Guitar Chords For Beginners

One of the first things a beginner guitarist needs to master are chords. Simply put, chords are combinations of notes that sound harmonious together on a guitar string.

Triads, or basic three note chords, are connected in prescribed ways that involve scales (which is an entirely separate topic) and musical mathematics.


The F Major Chord is an enjoyable chord to play and can be heard in Coldplay songs such as “Clocks.” Additionally, its beautiful tension can create beautiful ethereal effects – this should be learned as part of beginner guitarist training.

Learning music involves patterns, and mastering these fundamental shapes will make playing songs much simpler. Be sure to learn proper finger placement for each shape so you can create clean chord changes with minimal strain on your fingers.

These open chord shapes can be transformed into barre chords – stacks of multiple shapes that run up the neck – and used for playing many popular songs. E and A minor chords may be easier for beginners, but it’s wiser to master all beginner-level chord shapes properly in order to use them effectively in more advanced songs.


The A minor chord is an essential chord for beginning guitarists. With its smooth sound and popular usage in songs such as the Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It All”, it makes an excellent starting point when learning intricate chord progressions.

This triad chord is comprised of the root, minor third and perfect fifth of A minor scale. The root note is A and the two other notes are C and E; playing this chord should be relatively straightforward but you should practice a lot to master it.

Ayla Tesler-Mabe provides instruction for playing eight key chords for beginner guitarists. These chords can be found across a range of genres such as pop music, rock and country.


As with major and minor chords, an augmented chord is composed of three notes, but contains an extra note in it. Also referred to as a sharp fifth due to having its 5th raised one step from its previous note position, an augmented chord can provide strong tonal significance despite not having diatonic characteristics.

Augmented chords may not be used often in modern music, but they can add tension and suspense to your progressions. They’re sometimes even used as an alternative to dominant seventh chords in songs like Paul McCartney’s “Oh Darling.”

For an augmented chord, start with a major triad and add an augmented 5th to it – this simple step makes any chord more dramatic and dissonant.


Diminished chords might sound dissonant at first, but they actually work quite effectively as bridges between two other chords. Diminished chords build tension before dissolving when reaching their destination chord. This adds a great deal of drama to any song’s harmony.

Diminished chords are typically straightforward for guitarists to play. Most only have one shape and their counterpart chord is only three frets away – simply move up inversion patterns as necessary.

Beginners seeking to play guitar chords sinhala will find these beginner-friendly chords ideal. However, since learning diminished chords requires knowledge of scales first and then progressing further to major and minor chords before moving onto diminished ones.


Suspended chords are an excellent way to add tension and variety to your music. Similar to major and minor chords, suspenders remove the third that determines which form the chord as major or minor – this creates an open soundscape and emotional atmosphere in the music itself.

Start off by practicing basic triad shapes, then replace the third with either the fourth or second notes of the scale – for instance if you have a C major triad, move its third note up into fourth of scale for a Csus4 chord.

These chords may be harder to detect, but their subtle use can add much-needed drama and tension to your progressions. Furthermore, these chords are excellent at creating yearning melodies.

G Major is the relative major of E Minor and one of the easiest beginner chords you can learn.

Acoustic guitarists know this chord as an essential one, as seen in My Bloody Valentine and The Who songs.

Chord shapes remain consistent across a fretboard in regular tunings, simplifying improvisation.


Beginners should start out learning simple chords like C major and G major – known as first position chords since they involve close proximity to the nut and multiple open strings – as these will allow for experimentation with different voicings and chord progressions as finger dexterity improves.

Beginners might initially find the B Major barre chord unsettling due to its requirements of bunching your fingers together on the fretboard. However, this essential major voicing can be used across any part of your fretboard.

Bon Jovi released this pop tune in 1994 as one of their greatest hits. This power ballad features an easy chord progression and strumming pattern; use a capo on the 3rd fret to play this track.


Triads are composed of three notes from one scale; for instance, in C Major there are tones A, B and D that when put together as chords form a basic triad. Guitar is unique in being capable of playing more than one note at once so learning chords becomes much simpler.

Beginner guitarists typically focus on mastering major and minor triads before moving onto seventh chords like major-minor seventh or dominant seventh, which are tertian chords concatenating three intervals together.

