Chords go together in families (or, as they are more formally called,
Chords break down into three basic types:
• Major chords (like G or C), which sound happy.
• Minor chords (like Ami and Dmi), which sound sad.
• Dominant seventh chords (like G7 or D7), which sound slightly jazzy and seem to want to lead us to resolve to a major chord.
Okay, now look at the E7 chord, illustrated in FIGURE 7-20. This chord is a part of the key (family) of A, which includes A and D. FIGURES 7-21 and 7-22 shows a couple of songs that use the E7 chord, which you can listen to on Tracks 36 and 37 of this book's CD.
In FIGURES 7-23 are all the open-string chords you should learn. One of the things that makes learning chords easier is that families (keys) share the same chords, or variations on them. So once you know how to play a C chord, or an E7 chord, it will be the same regardless of the sequence you find it in.
Buy some songbooks, or look on the Web for some song sheets you can download. Make sure they have the chords to the tunes printed on them so you can practice the songs. Spend some time working on changing smoothly from one chord to another as you strum. Some of these chords involve using your first finger to stop more than one string. To do this, use the fatty part of your finger. Initially, you may want to lay your second finger on top of your first finger to help you make just enough contact with the strings on the fret-board so the strings don't buzz.
If you pay attention, you'll notice some chords in the same key are missing. That's because they can't be played with open strings. You will soon learn how to play these chords.