Level 1 Guitar Chords

Beginners should begin practicing these level 1 chords. These basic triad shapes form most songs heard on radio stations.

Chord charts illustrate which strings to play and at what frets. The thick line at the top represents the nut on a guitar; Xs are used to indicate muted strings while Os (or circles) indicate open strings.

A Major

One of the first chords you will probably learn is C major, a pure major triad comprised of only three notes.

Chord charts contain dots with numbers on them to illustrate which frets you should hit on each string when strumming a chord, as well as symbols such as an “x” for mutes or muted strings – this feature is especially helpful for beginners!

B Major

B Major is a great beginner-friendly chord, featuring a popular barre chord style whereby a third finger (pinky) is barred to play it.

This key is ideal for practicing bar chords as its sounds strongly and powerfully; great for passionate music! Additionally, its variations and shapes offer plenty of variety and shapes.

C Major

C Major is one of the most frequently played chords on guitar, featuring a root position triad that can be extended with sevenths, sixths and even ninths to create this popular melody.

C major chord tones include C (1), E (3) and G (5); you can move these notes around on the fingerboard using interval patterns while simultaneously decreasing distance between chords.

D Major

D major is an excellent place to begin as it’s straightforward and versatile enough for most settings – particularly Blues music.

One aspect of D major is its tendency for finger 3 to mute string 1. To remedy this, try slightly lowering or moving up your thumb to create more leverage for your fingers.

E Major

E major is composed of four sharps. Its relative minor is C# minor.

Beginners often start off learning how to play an E major chord, which has an energetic sound regardless of its tuning. Furthermore, this chord makes improvisation easy.

F Major

F major is an expressive major chord with its own distinctive set of notes that makes it ideal for creating chord progressions across various songs. Furthermore, its harmony works particularly well when used alongside G and C major chords.

Start learning F major by practicing small bar fingering (pictured below). When starting this style of fingering, use only the tips of your fingers – make sure they arch upward!

G Major

G Major chord is an ideal starting point for beginning musicians. Strumming all six strings to get acquainted with its open chord shape. Once comfortable with that open chord form, try your hand at C or D Major chords so that you can practice shifting ring finger and pinky fingers from string to string.

G major is distinguished by one sharp (F#). Use this guitar scale chart to quickly find root notes for every position and construct chord triads on the fretboard.

H Major

As in G Major, scale diagrams labeled with intervals rather than notes help ensure all major scales follow a similar formula.

W and H indicate whole steps and half tones (or semitones). Moving two frets with each full step, while shifting only one fret with half steps enables this formula to help identify any major scale on the fretboard.

I Major

Major chords are triads, composed of three notes. As such, they serve as the backbone for most songs and tend to be one of the first chords learned by beginner guitarists.

Chord diagrams represent each string on your guitar with black dots representing them and each dot featuring its own number denoting which should be fretted with your first finger.

An ‘X’ above a string signifies you should refrain from fretting it and allow its sound to resonate open.

J Major

These open chords are ideal for novice guitarists as they don’t require any barre fingerings – just strum down through each string while making sure to mute the low E string!

Major chords form the basis of many songs and make for happy-sounding music, making them the first chords many new players learn to play. Here is a handy chart displaying all major chords found within each key.