Easy Guide to Open D Chord Chart Basics for Beginners

You are a beginner with a passion for guitar and are in the process of learning about chord charts. This easy guide is designed to demystify the basics of open D chord chart. This guide will provide you with the necessary insights to confidently navigate open D tuning and begin your musical exploration.

Definition of a chord chart

A chord chart is a simple diagram or notation that shows how to play specific chords on a guitar or other musical instrument. It provides guidance on where to place fingers on the strings and which strings to press down to create the required chord shapes for a song.

An “open D chord chart” refers to a visual representation of various chord shapes that can be played in an open D tuning on the guitar.

Each line in a chord chart typically represents a section or a line in the song. On each line, chord symbols are placed on corresponding strings to indicate where to place fingers on the strings and which fingers to use to play the chord.

Chord charts often use simple chord symbols like the abbreviated names of chords (e.g., G, C, D) or special symbols to represent chord types (such as Sus2, Sus4, Am7, and even more complex chords).

Understand chord chart in guitar
Understand chord chart in guitar

Distinguish the concepts in the open d guitar chords

Open D chord chart

Open D tuning involves tuning the strings of the guitar to create a D major chord when strummed without fretting any strings. The open D tuning is typically (from low to high): D-A-D-F#-A-D.

In an open D chord chart, you’ll see diagrams that show where to place your fingers on the fretboard in this specific tuning to create different chords. Each diagram represents a chord shape with dots indicating where to place your fingers on the strings and frets. The numbers or symbols near the dots indicate which fingers to use for each position.

For example, an open D chord chart might show you how to play chords like D major, G major, A7, B minor, and others using the open D tuning. This allows you to explore a unique set of chord voicings and progressions that are tailored to the open D tuning.

Chord and chord shape

Open D guitar chord and open D chord shape are concepts related to playing the guitar, particularly in open tunings like Open D tuning.

A chord is a group of three or more notes played together to create harmony. In the context of guitar playing, a chord usually involves pressing down specific combinations of strings and frets with your fingers to create a pleasing sound. Chords are the building blocks of harmony in music and play a fundamental role in creating the accompaniment for songs.

A chord shape, on the other hand, refers to the specific finger positions and frets used to play a particular chord on the guitar. These finger positions create a specific pattern on the fretboard. Chord shapes are moveable up and down the fretboard, allowing you to play the same type of chord in different keys.

Open D chord in open D tuning
Open D chord in open D tuning

Basic requirements to play open D chord chart

A chord chart usually contains all the chords needed to play a particular song. When you understand the basic chords and their finger positions, you can switch between chords more smoothly. This fluidity is crucial for maintaining the rhythm and tempo of a song.

Understanding basic chords is like building a solid bridge between chords and your guitar playing skills. It not only helps you create seamless transitions but also empowers you to explore your musical creativity and play confidently.

In some lyric chord chart contexts, understanding chord diagrams is really important. A lyric chord chart is a type of musical notation that combines lyrics with chord symbols, allowing musicians to play and sing a song simultaneously. 

Therefore, you’ll see only the chord symbols without any additional details. Without a strong grasp of chords, navigating the chord chart for a specific song can pose a significant challenge to your guitar skills.

A visual example of open D chord chart in a song

Imagine a lyric chord chart for a song that uses Open D tuning. Each line of lyrics corresponds to a section of the song, and above the lyrics, you’ll find chord symbols indicating when to change chords. In this case, let’s consider a simple verse of a song called Brown Eyed Girl by Van Morrison using the following chord progressions.


D         G              D        A7

Sha-la-la-la-la-la, la-la-la-la


D                               G                  D       A7

Hey where did we go? Days when the rains came

D                               G            D                     A7

Down in the hollow, playing a new game

Bm                          G               A          D

Laughing and a-running, hey, hey, skipping and a-jumping

Bm                     G                    A              D

In the misty morning fog with our hearts a-thumping


G                      D                A          D

And you, my brown-eyed girl

G                  D                   A               D

You, my brown-eyed girl

Certainly, the insights shared within this article serve as a valuable foundation for enhancing your understanding of crucial music theory in guitar playing. With dedicated practice, you’ll witness the gradual improvement of your guitar skills. Moreover, consider harnessing the benefits of the Guitar Tunio app, which can elevate your learning experience to new heights.