8 Guitar Chords for Beginners

Chords With Easy Finger Position For Newbie

In this tutorial, we are going to learn some basic guitar chord that every beginner guitar player should begin to practice.

Chords are one of the first skills to master; even if you know only a few shapes, you can start playing simple songs and have fun, while your fingers become stronger and flexible.

The chords taught in this lesson are in open position, which means they use open strings, and you play them on frets near the headstock.

So let's see some basic chords for beginners and prepare yourself to have fun!

download this tutorial in pdfWant a printable guitar chords chart? Download the Free Guitar Chords Pdf

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Basic Chords List:

How To Read Chords Diagram

Guitarists often represent how to play chords with diagrams called "chord box"; a visual way to describe which frets to press and which fingers to use.

The diagrams show the strings vertically, with the E lowest string on the left, and the high E string on the right (so you have the strings E,A,D,G,B,e, from left to right).

The fingers are denoted with numbers: index (1), middle (2), ring (3) , and the pinkie (4). The note names and the colored circle shown at the bottom of the diagrams are for more advanced use; you can safely ignore them for now. You can learn in detail how to read chord diagrams here

C major chord guitar diagram
guitar chord finger notation

Guitar Chords Chart for Beginners

Here below, you find the chord diagrams with basic instructions for playing the most used chords that beginners should learn first. Take your time to learn these shapes; if you've just started with guitar, it might take some time to play them smoothly.

C Major Guitar Chord

C major chordThis is the most common way to play the C major chord on the guitar. Be careful not to play the E lowest string.

How to play the C major chord:

  • Mute the low E string
  • Let the G string play without pressing any fret
  • Let the high E string play without pressing any fret
  • Place your index finger (1) on the fret 1 of the B string
  • Place your middle finger (2) on the fret 2 of the D string
  • Place your ring finger (3) on the fret 3 of the A string

C Major (super easy)

C major chord super easy versionThis is an easier version that uses only 3 strings and requires only your index finger.

To play this super easy version of the C major chord:

  • Mute the three lowest strings (low E, A and D)
  • Let the G string play without pressing any fret
  • Let the high E string play without pressing any fret
  • Place your index finger (1) on the fret 1 of the B string

A Major Chord On Guitar

A major guitar chord

To play the basic A major chord position, you have to use three fingers: index, middle and ring.

  • Mute the low E string
  • Let the A string play without pressing any fret
  • Let the high E string play without pressing any fret
  • Place your index finger (1) on the fret 2 of the D string
  • Place your middle finger (2) on the fret 2 of the G string
  • Place your ring finger (3) on the fret 2 of the B string

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G Major Guitar Chord

G major guitar chord

This is the most common fingering for the G major chord.

  • Let the D string play without pressing any fret
  • Let the G string play without pressing any fret
  • Let the B string play without pressing any fret
  • Place your index finger (1) on the fret 2 of the A string
  • Place your middle finger (2) on the fret 3 of the low E string
  • Place your ring finger (3) on the fret 3 of the high E string

G Major (super easy)

G major guitar chord super easy version

Another more accessible version, this G major shape needs only one finger.

  • Mute the three lowest strings (low E, A and D)
  • Let the G string play without pressing any fret
  • Let the B string play without pressing any fret
  • Place your ring finger (3) on the fret 3 of the high E string

E Major Chord On Guitar

E major guitar chord

With this E major chord you should strum all the strings.

  • Let the low E string play without pressing any fret
  • Let the B string play without pressing any fret
  • Let the high E string play without pressing any fret
  • Place your index finger (1) on the fret 1 of the G string
  • Place your middle finger (2) on the fret 2 of the A string
  • Place your ring finger (3) on the fret 2 of the D string

E Major (super easy)

E major guitar chord super easy version

Here's a stripped-down version of the E major chord that you can play with only two fingers

  • Mute the tow lowest strings (E and A)
  • Let the B string play without pressing any fret
  • Let the high E string play without pressing any fret
  • Place your index finger (1) on the fret 1 of the G string
  • Place your middle finger (2) on the fret 2 of the D string

How To Play D Major on Guitar

D major guitar chord

This is the standard way to play the D major chord on the guitar

  • Mute the low E and A strings
  • Let the D string play without pressing any fret
  • Place your index finger (1) on the fret 2 of the G string
  • Place your middle finger (2) on the fret 2 of the high E string
  • Place your ring finger (3) on the fret 3 of the B string

A Minor Guitar Chord

A minor guitar chord

Another fundamental chord, the A minor, that you can find in many ballads and sad songs.

  • Mute the low E string
  • Let the A string play without pressing any fret
  • Let the high E string play without pressing any fret
  • Place your index finger (1) on the fret 1 of the B string
  • Place your middle finger (2) on the fret 2 of the D string
  • Place your ring finger (3) on the fret 2 of the G string

A Minor (super easy)

A minor guitar chord

Here's the more relaxed version of the A minor chord

  • Mute the three lowest strings (low E, A and D)
  • Let the high E string play without pressing any fret
  • Place your index finger (1) on the fret 1 of the B string
  • Place your middle finger (2) on the fret 2 of the G string

E minor Chord

E minor guitar chord

This version of the E minor chord requires only two fingers

  • Let the low E string play without pressing any fret
  • Let the G string play without pressing any fret
  • Let the B string play without pressing any fret
  • Let the high E string play without pressing any fret
  • Place your middle finger (2) on the fret 2 of the A string
  • Place your ring finger (3) on the fret 2 of the D string

E minor (super easy)

E minor guitar chord super easy

It's not a joke; this shape for the E minor chord does not require to press any fret. If you ever tried to play "Nothing Else Matter" by Metallica, the first bars use only open strings

  • Mute the three lowest strings (low E, A and D)
  • Let ring the three higher strings (G, B and high E)

D Minor Guitar Chord

D minor guitar chord

This is the last basic chord taught in this tutorial.

  • Mute the low E and A strings
  • Let the D string play without pressing any fret
  • Place your index finger (1) on the fret 1 of the high E string
  • Place your middle finger (2) on the fret 2 of the G string
  • Place your ring finger (3) on the fret 3 of the B string

How To Play Chords | Tips for Beginners

That's all. Practice these chords every day and you'll make progress in no time. Here are some tips for practing chords:

  • Press the strings with only the tip of the fingers (it hurts at the beginning, but be patient, calluses will come soon)
  • Place your fingers close to the metallic frets
  • Your fingertips should be perpendicular to the fretboard, so that they do not touch the other strings
  • Play the chords one string at a time and check if each note sounds well
  • Press the strings as much as needed to let the notes ring clear, not more
  • Choose two chords and practice switching between them. The do the same exercise with three and four chords.

Learn more tips and suggestions about common chords problems here.

You can download a free guitar chord chart, with plenty of basic chord and more advanced shapes by accessing the free download area

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