Beginners will most likely come across the diminished triad, which adds a minor seventh note. Playing it can be challenging due to this extra note; when performing it, keep your finger directly on or near a fret, without touching any of the little bars between each fret.

Dominant Sevenths

The dominant seventh chord is one of the cornerstones of Western music, consisting of first, third, and fifth notes plus the flat 7th note (or “flat” seventh note).

These chords create tension in songs by providing dissonance between the second and fourth note of a chord, often leading to its resolution into tonic chords at the end of a progression or song.

Dependent upon the song, these elements can add drama and tension, or relief and harmony. Blues musicians frequently employ them in their compositions to add an authentic sounding blues sound to their tunes.

To play a dominant seventh chord on guitar, start with an open C chord shape and remove your second finger from the low E string. Master this shape before moving it up and down your fretboard for any dominant seventh chord you hear; listen out for “Clocks” by Coldplay or “Ho Hey” by The Lumineers as examples of such chords in music!

Minor Sevenths

Minor seventh chords provide an effective way to add texture and emotion to your chords. Based off of major triads, but with third and seventh notes lowered by half step to form minor sevenths. This creates tension and instability before eventually resolving to tonic (I) chords when used within musical progressions.

Notation for these chords usually uses lowercase letters m and 7, or min7 after their tonic chord to easily distinguish them from any seven-note chord that could easily be misconstrued as their counterparts.

These chords may seem difficult at first glance due to being more tense than most other guitar chords, but with practice you will become just as proficient and comfortable with playing them as any of your existing chords. Just make sure you learn your major, minor and dominant seventh chords before trying them out.

guitar chords am

The A minor chord is one of the key chords for beginner guitarists to learn, as it can be found in numerous songs from varying genres.

Tip: To play this chord more successfully and avoid finger pain, be sure that your fingers are correctly positioned so as not to muffle the thinnest string. This will ensure a better sound while helping prevent discomfort!

A minor

A minor is one of the first guitar chords most beginner guitarists should learn, as it’s easy to finger and sounds great in many songs.

As its name implies, A minor chords consist of tones A (1), C (3), and E (5). One key distinction between major and minor chords is that minors feature a flattened third (one half step lower).

This minor seventh adds an unsettling, mysterious note to A minor, making it ideal for use in songs like Pink Floyd’s “Where Is Anybody” and Damien Rice’s “9 Crimes.” Additionally, folk musicians often employ this minor seventh to create an emotive atmosphere in their pieces.

The easiest way to play this chord is to omit the fourth string and strum only the first three strings – an ideal solution for beginners, or anyone wanting to ease stress on their fingers.

E minor

E minor guitar chord is a fundamental chord used in numerous songs. As its subdominant to C major, E minor can often be found as part of Doo Wop progressions (C Am F G).

There are various ways to play an E minor chord. One approach involves using a barre chord – this involves placing one finger across all but the lower E string and playing an octave higher on the fourth string. While it may take practice for beginners to master this approach, it’s an invaluable skill to acquire.

An alternative method for playing an E minor chord is with regular open chords, which may be easier for beginners to learn but do not produce the same sound as barre chords. You could also try playing seventh position E minor chords; although more challenging for newcomers but sound great!

G minor

G minor is our second chord in our sequence and can be used to create a simple melody. Additionally, it serves as an effective way of honing chord scales; when playing it in minor keys, the first and fifth notes tend to be one whole tone lower than their preceding tones; this distinguishes them from their major counterparts.

Standard techniques for playing this chord require using a barre, which may be difficult for beginning guitarists to master. There are, however, alternative approaches which make playing it simpler for newcomers.

One method involves creating a barre with the index finger at the third fret for strings 1-5, placing your middle finger on string B at its fourth fret and your ring finger on string D at its fifth fret to avoid muted notes or buzzing strings as you play downward. This enables you to strum all six strings without hearing muted notes or buzzing strings while playing down.

C minor

The C minor chord is one of the most frequently played guitar chords. A member of the natural minor scale and often referred to as a family chord because its notes include C, E and G, it can be easily played while creating an excellent sound; its only downside being it requires finger dexterity for effective performance.

