Tricks to Make Your Chord Charts Easier to Read

Always remember to write music chord charts from the perspective of the musician who will have to read it in the heat of battle and not in the comfort of a home studio. Here are some little tricks that can make your charts easier to read.

One tip is to always starting new sections on the left margin.

The next most important tip is about how you write chord symbols. The space immediately above the staff, or lane as I like to call it, is sacred territory reserved for the chord symbols. If other information is written there, it can distract the reader.

This little lane doesn’t have to be tall because there are other instructions that need to be added above the staff, but if the reader can count on that little horizontal lane above the staff being reserved for chord symbols, they won’t get confused by other instructions.

In addition, when using slash mark notation, place the chord symbol directly above the slash that corresponds to where the chord is played. If the chord is played on beat 1, place the symbol above the first slash. If played on beat three, place it above the 3rd slash.

The goal is to have the reader expend as little energy as possible deciphering what you wrote and most of their energy devoted to playing musically.


If you are serious about improving your guitar playing, there is simply no other program like FRETBOARD BIOLOGY. This is the only program that combines all the benefits of a structured professional guitar program with the low cost and convenience of self-learning.

Scroll to Top