How To Learn Guitar Chords

Learning guitar chords is fundamental to teaching yourself guitar. This article will introduce you to 3 common chords that are appropriate for beginners. Once you’ve learned these, you’ll be able to play along to at least one 90’s alternative rock hit.

The first chord to learn is the C chord. This chord uses a combination of C, E, and G notes to produce its distinct sound. Follow these steps to construct the chord:

C Chord

C Chord

Next, let’s take a look at the D chord. The D chord is made up of the notes D, F#, and A. The D chord is slightly harder to play than the C chord, but practice enough and you’ll get it. Here’s how you create a D chord:

Chord D

Chord D

Lastly, let’s play a G chord. This chord needs G, B, and D notes. Follow these steps to play it:

Chord G

Chord G

So there you have it – your first guitar chords. Try playing the chords one after another in different orders. It will probably be quite difficult at first. Fortunately for you, fingers have memory. They will eventually remember where they’re supposed to be placed automatically.

For your first song, I recommend Third Eye Blind’s 90’s rock hit “Semi-charmed Life.” The entire song uses a three-chord progression of G, D, and C. If you have access to the song, try paying along with it. Don’t worry too much about getting the rhythm right as it’s somewhat complex for a first song. Just try switching to the right chords in time with the music.

You’ll find that your fingers will get more agile every time your practice. And don’t worry about your aching fingertips. The more you play; the faster you’ll develop calluses.

Once you’ve gotten the hang of playing G, D, and C chords and switching between them, try your hand at some of the other standard chords such as E, A, and Bm. Congratulations, you are well on your way to teaching yourself guitar.

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One Response to “How To Learn Guitar Chords”

  1. Adam Summers Says:
    October 20th, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    Good breakdown of finger placement. I like when you wrote, “…fingers have memory. They will eventually remember where they’re supposed to be placed automatically.” That’s great encouragement for the beginner and will stick in people’s minds.

    Here are some other easy-to-learn guitar songs…

    1. Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door by Bob Dylan
    2. Time of your Life ( Good Riddance ) by Green Day
    3. Free Fallin’ by Tom Petty
    4. Everybody Hurts by R.E.M
    5. House of the Rising Sun by The Animals



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