An alternative way of playing this chord is to omit the lower string and use your index finger as an alternative to a barre. This makes learning to play easier for beginners while giving you practice without risking injury to your fingers.

C minor chord is an extremely potent blues chord and can be used to produce melodious tunes; Adele’s hit song “Rollin’ in the Deep” heavily relies on this chord progression for its melodious qualities.

Guitar chords designed for beginners typically use circles or other shapes to represent each note in the chord, with an X or other symbol used to indicate strings/notes that should not be played.

To ensure you’re playing the correct chord shape, pick through each string/note to verify their sounding.


Learning chords and scales takes time, so patience is key in embedding these skills in memory through regular repetition. Once this becomes part of your muscle memory, they should remain with you forever!

Major chords for novice guitarists is an ideal starting point. These simple open chords don’t require barre chords and can be played with just one finger per fret – keeping fingers close to frets will help prevent too much pressure which could otherwise hurt fingertips. Once comfortable with playing these chords, move your hand up and down the fretboard to see how many variations on one basic chord you can create!

Minor Chords

If you want to expand your guitar playing repertoire beyond playing simple songs, learning minor scales will be necessary. While major scales utilize only whole tones, minor ones use both major and minor thirds – giving them more pronounced bass tones that may sound harsher for beginners than their major counterparts but still providing an ideal place to begin your studies.

Aeolian mode is one of the most frequently employed minor scales on guitar, named for its close modern equivalent to ancient Greek modes (or tonoi). It is composed of diatonic scale with both major and minor thirds starting on different notes than C major scale.

E minor is an extremely popular minor key. Comprised of A, B, C, D, F and G notes, this scale can also be considered one of the few minor keys without needing accidentals (flats or sharps). To play E minor chords simply place one finger on the second fret of low E string followed by another finger on fifth fret of A string – you should hear a full tone and two middle strings vibrating together creating a gentle drone effect.

Chords and Scales

When learning chords, one of the key things to keep in mind is the relationship between your scale selection and chord type you are playing. If you are playing a C major chord, for instance, then using C major scale will complement it perfectly as this ensures the pattern matches that of the chord you are playing – this concept is known as perfect harmony; all musicians strive to master it as soon as they begin practicing matching chords and scales together – the more often you practice matching these up, the simpler this becomes; even using recording songs can help – even using recordings can help to experiment until finding what feels right!

Chords are groups of three notes played together. Each note in a chord comes from its own distinct scale or group of notes, creating the chord’s final sound.

A C Major chord, for instance, consists of the C, E and G notes found within the C scale.

A chord chart shows which strings and frets to use to play each chord, as well as which left-hand fingers should be used – with numbers circled indicating each finger that should be used.


Chords are an essential element of guitar playing and they form the backbone of many memorable songs. We suggest starting off by learning basic chords before progressing onto more advanced ones such as power chords or minor chords.

Chord diagrams display which strings and frets to play, with which fingers on each string, as well as any that won’t be played entirely (or can be left out when strumming) marked off with an X. They also include notes detailing chord formation, numbers indicating which fingers sit where, as well as notes showing chord shape and numbers showing which frets should be played by which fingers.

C major chords consist of the first, third and fifth notes from the C scale. When playing them on guitar or bass, pointer finger should be on third fret of A string; middle finger should be at fourth fret on D string; and ring finger should be placed on second fret on G string.

Getting Started

As a beginner guitarist, learning some fundamental chords will give you the base from which to play songs. We have put together this list of 15 of the most commonly open chords for beginners to practice and memorize.

At first, it is best to focus on learning the shapes and not worry too much about their theory – that will come later! Instead, concentrate on getting chords into both your head and fingers!

Keep this in mind when reading chord diagrams; your index, middle, and ring fingers should all be used to fret strings while your thumb acts as an anchor and holds down back strings while strumming. A circle or one indicates which finger will touch that string whereas an X indicates no such play (such as with A minor 7 chords). Placing fingers close to frets will ensure optimal sound production.


Chords on a guitar can sound very different depending on how they’re played, because chords may be constructed using either a Major or Minor scale; major chords contain all notes from their respective scale while minor chords only contain part.

