I am starting to learn some chords and some songs that comprise of some basic ones, but, why are chords so important?
Sorry if I am ignorant or do not know why but I am very new to guitar

Glad you're a fellow guitar player . Very briefly, and being a little loose with music theory for a moment, chords allow flavors of music. For example, 1,3,5 is major (bright), 1, 3b, 5 (minor) is less bright more 'sad'. Chords are one of the basic building blocks of music. Chord progressions (chords in a certain order) define how a song sounds. You can play chords as arpeggios so they are single notes, but the beauty of guitar is that you can play more than one note at once to give it a full sound--unlike voice, saxophone or trumpet for instance. You can play a guitar a single note at a time, but that would limit your expression--unless it's a self imposed limitation. I'm not sure of a style of playing that doesn't at least occasionally use chords, but I'm sure it exists somewhere. Good luck with the chords!!

DrumL355..Hi..first never be sorry for not knowing something...remember..the "stupid" question is the one NOT asked..

basic music: I will show you a very short example of how/why chords are born. I recommend you read some books/online posts on "music theory" they may answer some of your questions

chords are formed from the Major Scale (and from other scales also..but for now..we will stick to the Major

this is the C Major Scale....

From this collection of notes I will form two chords: C major and D minor

C Major has these notes C E G
D Minor has these notes D F A

notice the notes are "every other note of the scale" to form the chords--these chords only have 3 notes and are called triads

so if you were to play with another guitarist and you were jamming on two chords C major and D minor..you could play the notes CEG when he is playing the C chord and DFA when he is playing the D minor chord..and it will sound ok..playing these notes this way are known as an arpeggio-(more for you to study)

In the early stages of learning music this might seem silly and even unnecessary but it is not..this is where you begin(and every player that understands basic music theory) now you can build more chords from the scale using the formula of every other note,,Ill let you investigate to find more info if your interested..
Forming chords like this..from the scale is known as "harmonizing the scale"

OK so now you can see in a very limited way where chords come from and a little insight into what notes you might play "over" these chords..

of course there are many other scales and they may also be used to "produce" chords .. but that is down the road for you to study..

Hope this helps a bit
play well

Last edited by wolflen at Nov 10, 2016,