Beginners to guitar can often find it daunting to identify which chords they need to learn first; fortunately, there are some excellent songs out there to get them started with the instrument.
These chords require your fingers to stretch a bit, yet remain straightforward to play. Plus, they’ll help you play all your favorite songs!
A Major Chord
Open E major is an excellent starting point for beginners, easy to memorize but potentially challenging to play due to having three fingers fit into tight spots on the fretboard.
Try this Jimi Hendrix voicing for a great blues-rock sound, making sure to pay close attention to finger placement and avoid touching any adjacent strings.
B Major Chord
The B Major Chord is an easy chord to learn if you already know C and G Major Chord structures.
B Major can sound rather thin at first, but this can easily be addressed by adding bigger-sounding voicings to it. Check out Jimi Hendrix’s variation as an example! It may feel daunting at first, but stay with it; eventually you will come to love this chord and its variations!
C Major Chord
This jazzy chord is ideal for beginners looking to practice changing between open chords. Be mindful to use only your fingertips and avoid touching adjacent strings!
This chord utilizes all six guitar strings to produce an expansive sound, similar to what was taught earlier with D major chord shape.
D Major Chord
This open D major chord features a simple bridge-like shape that’s easy to remember and finger. Try switching back and forth from it to G or A major and back for better transition between chord types.
Beginners may experience difficulty with getting their pinky to cooperate with this voicing; this will take time and practice in order for it to stop blocking the lower strings.
E Major Chord
E major chord is one of the easiest chords for beginner guitarists to grasp, making it a good place to begin learning how to play guitar. Simply place your index finger on the first fret of G string and your ring finger on second fret of A string before strumming all strings with the plectrum.
Add your pinky to the second fret of A string to play a more compact version of this chord and get your fingers used to moving in this new shape. This can help get them comfortable.
F Major Chord
F Major is one of the most frequently encountered beginner chords and serves as an ideal way to practice strumming. Additionally, it makes an excellent foundation for adding extensions, providing fullness and upbeatness in sound.
Many beginners first learn the fully barred version of this chord, where your first finger bars all six strings simultaneously while leaving two of them open ringing ring.
G Major Chord
G Major chord is one of the first chords most beginning guitarists encounter and can be challenging if your guitar has poor setup that makes fretting the strings difficult.
An effective way of getting past this obstacle is to practice G chord for four beats before switching over to another shape – this will enable you to gain skills much quicker.
G Minor Chord
Chords are an essential first step toward multi-note playing. These simplified versions of the G minor chord will help build finger dexterity and control.
Keep in mind that chord diagrams show which strings to strum and which to leave out; an “X” on any string indicates it should not be strung.
Use this minor 6th shape to emulate Django Reinhardt or Bireli Lagrene-style gypsy jazz groove!
A Minor Chord
One of the best chords for new guitarists to learn, this open chord is easy to remember and offers smooth transition between other guitar chords.
Keep your thumb in the middle of the back of your neck pointing upward for easier reach around the fretboard and without accidentally hitting other strings. This will enable faster access and faster finger placement without accidentally touching other strings.
See the chord diagrams to understand what each finger needs to do – if there is an “X”, do not strum that string.
B Minor Chord
Beginners may find this chord more challenging; it requires barrening across strings 2-5 to achieve it successfully. But once mastered, this one produces a fuller sound from your fingers than other versions of the same chord.
Bar chords present new challenges when learning guitar; nonetheless, they provide an essential starting point in becoming a musician.