How to Learn Guitar Chords With Songs

Start off by selecting a chord scheme. This could encompass an entire song or simply two verses with similar chord progression.

Open chords are among the easiest chords to learn and an excellent place to begin your musical education. Popular songs such as Oasis’ “Wonderwall” use an easy five chord sequence that can be strumming patterned effortlessly.


A chord is any group of notes played simultaneously or sequentially, such as major and minor triads, dominant sevenths and augmented triads on guitar. Beginners usually start out learning chord progressions using fundamental guitar-chords such as major/minor triads, dominant sevenths and augmented triads; these basic chords rely on intervals between fundamental notes on strings – for instance three notes (root third fifth) or four notes (root fourth octave) – created when one note creates related notes from its harmonic series.

Many songs require power chords in addition to basic open chords, similar to barre chords but with fewer frets and strings. Beginners should learn these more complex chords with a capo to prevent excessively bending of strings which will muffle sound and make it hard to determine whether a chord is in tune.

Before starting to practice chords, it is recommended to number your fingers on the left hand and memorize their positions on the fretboard. Also useful is playing each note/string individually so as to verify whether your chord sounds right without any muffled or altered sounds.

Once you’ve mastered these chords, give some popular beginner guitarist songs a try. “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?” from The Lumineers is a simple song for new guitarists to learn, using only four chords throughout most of its lyrics – making it ideal for learning. Additionally, “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?” also serves as an opportunity to practice slash chords (chords with one note on either side of a slash and bass notes on both sides).

“Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” by Bob Dylan, is another popular beginner song with four chords that can be strumming at an easy tempo. Additionally, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” offers three chord progression that works for verse and chorus use.


Verse is the long section of a song with repetitive lyrical ideas repeated over an accompanying chord progression, often used to set a mood or setting for the overall piece, helping listeners connect to its main theme and understand its context. Verse sections provide an excellent opportunity to experiment with chord progressions, rhyme schemes and melodic phrasing as they can support chorus and other parts of a song’s ideas.

As with creating any verse, the first step in crafting your first verse should be choosing a chord progression you like and working with it. Open chords may work best at first for novice songwriters while more advanced users might prefer bar chords as an intermediate step. Once you’ve settled on one you like, start thinking about what story your song wants to tell and focus on character or setting development first if necessary.

Finding a melody that works well with your chord progression should be the next step. A great way for beginners to do this is by looking at the chord-grid and trying various notes until one fits well. When playing bar chords, remember each dot represents a fret: index finger = first fret, middle finger = second fret and ring finger = third fret on a diagram like this one.

If you’re unfamiliar with chord grids, start off slowly by practicing songs that require no more than three chords – like Led Zeppelin’s “Tangerine”, which uses only open A, C and D chords for easy playing. “Bad Moon Rising” by Creedence Clearwater Revival uses similar simple chords; when practicing these songs make sure your fingers remain close to the strings so as not to accidentally hit other strings or muffle their sound when practicing them.