The easiest guitar chords
Ok, so you are a complete beginner and want to have the easiest possible start on your guitar journey. The standard way to begin playing guitar is to learn some of the basic chords and this is exactly that we will do here. We get underway with one finger chords, and then continue with two finger chords and finally look into easy chords including three fingers.
How many chords are needed?
You are probably not surprised with the answer: it depends. But, there are songs with only two or three chords, so you don't have to study hard and fill your brain with plenty of chords. Eventually, you will probably learn some more chords and expand your repertoire, but there is no hurry.
Here is presented some of the easiest guitar chords around, a suggestion of chords for you as a beginner to try (instructions how to read the diagrams).
Zero finger chords
Yes, they actually exist. We forgot to mention this in the beginning. These chords are, however, more of a curiosa. Anyway, here is two examples:
The names of the chords above are G6/add9 and Em/D. Notice the slight difference with two muted strings on the second one. Alright, let us move on to more useful stuff.
Chords with one finger
One important word before we start with this category. The most of the one finger chords are actually rare in practice. So treat this most as a first step (one of the reasons for this article is that everyone should be able to pick this up) of your learning or jump directly ahead to the two finger chords.
The chords above was mostly presented with the purpose of exercising as an easy first step before we move forward. Yet, there is a category of one finger chords that you can create great music with. It's time to introduce the power chord:
These are diagrams of E5 and A5. You have now learned you first power chords and these are very handy if you like rock music and similar genres. Try to play these chords and alter between them and you will hopefully hear an embryo of some cool guitar riffs. Notice that you only play on two of six strings. Read the full article about power chords.
Easy chords with two fingers
The time has finally come to learn some common and useful open chords.
These are Em (E minor) and Am7 (A minor seven). Both very common in lots of styles like pop, singer-songwriter among others. Try a progression only by changing between these chords (you will soon get a chord progression including more chords).
A7 and E7 are the names of these chords. They may be slightly more difficult than Em, but eventually you get it. These chords have a bluesy character. Try to play them in a progression such as E7 - A7 - E7 - A7 and hopefully you can recognize some blues in it.
As you can see, the chord above to the right includes three fingers. If you feel ready for a little more challenging task you can get cool riffs by just using these two chords. The names of the chords are Asus2 and Asus4. Begin with Asus2. The change to Asus4 only involves one extra finger (the little finger) and you should not lift the other two.
Easy three finger chords
We shall only focus on two chords here (if you are ambitious there are more easy chords to be found).
By learning these two chords and combine them with a two fingers chord you already have learned you can start to form your first real chord progressions. These chords are also a good choice to start with because the movement when shifting between them are minimal and, thus, fast to learn.
The names of the chords are Am (A minor) and C (C major). When you learn these chords, notice the small difference on the fingerings. You just lift one finger every time you move from Am to C or vice versa.
To be able to play something that sounds nice with the chords you now starting to learn here is a very easy chord progression. After you have managed to do these changes: Am – C – Am – C try to include Em (see the diagram above). It can be something like:
C - Am - Em
Be creative and try different strumming patterns with both up and down strokes.
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