Guitar Chord Basics: How to Play G C D Chords

This is a guide on how to play guitar chords. This includes basic G C D chord shapes and more advanced ideas such as playing scale patterns over these chords, harmonizing with them, or soloing for rhythm guitar.

Acoustic guitar songs with “g c d chords” are a good way to learn how to play. Learning these chords will help you create your own songs that sound great.

Leadbelly playing with guitar.

Leadbelly’s guitar is a 12-string.

So you can achieve a perfect score on Guitar Hero’s “Free Bird”? Who do you think that will impress, except your twelve-year-old cousin? Rather of spending time on a toy guitar, try learning how to play the real one. The guitar is a talent that will provide you and people around you a lot of pleasure for many years. And guitar-playing men are popular with females. I’ve always done so, and I’ll continue to do so.

At gatherings and campfires, the guitar often appears, and it is frequently handed around so that those who know how to play may strum out some melodies while everyone sings along. Why not keep it and sing a song of your own instead of passing it on to the next guy? It’s simple to dominate a room by getting a group of people to sing a song while you provide the music.

But what if you’ve never touched a guitar before? What are the most often utilized chords that a guy should know so that he doesn’t end up looking like a turkey when the chance to “peacock” arises?

I asked my closest buddy, Andrew Bays, for the solution. Andrew has spent much of his life playing guitar and other stringed instruments. He presently works at Collings Guitars in Austin, TX, and plays banjo in the Flatcar Rattlers, a bluegrass band. 

The Three Most Important Guitar Chords

The three most popular guitar chords that any guy should know, according to my buddy Andy B, are G Major, C Major, and D Major.

“With those initial guitar chords, you can play almost anything (excluding Taylor Swift songs, which usually have that dramatic young girl angst minor chord tossed in).”

Not only can you play almost anything with these chords, but they’re also quite easy to learn.

For the uninitiated, we’ve included the guitar tablature, or tabs, for the G C D chords, as well as an explanation of how to read the tab.

Chart of guitar chords.

They’re right there. So, what exactly do they mean?

What Is the Best Way to Read Guitar Tabs?

Guitar tabs are representations of the neck of an instrument as though we were looking at an upright guitar. The nut is represented by the top dark horizontal line. The nut is a piece of plastic, metal, or even bone that sits at the top of a guitar.

Strings of guitar illustration.

The first four guitar frets are represented by the other horizontal lines. The horizontal lines that go down the neck of your guitar are known as frets.

The six vertical lines on your guitar indicate the six strings. The 6th string, also known as low E, is on the far left, while the 1st string, often known as high E, is on the far right. The strings and their names are shown in this figure.

Guitar strings diagram.So far, everything has gone well.

Guitar chords chart.

Take note of the “X’s” and “O’s” on the chord diagrams.

While a string is marked with a “X,” it signifies you don’t strum it when playing the chord.


When a string has a “O” above it, it implies you should play it open, without pushing down on it with your fingers.

Finally, we’ll look at what those figures indicate. The numbers on the string indicate which fingers you should use to push down on it and where you should press down.

As an example, we’ll utilize the G chord.

Our second (middle) finger will press down on the low E string on the third fret, our first (or pointer) finger will press down on the A string on the second fret, the B C D strings will be played open, and our third (or middle) finger will press down on the high E string on the third fret, as shown in the diagram.

On your guitar, your fingers should resemble this. It’s important to note that you don’t push down on the metal fret when you press down on the string, but rather slightly above it.

Man play string of guitar.G Chord Illustration

Carry on with the other two chords in the same manner. It’s a good idea to practice arranging your fingers until they’re nearly natural. When you strum, you should hear a clean tone. You may hear some muted sounds at first, but keep practicing until you master it.

See and hear the chords in action in these videos.


G C D Guitar Chords Can Be Used to Play 13 Songs

So you’ve mastered the G, C, and D chords. What songs do you think you’ll be able to perform with them?

A shitload.

Only these three chords are used in a remarkable amount of famous songs. Here are a couple three-chord guitar tunes Andrew came up with on the spur of the moment, complete with links to the lyrics and chord progressions. You may be the man of the hour by performing any of these songs at a party. You may even play them while sitting on the patio with Opie and a nice woman late at night.

Andy Griffith playing guitar with family.“Hey Pa?”

“Of course, Ope.”

“Can you play Sublime’s ‘What I Got’?”

“Sure thing, Ope,” says the narrator.

Guitar Songs with 3 Chords (Rock)

  • Weezer’s “Undone the Sweater Song” (The Blue Album was the soundtrack of my youth)
  • Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire”
  • Sublime’s “What I Got” (Just uses G and D chords)
  • AC/”You DC’s Shook Me All Night Long”
  • John Denver’s “Leaving on a Jet Plane” (Always an excellent song to play for your lady while you’re leaving on a vacation)
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” (There’s a F chord in the “Boo hoo hoo” portion, but it’s all GCD else.)

If mainstream music isn’t your style, the G C D guitar chords may also be found in bluegrass, blues, and folk music.

Woody Guthrie capture a moment with guitar. Since 1935, the guitar has been a woman and a fascist killer.

Guitar Songs with 3 Chords (Blues, Bluegrass, Folk)

  • “Will the Circle Ever Be Completed?”
  • “Roll in the Arms of My Sweet Baby” (Tab suggests playing D7, although a D may be substituted.)
  • “This is Your Land,” says the narrator.
  • “Amazing Grace” is one of the most beautiful hymns ever written. (According to Tab, you should play an Em, but you may substitute G.)
  • “The Wabash Cannonball” is a film based on a true story.
  • “Nine Pound Hammer” is a song by the band Nine Pound Hammer. (A conventional C may be used in place of the C7 chord.)
  • “Lonesome Road Blues” is a song about a lonely road. (You may use G instead of Em.)

You may utilize G C D to improvise additional ditties in addition to these amazing tunes. I used to love giving rap tracks the G C D treatment. Never has “Ice Ice Baby” sounded so wonderful.


Now that you’ve mastered the G C D chords and a few songs to play with them, it’s time to put down your plastic Guitar Hero controller and pick up a real guitar to start strumming some melodies.

Gentlemen, it’s time for some rock and roll.



The “common guitar chords progressions” are a great way to start playing guitar. The most common progression is G C D chords.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you play GCD chords?

A: A GCD chord is a closed chord that extends down from the current note, to create two notes. It usually takes one or two fingers to play this type of chords.

What chords with GCD?

A: G, C (duh) and D

What is the 3 chord trick?

A: The three chord trick is a way in which you can play the C major scale on the C note by playing either an A, B or D (flat) and then with your other hand on the fretboard of your guitar. This will take practice for sure but eventually itll be second nature to you!

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