D Chord Variations Guitar

On this page we will look at how to play the D chord and D chord variations for the guitar. We will actually look at ten D chord variations in this article. The chord is not difficult, in fact, it is only three notes: D, F#, and A. However, the beauty of guitar is the ability to play notes more than one time in a chord.

Open Position D Chord

We’ll first start with basic D chord in open position. If you are beginner, this is where you should start. This is considered the open position because it uses open notes and close to the head stock of the guitar.

How to play the D chord in the open position.
D Chord – The numbers at the bottom are your fingers.

D Chord Fifth Fret Barre

On this chord you will be playing five strings and technically using two bars – your first and third fingers. This can be a bit challenging at first but the shape can be used up and down the neck.

D Chord Guitar
D Chord – Fifth fret bar chord – barre with first and third fingers.
D Chord Variations
D Chord – Another visual of the same chord.

Looking for more chord variations?

C Chord Variations

D Chord Tenth Fret Barre

Now we are playing all of the strings. A tough shape at first, but again it is movable and it is a lot of sound when you can play it right.

D Chord at the tenth fret
D Chord – You’ll be using all of your fingers with this one!

D Chord Fifth Fret “C Shape”

Here we are going to use the shape similar to the open C chord. Since we are moving up the neck, we will need add a barre.

D Chord Fifth Fret C Shape
D Chord – Using the “C chord shape.”

D Chord Tenth Fret “G Shape”

Here we will play a D chord using the open G chord shape. This chord allows us to play five strings.

D Chord Guitar G Shape
D Chord – Using the “G chord shape.”

D Chord Triads

Here are four variations of the d chord using just the three notes chords, therefore not repeating any notes. All but the second, are actually chord inversions. A chord inversion is when the root note (D) is not the lowest note.

D Chord Triad Guitar
D chord starting with an F#
D Chord Triad
Here we start at the fifth fret without using a barre.
D Chord Guitar
Again we start with an F#.
Same as the first, just an octave up.

As you can see, the above chords are essentially parts of the previous versions. These can be very useful, particularly when playing with other musicians. No sense in two guitars always playing the same voicing on the chord. These triads are also useful for soloing.

YouTube Video – D Chord Variations Guitar

D Power Chords

Technically power chords are not actually chords, because they only have two notes. Whether they are really chords or not, power chords are a staple to rock music. Punk rock is pretty much all power chords.

A power chord is made up of the root and fifth. So on a D chord, that would be the D note and A note. For a fuller sound, add another D an octave up. An interesting thing about power chords, because there is no third, they are neither minor or major.

Three D Power Chords

D Power Chord Open
D Power Chord Guitar Fifth Fret
D Power Chord Chart Tenth Fret

Selected Songs Starting With a D Chord

  • Sunshine of Your Love – Cream
  • Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynrd
  • Crazy Little Thing Called Love – Queen
  • Need and the Damage Done – Neil Young
  • American Girl – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

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