When practicing rhythm guitar, it’s crucial that players practice moving freely between chords rather than sticking to a fixed pattern every strum. A metronome can help in this regard.

Learn the names of chord shapes rather than just their fingerings to ensure quick memorization and keep rhythm correct when necessary. This will enable faster transition from chord to chord when required by songs and will also assist in maintaining correct rhythmic timing.

Strum a pair of chords up and down for 30-60 second reps to build finger strength and stamina, then gradually increase their time period.


An essential aspect of music theory is understanding scales and chords within them. Guitar chords are built from individual notes that form an arpeggiated scale, so once you understand their structure you’ll be able to ‘on-the-fly’ create any key in any key you encounter.

C Major chords consist of three notes from a scale: its root note (also known as the root), third note and fifth note. To find an appropriate scale that suits your strong one chord, record yourself playing it before matching up its recording with relevant scales.

Most scales are octave-repeating, meaning each note in succession is one octave higher or lower than its predecessor. To read a scale, examine this chart below and then compare it with your chord progression – they should match up perfectly! However, sharps or flats present special challenges; here your knowledge of music theory comes into play!

guitar chords d

Beginners often begin their guitar studies by playing D chords, though many novice guitarists often struggle with confidently holding its shape under their fingers and mutes the bottom two strings effectively.

Once mastered, this chord can be applied across different genres of music. Furthermore, it provides an essential basis for exploring more advanced variations such as sus4 chords.


D major chords consist of three components – root, major third and perfect fifth (steps one, three and five respectively from a D major scale). They provide a versatile yet bright sounding chord progression used widely among musicians – whether performing 12 bar blues by Van Morrison or Bryan Adams’ “Brown Eyed Girl”, this D-C-G chord progression remains at the core of music worldwide.

Another popular variation of the D chord is its minor counterpart, which you can play by barring all strings with your 1st finger on the 5th string 2nd fret and your 3rd finger on 4th string 1st fret – although this chord requires extra strength in your ring finger as you press down three strings simultaneously! However, this chord sounds amazing and makes an excellent place to begin when exploring chord progressions.


Triads are three-note chord structures consisting of a root, third and fifth note arranged into an unbroken line. Triads can be found across any scale and serve as the building blocks for creating other types of chords such as power chords.

Triads can be recognized by their interval qualities (major, minor or diminished) and location on the scale (root, first inversion or second inversion). When its root note occurs at the lowest note in its scale it’s called a tonic triad; otherwise if third or fifth are included then dominant and subdominant are respectively applicable terms.

Practice moving these basic shapes up and down the fretboard as well as across, using them as block chords and arpeggios, until you become acquainted with their sound quality. After that, start adapting these basic forms to meet your musical needs by comping with other musicians or creating improvised solos based off these forms.


Becoming familiar with all of the various scales out there is essential when learning guitar. By understanding them, you’ll open up more possibilities when playing chords or creating solos.

One of the most frequently employed scales among guitarists is D major scale. Consisting of notes D, F#, and A, this scale can either be played open position on the fourth string, or one octave higher on second string.

Slow, medium and fast practice will allow you to master the scales you’ve learned at three tempos: slow, medium and fast. Focus on descending and ascending as well as walking them up the neck fret by fret. Once you feel comfortable with playing these scales, experiment using them with backing tracks to see how they sound and what melodies or riffs come about from playing them with them – playing scales will strengthen both finger strength and dexterity as you gain experience playing them! Plus playing them can even build muscle strength! So go forth and have some fun!


When learning chords, use the CAGED system to organize your fretboard. This method suggests that every chord can be formed into five distinct forms on the guitar neck depending on its root note – perfect for rhythm and lead guitarists alike!

The open D chord is one of the first chords most guitarists learn, so make sure that when playing it you roll your fingers to avoid muted strings or creating unwanted sound effects.

A common variation of the D chord is a D7 chord. This variation adds an intoxicating bluesy sound that pairs beautifully with some distortion on an electric guitar. Another variation, called suspended D chord, involves subtracting one third from a major D chord and adding four additional notes (known as suspended fourth chord), used by artists ranging from Led Zeppelin to Bryan Adams and KT Tunstall; commonly referred to as fifth or power chord.