Beginner Guitar Chords

by Bogdan Radovic

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  • Hi GMC!

    This lesson will teach complete beginners how to play chords on the guitar. We'll focus on the "must know" ones, chords which you'll find in almost all the popular songs out there. The chords will be played in what is called "open position", that means the chords are easier to play.

    Playing chords for the first time ever on the instrument is not easy, in fact - it is pretty hard! What you'll encounter are difficulties positioning the fretting hand to play the desired notes on the fretboard in such a way that you can just strum multiple strings on the guitar to sound a chord. A chord is a group of notes, played together. You will most definitely find your hand to feel strained and in a weird position. This is normal when trying to play chords for the first time.

    Here are some tips for playing chords for the first time on the guitar:

    - Keep your hand relaxed : as much as it sounds straightforward, sometimes we need to consciously try to relax our hand. If your hand is too tense or you feel pain, you should stop and re-examine the technique (hand position).

    - You'll get grooves in your fingers from fretting chords. This is normal, but you should not overdo it as it will lead to pain and tender fingertips which will prevent your from practicing.

    - Try to bend the fretting fingers so that they feel a bit perpendicular to the fretboard/strings. This will allow you to fret only specific notes without touching any other string(s). Usually, your thumb should be on the back of the guitar neck, supporting the fretting hand fingers.

    - Learning how to play first chords usually takes around 4-6 hours of practice. This means that you should be able to play first chord songs within the first week of practicing guitar. You'll notice that, as you practice, your hand position and fretting hand fingers position will become more and more natural looking and relaxed. This is a cool thing about learning guitar - something which might seem impossible at first (playing a clean sounding chord for example), feels really easy and natural after just a bit of practice.

    You don't necessarily need to learn all the chords in this lesson, learn just the ones you need to play your favorite songs. I do think that you'll end up learning them all though as these are the most commonly used ones. If you are not familiar with reading chord diagrams which are used in this lesson, please review this lesson first : LINK

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