Chords make up the structural foundation of a piece of music. A chord is the complete musical picture of a composition at any point in time. As a piece progresses the melodies and harmonies change. But all the notes that are played simultaneously at any given point in time during a piece of music can be identified with chord names. Furthermore, chords can give emotional breadth to a musical piece. Melodies are nice on their own, but they can be harmonized by full chords to express a more complete musical idea.
The following section on chords is divided into two parts. The first part deals with how to construct chords and play them on the steel guitar. The next section adresses chord theory and how chords fit into an overall musical composition.