There’s no such thing as an ‘acoustic guitar chord’ – but these 12 shapes sound amazing unplugged

Close up of a woman playing an acoustic guitar
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Let’s be clear: there’s no such thing as an ‘acoustic guitar chord’. If a guitar has a standard fretboard, then, acoustic or electric, all chord shapes are fair game. However, some chords do sound great when played on acoustic – and we’re looking at some of our favourites here.

We’re looking at a particular category of guitar chords: open-string shapes. These are chords that include open strings, but aren’t necessarily played in the open position. The lush, ringing open strings give a richness to these shapes that really fire up any acoustic arrangement, solo or in a band. Right, let’s get strumming! 

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Chris Bird

Chris has been the Editor of Total Guitar magazine since 2020. Prior to that, he was at the helm of Total Guitar's world-class tab and tuition section for 12 years. He's a former guitar teacher with 35 years playing experience and he holds a degree in Philosophy & Popular Music. Chris has interviewed Brian May three times, Jimmy Page once, and Mark Knopfler zero times – something he desperately hopes to rectify as soon as possible.

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