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.
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 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 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 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 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.
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.
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
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