Essential Guitar Chords
This is an exciting lesson because you are going to be learning seven essential guitar chords that will enable you to play a ton of different songs. These chords are found in all styles of music, so no matter what you are in to you will be able to use these chords. We will be learning five major chords and two minor chords. All of these chords are open chords. That just means that they are all in the first position and all have at least one open string ringing out when you play them. These guitar chords are the foundation of a lot of the chords that you will be learning in the future. Make sure that you take the time to learn them properly. If the video moves a bit fast for you, just stop it and practice until you feel comfortable moving on to the next chord.
When you start learning these chords there are few things to keep in mind to make the chords sound as clear as possible. Make sure that you are curving your fingers over so that you are playing with the very tips of your fingers. If you aren’t curving your fingers properly, they can kind of lay over some of the other strings and mute them. The next thing to remember is to practice often and be patient with your self. Playing these chords requires strength in some hand muscles that you are probably not used to using. Don’t get frustrated if you don’t get great sounding chords right away. Just practice every day that you can and try to build up your hand strength. The last thing that you should remember is to try and keep your thumb behind the neck. This can be difficult at first but it will help you and the sound of your chords in the long run.
The first five chords that we will be learning are all major chords. Let’s learn the C major chord step by step and I will let you learn the others on your own. Start off by putting your 1st finger on the 1st fret of the 2nd string. Make sure that your finger is curved over enough so that it is not muting the 1st string. Put your 2nd finger on the 3rd fret of the 4th string. Again, make sure that your 2nd finger curved enough so that it is not muting the open 3rd string. Finish off the chord by placing your 3rd finger on the 3rd fret of the 5th string. Try not to mute the 4th string with your third finger. Now strum all of the strings except for the low E string. Great, that is your C major chord. Now take some time to look at the chord diagrams and learn the other four open major chords. Make sure to take your time, make the chords as clear sounding as possible, and pay attention to which finger number you should be using. Remember, if you see an X above a string on a chord diagram, that means that you should not be playing that string at all.
The two minor chords that we are going to be learning are E minor and A minor. If you already learned the E and A major chords, the E and A minor chords will be very easy for you. You only have to change one note in the major chords to make them in to minor chords. Let’s start by playing an E major chord. Once you have that chord in place, just take your 1st finger off of the 3rd string and play that string open. That is an E minor chord.
Put your A major chord on. Only one note changes in the chord, but we have to change the fingering of the chord in order to play it properly. Keep the shape of the A major chord in your head while you are learning the fingering for the A minor chord. Place your 2nd finger on the 2nd fret of the 4th string and your 3rd finger on the 2nd fret of the 3rd string. Finish off the chord by placing your 1st finger on the 1st fret of the 2nd string. Play all of the strings except for the low E string.
Now that you know all of these essential chords, you can put them together to start playing real music. If you want to experiment in the key of G, try using G, C, and D major. You can also throw in the A and E minor if you want to. Try playing in the key of A major too. The major chords in the key of A are A, D, and E. Mix these chords up to make your own music. You might want to look for some TABS to see if you can find these chords in some songs that you would like to learn for yourself.
Once you have completed this lesson you may want to move on to some basic strumming patterns!