A guitar chord is a set of notes on a guitar, which together make up a chord. The notes in a chord can either be played simultaneously, when strummed with a plectrum, or one at a time, using a plectrum or fingers. Below is an example of a chord diagram depicting the chord 'C Major'.
Each vertical line in the above diagram represents a guitar string, with the line on the far right hand side being the string nearest to the floor. Each string is numbered, with the string nearest to the floor being one, up to six. The horizontal lines, excluding the first thicker line, refer to the frets.
Above the left most vertical line, the sixth string, you will notice an 'x', which signifies that for the 'C' chord you don't need to play this string. The 'o' above the third and first string mean that they are played open, without a finger on any fret.
The black dots with numbers in the middle refer to where you need to put your fingers to make up the chord and what fingers to use. So, in the case of the above chord you need to place your third finger just before, but not touching, the third fret on the fifth string, your second finger should be just before the second fret on the fourth string and your first finger just before the first fret on the second string.
Below is a selection of chords that are useful to know for any beginner. These chords alone make up numerous popular songs around today.
Bar chords are a type of chord where one or more fingers are used to hold down multiple strings on a particular fret. These chords are also referred to as moveable chords because the shape of the chord can be moved up and down the neck.
Below are a couple of examples of bar chords.