to log in. Once you have an account, you can leave comments on chords and post topics and responses to topics in the forums.


If you like the chord you're working on, click "Like" and you will like it on faceboook. You're friends will be able to see the chord you liked in your news feed. You can also tweet it to the world, share the url, or promote it with Digg or Reddit.  The sharing links appear just below the chord video.

Learn More

If you want to see other variations of the chord you're working on, click the chord name at the top left of the page.  It will return you to the chord browser showing you all the other chords with that same name.  As HandyChord develops, there will be lessons posted in the Lessons area, so check back often to see whats new.

HandyChord is a place for learning guitarists to increase their chord knowledge. Musicians who are educating themselves in music theory or chord theory can use the chords on this site as a reference, or a place to start learning. The lessons here contain information about proper technique, chord structures, and playing guitar in general. The chords and lessons on this site relate to all styles of music: rock, pop, classical, folk, jazz, fusion, heavy metal, funk, etc. The forums allow musicians and music lovers to communicate and help each other with musical questions. Related topics include: guitar tab, guitar lessons, online music lessons, beginning guitar, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, guitar sales, music performance, musicians, bands, arists, live music, concerts, education, practice, technique.