Posted on: September 17, 2022 Posted by: AKDSEO34 Comments: 0

Guitar Chords For Beginners

Have you bought a guitar, but found yourself unsure of where to begin your studies? One of the first things you should do as a beginner is to get some chords under your fingers.

You’ll be surprised at the number of songs that can be played just by using some simple chord shapes. The following chords are relatively easy to learn, and you’ll definitely be using them for the rest of your life.

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C

C

The C chord is an easy chord by most standards, utilizing 3 of the 4 fingers on the fretting hand. If you look at the chord chart, you’ll see that it has a linear shape to its fingering design.

This linear shape makes it simple for beginners, partially because it is easy to see where the fingers go. To spell it out, put your:

  • Index finger on the 1st fret of the 2nd string (B string)
  • Middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 4th string (D string)
  • Ring finger on the 3rd fret of the 5th string (A string)

When playing this chord, you’ll want to be sure to mute the lowest string (6th string E). While E is built into the chord, letting this note ring out muddies up the tone of the chord when played.

C7

C7

The C7 (known as the C Dominant 7) is an alternative version of C based on the original C shape. Use this particular chord when you want to add some tension or funkiness to the sound of the chord.

To play C7, first, play the regular C chord. Then, add your pinky to the 3rd fret of the 3rd string (G string).

You should have a triangle between your 2nd, 3rd, and 4th fingers, with the index finger playing an outside note.

Strum this chord and take notice of how it seems to want to resolve to another chord. This is the nature of Dominant 7 chords.

Again, be sure to mute the lowest string (6th string E) when playing this chord.

D

D

D is another common chord that is used throughout music. This particular chord has different variations that can be easily played to great effect.

However, before you can play the variations, you’ll need to know how to play the standard chord itself. This chord has an upside-down triangular shape encompassing the higher 3 strings and can be played by placing your:

  • Index finger on the 2nd fret of the 3rd string (G string)
  • Middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 1st string (high E string)
  • Ring finger on the 3rd fret of the 2nd string (B string)

When playing this chord, be sure to mute the lowest string (6th string E). 

D Minor

D Minor

Up until now, we have covered primarily major-based chord tonalities. You can notice this by how each has a bit of a “happy” feeling behind it.

Minor chords are typically thought to be “sad”, and can be played by flatting the 3rd of a major chord. D Minor is a great illustrative example of this.

Visually, the D Minor is similar to the D Major. Except, you’ll notice the first string’s finger has lowered a fret. 

To play it, you can leave your ring finger in place on the 3rd fret of the 2nd string (B string). You’ll then alternate places between your index and middle fingers:

  • Index finger on the 1st fret of the 1st string (high E string)
  • Middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 3rd string (G string)

Again, mute the lowest string when playing this chord.

E

E

The E chord is an important shape, particularly because of its use in barre chords (we’ll get there soon). This chord can be played by placing your:

  • Index finger on the 1st fret of the 3rd string (G string)
  • Middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 5th string (A string)
  • Ring finger on the 2nd fret of the 4th string (D string)

Alternatively, you can play this same chord without your index finger. To do this, you’ll place your middle finger where the index finger was, with the other fingers following suit.

All of the strings can be played when playing this chord.

E Minor

E Minor

E Minor is perhaps the easiest chord to play on the entire guitar, utilizing only 2 fingers. To play this, put your:

  • Index finger at the 2nd fret of the 5th string (A string)
  • Middle finger at the 2nd fret of the 4th string (D string)

Again, notice how the minor version of the chord utilizes the flattening of the chord’s 3rd within the shape. 

F

F

F tends to be one of the most difficult chords for beginners. This chord’s positioning makes it difficult to fret the notes and play cleanly.

However, take a moment to notice how the chord shape has the triangle inherent in the E Major shape. If you play the E major in the alternative fingering, slide it up 1 fret.

From there, you’ll place your index finger on the 1st fret of the 1st and 2nd strings, barring them. You could also put your index finger across the entirety of the 1st fret, which is effectively a barre chord. 

