3 Guitar Chords For Beginners – California Dreamin, E7 Suspended 4 and More

guitar chords california dreamin

The guitar is one of the most flexible instruments out there, enabling you to perform endless songs using only three chords! Here are our favorite three chord songs you should play at any party or campfire gathering!

Learn to play California Dreamin’ by The Mamas & The Papas with this easy guitar lesson! This song will cover all the essential chords – A minor, G, F and E7 as well as an exciting suspended chord (E7sus4) – required to perform this song!

A Minor

California Dreamin is an excellent song to begin learning folk guitar with, as its structure is straightforward yet dynamic. Additionally, its E7 suspended 4 chord (ESus4) makes an appearance. Before beginning this piece, ensure your instrument is set up with standard tuning and capo on fourth fret before beginning!

Your key elements for this song include A minor, G, F and the E7 suspended 4. While A minor may prove challenging due to being a sharp key, practice makes this part easy enough. G and F present slightly more difficulty as open chords, but with time they should come together smoothly.

Sia re-recorded this song for the soundtrack of the movie San Andreas. She provided both vocals and keyboards on this track. The music video provides a great visual representation of this track while its chords and strumming pattern may prove challenging but still accessible for Grade 3+ students to learn.


G major guitar chord is one of the essential ones to know, appearing in numerous songs and used for more intricate voicings such as G7 dominant chords.

Beginner players can easily learn a G chord using two hands alone. One such variation involves barrering it with just your index and ring fingers on two strings: E (low E string) and A (a fifth fret of A string). This leaves D and G strings free to resonate freely without restriction from barred chords.

An alternative variation on the G chord involves employing a shape known as the G5 chord (or G5/9) that only requires three fingers to fret the strings, called G5. This alternative offers more comfort when creating distorted sounds as its open D and G strings are better equipped to handle it than their closed counterparts.


F major has long been considered a difficult chord to master. While it does require strength and coordination to play it successfully, don’t give up! There are ways you can make F major simpler for beginners. One such method involves using a smaller barre so that index finger only covers thinnest strings instead of all six simultaneously – this makes the chord much easier to finger while freeing other fingers to strum freely with other chords.

Moving the barre closer to the fret is another effective way of making F chords simpler; this provides more leverage to press down on each string, and should prevent buzzing. Anna provides instructions in this video about this technique as well as ways you can form chords using other fingers and how to deal with situations where strings don’t sound right.


Next we will learn to play E dominant 7th on guitar. This chord has an extremely rich sound that can be utilized in numerous songs.

E7 (E Dominant 7) chord is a major triad with a flat seventh that can be played either openly or barre chord. It contains notes E, G#, B, and D.

To play this chord, fret your ring finger on the second string at first fret and your middle finger on sixth string at fourth fret, strum all six strings simultaneously until this chord rings out – its sound will resound across them all! Strum all six strings until this chord resonates – its simplicity makes it easy and versatile – you can strum this way or another to create any desired sound!