Two More Guitar Chords

If you are a complete beginner this will be an exciting lesson for you because you are going to learn two more of the chords that you will need to know in order to play the song at the end of this series. Those two chords are G major and D major. Both of these chords are “open” chords. Open chords simply refer to chords that are played mostly on the first three frets of the guitar and have at least one open string ringing out when the chord is strummed.


Go through both the G and D chords slowly and memorize the shape as best as you can. It may take a while for your hands to remember the chord shapes but if you practice regularly you will eventually have them down cold. Your fingers might not have enough strength to make great sounding chords right away but practice and repetition will pay off in the end. Your fingers will probably get pretty sore after a few days of playing but if you are faithful to your practice the pain will eventually go away.

Make sure to remember everything you have learned in the right and left hand guitar technique lessons. You will see the G major and D major chords. Remember to curve your fingers around and come down on the very tips of them. If you don’t come down on the very tips of your fingers they might mute the neighboring strings and make your chords sound buzzy and ugly. Try your best to make these guitar chords as clean and smooth sounding as possible.

In the next lesson you will have a chance to learn how to play your first song on guitar. If you have any questions you can just leave them here and I’ll get back to you.

This Lesson Has 25 Comments

  • Larry Riley says:

    I understand the circles at the top of the diagram indicate the string is to be played open, however, why are some circles solid black and other circles not solid.

    • Nate Savage says:

      The black dots represent root notes of chords. For example, black dots on a G major chord diagram would represent G notes.

  • M. Balke says:

    Hi Nate I have been practicing the four individual chords and although I can sort of hit them I am still having trouble muting some of the other strings. Do you have any suggestions?

  • Caylin says:

    Hi Nate, I’ve been having trouble with D Major. I kind of have small hands and my 3rd finger is having trouble reaching the B string, so instead of (1)(G) (2)(E) (3)(B), I’ve been switching fingers 1 and 2, is that okay?

  • Aps says:

    Hey Nate,
    I have a huge problem with D major. All my finger positions are fine, but there is some muting. I keep ma finger firm on fret board. Is that the reason for muting,as i feel the string are getting taut when I do so?

    • Nate Savage says:

      Hey Aps, Yep, the D major can be a little tricky because you are cramming all of your fingers into such a small area. Try to make sure that you are coming down on the strings so that your fingers are a little more perpendicular to the strings. Bringing your elbow into your side a bit will make this happen automatically.

  • Burt Williamson says:

    How do you manage to hit only the 4 strings for the D chord? I hit the 5th string frequently? Please let me know.

    • Nate Savage says:

      Hey Burt. You have to take some time and work just on your strumming hand aim. Don’t even worry about making chords for a bit and just focus on how it feels to hit just those four strings. Make sure you actually look back and watch your strumming hand. Eventually you will remember what that feels like and you won’t have to look anymore.

  • Burt Williamson says:

    Your knuckles bend perfectly so your finger tip goes straight down. Can that be developed or is that a dexterity thing? I seem to have terrible flexibility.

    • Nate Savage says:

      Hey Burt. It is a dexterity thing that needs to be developed. Although I’ve seen some guitarists who don’t have very good technique make clean sounding chords. :)

  • akanksha says:

    thanks a lot lot lot nate….. u hav made things soooo soooo soooooo very easier……:)

  • Andrew says:

    Hi Nate,

    I’ve found these beginner lessons very helpful. I am trying to learn by myself but am playing frequently with 2 already accomplished guitarist who often shed light on certain things. My problem is like many whereby I’m trying to come down on all the strings but my guitar has a wide neck and I’m struggling to know where my thumb should be behind the neck as a result. Any tips would be useful. I’ve already tried changing positions of how I hold the guitar but wonder what else I could try. I wouldn’t say I have incredibly long fingers either. I’m at a loss. Please advise.
    Many thanks.

    • Nate Savage says:

      Hey Andrew, the thumb on the back of the neck is kind of an elastic “rule”. It’s ideal to have great posture when you play and have your thumb right on the back of the neck, but that is not always realistic. Depending on what I am playing my thumb sometimes creeps up to the edge of the fretboard or even over it. For example, when I play my open D major chord I almost always have my thumb over the fretboard to mute the E and A strings.

  • Rae says:

    Hi Nate, your lessons so far have been SO helpful, thank you! I’m practicing the chords, but my high E sounds really twangy. I’ve never played the guitar before (or any instrument for that matter) and I downloaded an app to help me tune my guitar. Do you think it is sounding twangy because of my finger placement or because it’s out of tune? Is there an app you recommend to tune? Again, thank you!

    • Nate Savage says:

      Hey Rae, Is your E really twangy when you play it open or is it only when you are fretting a note on it? All of the apps out there are pretty good. The ones I use are the TC Electronic PolyTune and the Guitar Tuner2 (Squared). If your string is twangy or buzzy open you might want to get your guitar looked at.

    • Rae says:

      Hi Nate,it is twangy when I am fretting a chord. Using the tuner, I tuned it to an E and it sounds fine when I open strum. The twang definitely comes when I’m playing. Do you think it’s more of a technique issue? And thank you for the recommendation on tuning apps!

    • Nate Savage says:

      Hmmmm, I would try to get rid of the twang,/buzz while playing single notes. If you can get it to sound clean playing single notes but not chords it might be a technique thing. If you can’t get the single notes to sound good it might be a guitar issue.

  • Rayan Noureddine says:

    I am having trouble with the D major and G major because my fingers are not long enough so what should i do

  • Sarthak Gupta says:

    Hey Nate,
    I still have a doubt that how can we exclude the strings while strumming as u said in the previous lesson that while reading a chord the X above a string says that we dont hav to strum that.Its really confusing. :/

  • Lisa says:

    HI Nate
    I love this series. its a big help.
    I just want to clarify something. so the black dots represent the same key on the piano for example that the note represents so that when we pick a song rather then strum it that is the string to chose correct?

    I learned how to strum many years ago but want to learn to pick but im going through this whole series for review to refresh it.


    • Nate Savage says:

      Hey Lisa, the black dots on the chord diagrams just represent the root note of the chord you are playing. For example: If you are playing a G chord the black notes in the G chord diagram are G notes. Make sense?

  • Nandun says:

    Thanx Nate. It helps me a lot

  • Lelei Tago says:

    Hey Nate! I’m a beginner guitar player .. And my finger placement on the fretboard still makes that buzz sound when I play it! I followed some of your tips like where the finger should be .. But my fingers aren’t familiar with being in such a awkward situation like for the D Major or other chords .. Any tip on how I can perfect my fretting hand to prevent that buzzing sound?

    • Nate Savage says:

      Hey Lelei, a lot of it comes down to consistently practicing and remembering to apply the tips here on Making these new shapes with your fingers is foreign and new so it will take some time to build up the strength and dexterity to be able to play them.


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