Other than the obvious major and minor ones, what other chords do i need to know? I just want to write regular pop/rock songs. I don't plan on becoming a prog. rock musician.

do the professional pop songwriters know a large number of chords? (beatles, greenday, country music etc)
Uhh, generally you should know all the chords.
Doesn't take that long to learn em.
To get by, 7s and understanding bar chords
sus chords can be easy enough, 9s can fit depending on style of music

obviously, the more you know, the better off youll be
Technically You shouldn't just know chords or learn Chord Shapes, Learn How the Chords are Constructed by that I mean learn the major scale, intervals, the triads (chord constriction) and then learn how to spice up those chords (sus4 Major 7th Major 9th Major 11th etc. etc.) in theory you can then play any chord you want just by changing the root.
Learn all your open chords so you have a basic understanding to draw from. Learn E and A shape major and minor barre chords. If you learn how to form a barre chord then what fret you play it in is a different chord. Learn the notes on the fret board for atleast the e and a strings and you will know a ton of chords. I'm not really a fan of barre chords but its something you should know. Also look on here for an article about theory and chord construction, after you read it you will be able to make the chords yourself which is when you'll start playing more interesting chord shapes instead of the basic opens ones.
don`t try to memorize the chords forms, but understand the theory how to build the chords... eg: what tones are needed to build C Major7??? once you learn the theory, your music will be better.
A cool thing that will open things up for you is learning the basic shapes and then moving them up the neck. Like if you take a c shape which is in frets 1 2 and 3, move it down so it is in 3, 4 and 5, and wrap you thumb around the top string, that same c shape just became some version of d which sounds a lot cooler than just playing a normal open d chord. This is the same principle as a barre chord. A barre chord is just e-minor moved up the neck with your first finger being barred above it.
Quote by Hive_Node
I don't see a reason to ever stop learning chords. If you're somebody who just wants to "get by," that will carry over into every else about guitar and I don't see you ever being amazing.

Absolutely! Learning is a never ending process. And everyone who mentioned the theory behind learning chords is right on the money as well!

But it doesn't have to be rigorous or painful. Once you have most of the basic chords down, a little experimentation can go a long way. And this will EXPLODE once you know a little theory.

Also, most people run into one of 2 things when learning chords: A basics book that will teach them the major and minor chords, or a chord book that will overwhelm them with chords and no explanation of how to connect them. If you've got the basics down, I recommend getting a beginning jazz guitar book, even if hate jazz, because will give you loads of new chords without bombarding you with them
Well since I play hard rock/metal, the chords that I use regularly are (in drop D) are these, not in any specific order:


In the songs that I play, those are usually the chords.
Quote by Geldin
Learn basic chord theory and construct them as necessary.
+1 If you understand how to construct chords, and you can find intervals on your guitar neck, you can create any chord you can think of.
Joe Satriani put is quite simple in an interview: ask yourself Do I know all the chords? If not, you know what to do.
Same for all the notes on the fretboard and all the scales.

I suggest learning all the notes on the fretboard first. Once you've memorized them and have understood how to construct chords (easier than you may think), you can play any chord anywhere on the fretboard.
Last edited by Chris_Basener at Nov 26, 2009,