If you have never picked up the guitar, but you really want to learn how to play, this is the lesson for you. By learning just the two chord shapes in this lesson you will be able to play a ton of songs. The idea behind this lesson is not to play perfectly, but to get started making some real music as quickly as possible. If you, as a beginner, can play some cool music right away, you will be encouraged and a lot more excited about learning to play the guitar. Your fingers will probably be a bit sore after playing for a while but that will pass after a few weeks.
The chord progression that we will be using in this lesson is E, A, B, and E. Start off by putting your index finger on the 7th fret of the second thickest string. Now put your 3rd finger on the 9th fret of the 4th string and your pinky on the 9th fret of the 3rd string. If you have a pick, hold it between your right index finger and your thumb, if you don’t have a pick just use your fingers. Strum all six strings. That is an E chord.
Put your 3rd finger on the 2nd fret of the 4th string and your pinky on the 2nd fret of the 3rd string. This is an A chord. This is the same shape as the first chord in the progression, but instead of using your index finger, you just have an open 5th string. Strum all of the strings except for the Low E string.
Take the same shape that we first learned and instead of having your index finger on the 7th fret of the 5th string, put it on the 2nd fret. Now your 3rd finger should be on the 4th fret of the 4th string and your pinky should be on the 4th fret of the 3rd string. Strum all of the strings except for the low E. This is a B chord.
One chord left to learn. The last chord is a regular open E chord. This is the only chord where you have to learn a new shape. Take your index finger and place it on the 1st fret of the 3rd string. Now place your 3rd finger on the 2nd fret of the 4th string and your 2nd finger on the 2nd fret of the 5th string. Strum all six strings.
Now that you have all of the chords learned, let’s put a basic strumming pattern with the progression. To start out, lets keep it simple. Use all down strokes with your right hand. You should have eight down strokes for every chord. Take you time changing chords at first and try to make the notes as clear as possible. If you are not hearing all of the notes in the chords, make sure that you are pressing down on the strings hard enough. If the chords still don’t sound right, make sure that you are not muting some strings with your fingers that are fretting the notes. Concentrate on keeping a steady rhythm with your right hand.
Listen for these chord and progressions like this one in music that you like to listen to. Take the shapes that you have learned in this lesson and try mixing them up to come up with your own songs. Just experiment. At this point there really is not right or wrong. Be patient with yourself and remember to have fun learning the guitar.