How to Play the D Major Chord – Beginner Guitar Lesson

The D Major chord is the fifth chord in the key of G Major and completes the 1-4-5 progression in this key. This completes the series of guitar lessons about open position chords in this key as well. Once you have learned each of them, you can practice switching from one chord to the next within the 1-4-5 chord progression. Being able to do this smoothly is an essential part of being able to play songs on the guitar.

D Major Chord on Guitar

This chord by itself actually has a great ringing sound when simply strummed on an acoustic guitar. This makes it a good chord to practice when you teach yourself how to play guitar since it is relatively easy to play and sounds good too. Be sure to use the fingering shown in the video since it will help you move to and from other chords.

This is actually a fairly easy chord to play on the guitar since your fingers are close and it does not require any big stretches, but be sure to only play the notes shown here. The D only uses four of the six guitar strings, leaving out the fifth string A and the sixth string E. These strings should be muted as you are picking or strumming. The fingerings are presented here in the chord diagram and you can learn more details, and hear the chord in the video of this guitar lesson here as well.

Like the other chords in this series of guitar lessons, the D allows for several great opportunities to add embellishments when leading into the chord or switching to another chord within the progression. One reason for this is because the root is actually an open string (the 4th string) and this means that, if you use the fingering shown here, you will be able to use other fingers to utilize embellishments and add notes within and around the chords when playing a progression or song.

The notes which make-up the D Major chord in the open position as taught in this guitar lesson are D, A, D, F#. As with all of the beginner guitar chords you should focus on getting the strings to ring-out clearly. Practice strumming the chord as well as picking the individual notes within the chord. As you learn more, you can then practice switching from one chord to the next. The 1-4-5 chord progression is essential to know as a musician and with this ability you can easily play songs which use the chords you have learned.

2 thoughts on “How to Play the D Major Chord – Beginner Guitar Lesson

  1. I like the sound of this chord. When you play the embellishments around the chord is that a specific scale?

    1. Yes the D Major does sound really good on the acoustic guitar. It has that “jangly” sound which fits so well in acoustic styles. As for the notes in the embellishments, you can think in terms of the D major scale if you wanted to. This is a good approach to playing guitar licks over any particular chord and it is easy too because you are just matching the chord to the scale. It also works well in this instance because you have lots of options since the chord is in the open position. You can really make good use of those open strings within the key of D major.

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