Chord Systems: The Pattern Below Most Popular Guitar Songs

What is a "chord system?"

If there is one truth about pop music, it's repetitive. In many cases, songs use the same exact chords, albeit in different ways. If we erased all of the individual different ways that the same chords are being used and instead boiled it down to it's barest essentials, we can call the remaining chords a chord system.

For example, after reducing both the verse and the chorus in Dead Flowers by The Rolling Stones, you are left with the D, G, and A chords. So, basically, if you know the D, G, and A chords, you can play that song.

I've got great news for you: It doesn't stop there. The funny thing is that many, many songs use the D, G, and A chords too. Isn't that interesting?

Therefore, if you know any single chord system, you can more easily approach any song that uses that same system, and there are lots of songs written on just one of the five basic chord systems. Totally rad, right?

The five most popular chord systems in guitar

There are five popular chord systems in guitar-based songs:

Learn a chord system, play thousands of songs. Seriously.

Knowing any single chord system gives you access to hundreds of thousands of songs because, many songs use the same exact chord system.

Let's say that you became super familiar with the chords G, Emin, C, and D. This means that you'll be able to play both Last Kiss by Pearl Jam and Wagon Wheel by Old Crow Medicine Show because both of them use the G, Emin, C, and D chords. In other words, we could say that both songs use the chord system G–Emin–C–D.

Finding songs by chord set using tags

To help you find good songs to learn next, search for songs that use a chord system that you already know inside and out. On this blog in particular, you'll see each chord system as a tag. Clicking on this tag will get you a whole category of songs with a similar chord set.

If you're interested in learning more songs that use the chord set D–G–A, click on the D–G–A tag.

Additionally, you might want to check out the find-it page. as this page will totally help you find a perfect next song to learn.