Which guitar chords go together?
In this page you can use our tool to select the chords you know and get a list of chords that will be helpful to learn alongside that particular chord.
Keep in mind, we're focusing primarily on open chords, since those are more important in the beginner stages of learning guitar. However, these same concepts can be applied to barre chords and power chords as well.
Let's get started.
Read more: How many guitar chords should I learn?
How to use the tool
Select between one and three chords that you know and our tool will spit out a list of corresponding chords, in the form of a chord progression, that you should try and learn.
Which Guitar Chords go together? Use our tool based on the chords you already know
Groups of Guitar Chords that Sound Good Together
If the quiz didn't fully answer your questions, here are a few groups of guitar chords that sound good when played together in a progression (more on those later).
- Progression 1: G, C, D, Em (common in multiple genres of music)
- Progression 2: F, C, G, Am (commonly used in country music)
- Progression 3: D, C, G, F (rock progression often used in drop D)
- Progression 4: E, A, B, C#m
- Progression 5: E, D, A
- Progression 6: Dm, F, C, G
All of these are common chord progressions made up of chords that sound good together. But how did we come up with them? If you want to dig into the theory and reasoning behind these chord combinations, that's what we'll do in the following sections.
How do you put chords together when learning guitar?
When chords are played in succession - one after the other - it's called a progression. Changing between chords can be as difficult or more than learning the chords themselves. However, once you know which ones go together in varying progressions, you can start to learn them one at a time.
One way to do this is to take a chord you do know and learn new chords based on that.
This is what we'll do in the next sections, to show you the rationale behind the quiz.
Which chords go together?
Whether you're talking about guitar or some other instrument, you can determine which chords go together by looking at chords within keys and scales.
For example, let's say you want to know which chords go with a G chord.
If you look up the G major scale, you'll find that it contains the following notes:
You can reason then that most of these chords will "work" with a G chord and will be worth learning if you want to start working on chord changes. In other words, you could try the following series of chords or chord progressions:
- G, C, D
- G, A, D
- G, E, A
Whenever you know one chord, you can start to craft pathways - using music theory - that will show you the next few chords you should learn.
Let's list a few common examples:
Which guitar chords go with C?
If you know a C chord, you can look up a C major scale, and you'll find the notes in the C major scale include the following:
Then, we can draw out the following chord progressions, with C as the root note and "anchor" of the pattern:
Common Chord Progressions
- C, D, G
- C, Bb, F
- C, G, D, E
- C, F, G
Again, these are just a few common examples, but they're an easy way to get started if you know one chord and you're trying to decide what to learn next. Based on these progressions, D and G are good follow up options.
Read the full review: Chordbuddy
Which chords go with E?
In the same way, we can look at the notes in the E major scale:
While there aren't as many chord progressions that can be drawn out of these notes, there are a few easy ones that I'd recommend starting to learn:
COMMON CHORD PROGRESSIONS
- E, A, B
- E, A, B, C#
- E, F#, G#, B
- E, F#, G#
Which chords go with Am?
For our final example, we'll look at guitar chords that go with Am, for a slightly different look. Again, we need to find the notes in the scale. For the Am scale, they are as follows:
This one is actually pretty simple. It gives us the following chord progressions:
COMMON CHORD PROGRESSIONS
- Am, Em, B
- G, C, Am, D
- D, Am, E
Again, these are just a few common examples. Any of the notes corresponding to the scale will be worth learning in addition to the original chord. In other words, if you know Am, learn C, D, and Em, as a follow up.
Why do certain chords sound good together?
When you're asking which chords go together, you're sort of asking an indirect question, because technically any two chords can go together. What you're asking is whether or not two chords will sound good together, which is a simpler way of saying you want chords that will produce harmony.
The Goal is Harmony
Harmony is a series of pitches (notes) that sound good together, though technically they don't need to sound any particular way. In practice, good harmony is a pleasing sound that resolves and makes music better.
For chords, your goal is to have one chord harmonize with the other, as you play them in succession. This is why you have some chord progressions that sound better than others and that are used more often.
Understanding Harmony VS Dissonance
The opposite of a resolving harmony is dissonance, which is when two notes clash or sound "off" when played in succession or unison. In most styles of music, particularly when you're learning guitar chord basics, you'll want to avoid dissonance.
Conclusion & Questions
At some point you'll learn enough chords that you won't need to worry about introducing new chords into your vocabulary.
Even with the large number of guitar chords that exist, you'll likely only use a small number of them on a regular basis. Learn enough to play some songs and get familiar with making common chord changes and then use the lists here to plan your next move.
If you have questions, feel free to leave them in the comments section below and we'll do our best to help out.