G

G

G is everybody’s favorite go-to chord and has a brilliant open sound that warms the heart. To play this, place your:

  • Middle finger on the 3rd fret of the 6th string (low E string)
  • Index finger on the 2nd fret of the 5th string (A string)
  • Pinky on the 3rd fret of the 1st string (high E string)

When playing this chord, you’ll want every string on the guitar to ring out.

G7

G7

Remember how C Major had its own Dominant 7 version? Each chord does, and the G7 is quite easy for beginners to play.

Playing this does require you to change your fingering from the aforementioned traditional G Major shape. However, only the high E string is affected while the bottom half of the chord shape stays the same.

You can play G7 by placing your:

  • Ring finger on the 3rd fret of the 6th string (low E string)
  • Middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 5th string (A string)
  • Index finger on the 1st fret of the 1st string (high E string)

A

A

The A Major chord is another go-to chord that many beginners learn first. This chord consists of 3 different notes, all played on the 2nd fret of the guitar.

More specifically, you’ll want to place your:

  • Index finger on the 2nd fret of the 4th string (D string)
  • Middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 3rd string (G string)
  • Ring finger on the 2nd fret of the 2nd string (B string.

While this is a simple shape, many beginners struggle with putting all of their fingers in one small area. Resist the urge to simply play the chord using your index finger over the entirety of the shape.

If you do have issues, it might be worth trying the fingering using your middle, ring, and pinky fingers. The pinky is a bit smaller, allowing for more comfort in this collapsed chord shape. 

A Minor

A Minor

A Minor, as you might guess, is similar to A Major, with 1 notable difference. If you played the A Major shape in the alternative way, you’ll find this chord to be quite easy.

You can play this chord by placing your:

  • Index finger on the 1st fret of the 2nd string (B string)
  • Middle finger on the 2nd fret of the 4th string (D string)
  • Ring finger on the 2nd fret of the 3rd string (G string)

Take a moment to notice that this is essentially the same triangular shape seen in E Major. Applying the shape to this set of strings produces a Minor sound.

B

B

The B chord can produce some problems for beginners who haven’t properly gotten the A Major shape down. This chord utilizes the A Major shape, primarily using the alternative fingering.

To play this, you’ll want to place the index finger on the 2nd fret of the 5th string (A string). Then, place the rest of your fingers on the 4th fret of the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th strings. 

B Minor

B Minor

With the B chord, you’ve seen how the A Major shape is used to build a new chord. This same feature is also present with the A Minor chord shape.

When playing B Minor, you’ll want to utilize the alternative fingering of the A Minor chord. Slide up to the 4th fret, placing your index finger on the 2nd fret of the 5th string (A String).

Again, notice the difference between B and B Minor, and how these are similar to A and A Minor.

B7

B7

The B7 chord is a little bit of an oddball. However, you can easily figure it out if you refer back to the C7 chord. Remember that triangular shape? 

You’ll be utilizing that triangular shape here, with the:

  • Middle finger at the 2nd fret of the 5th string (A string)
  • Index finger at the 1st fret of the 4th string (D string)
  • Ring finger at the 2nd fret of the 3rd string (G string)
  • Pinky at the 2nd fret of the 1st string (high E string)

F# Minor

F# Minor

F# Minor is a tricky chord that can only be played utilizing a barre chord shape. To play this, simply place your index and middle fingers across the entire 2nd fret.

From there, place your:

  • Ring finger at the 4th fret of the 5th string (A string)
  • Pinky at the 4th fret of the 4th string (D string)

Take a moment to notice how this shape resembles the E Minor chord.

Guitar Chords For Beginners, Final Thoughts

When learning these chords, it is of paramount importance to make sure each note rings out cleanly. Along with this, you’ll want to make sure that any unneeded strings are properly muted when you strum the chord.

Once you get these chords learned, practice your transition from chord to chord to truly master the shapes. Learning some of your favorite songs is a great way to put these chords into practice. 

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