How to Play D Major on the Guitar - Open Position

In the last two posts, I introduced the G Major chord and the C Major chord.  Today I will be covering the D Major chord.  These major chords are so important to know when playing guitar and fundamental to learning and creating lots of great songs.  Take your time in order to play the D Major chord correctly.  Especially when you are beginning to learn new chords, it can be a bit awkward for your fingers to get in the right position, and also to play each string cleanly, but stay with it and you will succeed.

Here is how to play a D Major chord (open position):
* Place your left index finger on the 3rd string, 2nd fret
* Place your left middle finger on the 1st string, 2nd fret
* Place your left ring finger on the 2nd string, 3rd fret
* String 4 is used in the D Major chord, but is not fretted - it is an open string
* The two X's on string 6 and 5 mean that you do not play these strings.  You will only be strumming strings 4 through 1.

Note:  The numbers 0, 1, 2 and 3 inside the green circles represent what fingers to use when playing a D Major chord (0=open string, no finger needed!, 1=your index finger, 2=your middle finger, 3=your ring finger).

The major chords have a "happy" sound to them.  Minor chords typically have a "sad" sound.  Don't Worry Be Happy and start by learning these major chords!  Once you have the G, C and D chords down, try to switch between them.  You can mix these chords up in all different ways (example:  strum G to C to D, or try strumming C to D to G or perhaps D to G to C).  The chords will all sound nice together and this exercise will give you practice moving between them.

Did you know that the entire song of Don't Worry Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin can be played using only three chords?  And if you use a capo, which helps with shifting the pitch of a song, you already know 2 of the 3 chords and will be able to play along with the original recording!  The entire song goes from G Major to A Minor to C Major and then back to G Major over and over again with a capo placed on the 4th fret.  Future posts will cover how to use a capo and introduce the A minor chord (along with all of the others in the 21 chords to success).

Don't worry, keep practicing and have fun playing!

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