Learn Basic Beginner Guitar Chords
The String Names
Knowing the string names is essential to learning basic guitar chords. The first string is the high E, which is closest to the ground when in playing position. The second string is B, the third is G, the fourth is D, the fifth is A and the lowest string is E. This low E is closest to the ceiling when in playing position.
Before you begin, familiarize yourself with the way chords are named.
- Each chord is named after a letter from A to G.
- Chords that have a small m after the letter are minor chords, like A minor, or Am.
- Chords that have a 7 after the letter are dominant chords, like G7.
- If the chord name is lacking a small m or 7, the chord is a major chord.
Beginners should start by learning open chords in which at least one string is left open. These basic chords are frequently used in folk and country music and are a great introduction to playing chords.
5 Major Open Chords
- The C chord is one of the most frequently used in guitar playing. Place the first finger on the first fret on the B string, the second finger on the second fret of the D string and the third finger on the third fret of the A string. The high E and G strings are left open. When strumming, hit all strings except for the low E.
- The D chord is also used often. Place the second finger on the second fret on the high E string, the third finger on the third fret of the B string and the first finger on the second fret of the G string. Leave the D string open and strum all strings except for the low E and A strings.
- The E chord is easy to play because three strings are left open. Place the first finger on the first fret of the G string, the second finger on the second fret of the D string and the third finger on the second fret of the A string. Leave all other strings open. Strum each string to produce an E chord.
- The G chord has three open strings in a row. Place the third finger on the third fret of the high E string, the first finger on the second fret of the A string and the third finger on the third fret of the low E string. Leave the remaining strings open and strum across all strings.
- The A chord involves placing the first, second and third fingers across the second fret on the B, G and D strings. The A string is left open. When strumming, do not hit the high or low E strings.
Tips for Learning Basic Guitar Chords
- Practice everyday for at least thirty minutes.
- Visualize finger patterns before playing.
- Practice changing from one chord to another until you can transition flawlessly.
- Build finger strength by using finger weights and playing scales.
- Play with your eyes closed until you can play each chord perfectly without looking.
- Commit to learning one new chord each week until you have mastered them all.
Learning to play guitar takes patience and plenty of practice. Don’t be discouraged if your fingers don’t land in place on the first try. As a weight trainer must stay disciplined everyday and can’t expect to see muscle grow overnight, a musician must start with the basics and be committed to them everyday. Just keep strumming along and you will be amazed with the music you can make using these basic beginner chords.
Author Bio: Deanna G. is a freelance writer and music teacher who primarily works with beginners in the Tampa Bay area. She also helps people know if their home insurance and auto insurance cover car theft when it occurs in their driveway, especially when there is expensive property such as a musical instrument in the car.
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