In this roundup we're looking at some of the best places to learn guitar chords, focusing on mobile apps, websites, and online resources. While there are always going to be plenty of chord diagrams, these are places to learn chords that I've used personally and have found more helpful than your average chord sheet.
We'll keep this list simple, going through one resource at a time with a screen grab of the app or website and a brief description.
If you have questions about the material mentioned here, or about learning guitar chords in general, feel free to leave a note in the comments section below.
Otherwise, we'll start by outlining a few things that I like to look for when learning chords:
- Explains chord construction
- Keeps chord diagrams simple
- Offers material beyond just chords
- Teaches you how to apply chords (how to learn songs)
These are four aspects of learning guitar chords that I think are really important, and the websites I've recommend here reflect that.
Let's get started with some simple diagram resources.
1. Guitar Tricks HTML 5 Chord Diagrams
The Guitar Tricks chord diagram library is built with HTML5 so they aren't technically images.
They also have just about every chord imaginable with 2210 total.
While Guitar Tricks is a paid membership site, the chord diagrams are completely free to access. If you use this link and sign up for a membership or free trial, it helps support our site at no extra cost to you.
If not, just enjoy the chords.
Read more: Checkout the chord diagrams on Guitar Tricks
2. Uberchord App
The Uberchord app is similar to Yousician in that it has the ability to listen to, and analyze, your playing as you play.
Uberchord is more focused on chord diagrams, rhythm, and songs, in that it helps you learn chords and then walks you through songs in order to apply them. As you play, Uberchord adapts to your skill level and provides an element of real-time feedback.
Do we want another app that "listens" to us? Maybe, maybe not.
But there's no denying, it's an effective way to learn guitar chords.
Check it out: Download the Uberchord app
Chordify is a web app that allows you to look up any song on YouTube, then uses its interface to show you the chords as the song plays.
It's a lot of fun as you can look up just about any song - including popular TV show theme songs - and then play them quickly in real-time. It's particularly helpful for acoustic guitar players and bass players.
4. FAChord's Interactive Apps
FAChords Guitar has built several interactive fretboard apps that are excellent and extremely helpful when it comes to learning guitar chords and/or scales.
They're presented as a fretboard view with audio and a simple interface for researching and changing chords and the positions thereof.
It's a great tool for students and teachers alike.
Check it out: Use the chord finder
5. Art of Manliness "Three Guitar Chords" Article
One of the most popular and longest running articles on Art of Manliness is a write-up titled 3 Guitar Chords Every Man Should Know.
It's a simple and complete introduction to G, C, and D, giving you some foundational tools to play a few songs and start putting together a larger chord vocabulary.
Check it out: Three Guitar Chords Every Man Should Know
6. Justin Sandercoe's Chords for Beginners Section
In the Chords for Beginners section of his website, Justin Sandercoe has six chord courses that increase in difficulty as you go.
It's free and one of the best resources of its kind if you want to just get started with learning chords on the guitar and not have to pay for a course. While there are some limitations to free content, Sandercoe has done a great job over the years of putting his content together in an effective manner.
7. TrueFire's Downloadable Chord Charts
In exchange for an email address, TrueFire will send you a free chord chart that's fairly large and can be printed out. This is a good fit for classroom walls or those that need a chart for display in a larger form.
8. The Guitar Chalk Chords Archive
We've also put together a section of downloadable guitar chord charts, where each chord gets its own file and can be downloaded as a PDF.
These are a bit smaller (not poster size) than the TrueFire chord diagrams but great for flash cards or can even be used on other websites. We just ask that you credit Guitar Chalk for the material.
Check it out: Download the guitar chord charts
Though an older site and deceptively simple, all-guitar-chords.com has several tools for learning both chords and scales on the guitar.
It's similar to the FAChords interface, but more of a reference than an interactive tool. At Guitar Chalk we've been referring to their site for years when putting together our own chord and scale material.
Check it out: The all-guitar-chords tools
Oolimo is a well-designed website with resources for learning the basics of music theory as it relates to guitar chords, chord types, and chord progressions.
They also have several tools including a chord finder, chord charts, and chord analyzer.
There are even quizzes built in to help you test your knowledge.
The chord charts are extremely easy to navigate, and the design of the interface is exceptionally good. It's a diamond in the rough for those wanting to learn guitar chords and a fresh take on the traditional lesson site.
Check it out: Oolimo chord resources
The main reason I like Chordbank is the angled 3-D graphic of a guitar neck they present with each chord diagram.
It's extremely helpful to be able to see the diagram in a three-dimensional view from the angle you would be looking at while actually playing the chord on the fretboard. We took a screenshot of the web version above, but there's an iPhone and Android app as well.
Check it out: Visit Chordbank
12. Loog Guitars
The Loog concept not only makes a guitar smaller for kids to handle, but also reduces the number of strings in the models for kids eight and under, making it far easier for them to learn guitar chords.
Combined with flash cards and educational content, these small-form guitars are fantastic teaching tools, and ideal for helping your child or a younger student get started with the guitar, or even music lessons in general.
Check it out: Loog guitars
There are a ton of resources out there for chords relating to all instruments, especially the guitar. But we've found the above websites, apps, and tools to go a step beyond just providing a diagram or some kind of cheat sheet. These are resources that we've found to be more helpful than the average chord chart and have actually accelerated the process of learning chords and improving our guitar playing.
We'd recommend exploring a few that look good to you and stick with them. For example, you might find that Oolimo and Chordify are two places you keep going back to.
If so, stay the course and get good at using those resources.
As you advance and progress, you'll need less help learning guitar chords and will be able to use tools like these to apply what you've learned instead of just continuously memorizing chord diagrams.
Your questions & thoughts
If you have questions about the material we've recommended here, feel free to drop a line in the comments section below and we'll do our best to assist.
See you there.