How To Play Chords & Scales On Guitar

Andrew Clarke  /  Articles UPDATED Mar 23, 2023

With all the guitar chords and scales out there, it can be a little overwhelming trying to figure out which ones you truly need to know to get the most out of your instrument. And in the age of the internet, where an endless waterfall of information is at the tips of our fingers, finding a clear and concise answer can pose an even greater challenge.

This is exactly why we created the ultimate resource for guitarists that want to learn all the essential chords and scales in one place:

The Guitareo Chords & Scales Poster 🎸

Hang it up on your wall and never forget how to play an essential chord or scale again!


This article is designed to go hand-in-hand with the Chords & Scales poster so you can see a high-quality, real-world example of every chord and scale. Use these links to jump to a section:

I. Open Chords
II. Bar Chords
III. Scales
IV. Modes

Open Chords

Here you’ll find videos on how to play all of the most important open chords. These are the best guitar chords for beginners, and essential for playing your favorite songs. Open chords can even be played all over the fretboard with the use of a capo — which is one of the best accessories for guitar players.

A Major Open Chord 

A Minor Open Chord 

A Major 7 Open Chord 

A7 Open Chord 

A Minor 7 Open Chord 

B7 Open Chord 

B Minor 7 Open Chord 

C Major Open Chord 

C Major 7 Open Chord 

C7 Open Chord

D Maior Open Chord 

D Minor Open Chord

D Major 7 Open Chord

D7 Open Chord 

D Minor 7 Open Chord

E Major Open Chord

E Minor Open Chord

E Major 7 Open Chord

E7 Open Chord

E Minor 7 Open Chord

F Major Open Chord

G Major Open Chord

G7 Open Chord

Bar Chords

Bar chords require more strength and dexterity to play than open chords, but can be a particularly useful tool for playing chords in different keys. Learn how to play the ten most important bar chord shapes with these videos.

E-String Root Major Bar Chord

E-String Root Minor Bar Chord

E-String Root Major 7 Bar Chord

E-String Root 7 Bar Chord

E-String Root Minor 7 Bar Chord

A-String Root Major Bar Chord

A-String Root Minor Bar Chord

A-String Root Major 7 Bar Chord

A-String Root 7 Bar Chord

A-String Root Minor 7 Bar Chord


Guitar scales aren’t nearly as intimidating as many people think they are — and if you want to be able to rip a tasty solo, then you’ll need to know how to play a few. These seven scales are the most basic when it comes to playing lead guitar.

Minor Pentatonic Scale

Major Pentatonic Scale

Minor Blues Scale

Major Blues Scale

Harmonic Minor Scale

Melodic/Jazz Minor Scale

Chromatic Scale


Take things a step further and learn about modes on the guitar. These more advanced scales are a great way to add soul and flavor to your solos while simultaneously deepening your understanding of music theory.

Ionian Scale

Dorian Scale

Phrygian Scale

Lydian Scale

Mixolydian Scale

Aeolian Scale

Locrian Scale

By using these videos along with your Chords & Scales poster, you’ll have a huge library of chords and scales to reference while you improve your guitar skills. If you haven’t picked up your poster yet, you can click here to buy one.

Andrew Clarke is a guitarist, educator, and content creator from Vancouver, Canada. He's best known for his YouTube channel, where he creates easy-to-follow guitar lessons and informative guitar gear videos. Andrew also manages The Riff.

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