ChordBank, How to Play Chords on Guitar
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Helping millions play guitar better, since 2010.

HOW TO PLAY

D Major

One of the first chords beginners should learn, if not the first chord, is the D chord.

It only uses three fingers, and you place those fingers in a comfortable spot, on the first three strings (remember, we count our strings from the thinnest to the thickest).

Here's how they fall on the fretboard:

132

From your perspective, as you look down at the fretboard, a D chord looks like this:

STEP BY STEP

  1. Put your first finger on the second fret of the third string.
  2. Put your second finger on the second fret of the first string.
  3. Put your third finger on the third fret of the second string.
  4. Strum only the highest four strings.

THEORY

D Major is a major triad, built up of the root, the major third, and the perfect fifth:

Here is how those notes are actually distributed across your fretboard

DADF

Here’s how you might play the same chord on the piano:

HOW IT’S USED

The most common progression you’ll likely see with D Major is going from D, to G, to A, or I, IV, V.

D
G
A

Adding in the minor six chord (Bm), you have the classic `I-V-iv-IV` pattern:

D
A
Bm
G

SEE ALSO

Other common chords in the key of D Major:

HOW TO PLAY
A Major
HOW TO PLAY
G Major
HOW TO PLAY
B Minor
HOW TO PLAY
F# Minor