Easy chords for beginners

Guitar chords for beginners are something that lots of people are asking for. Chords seem to be one of the first things you learn on the guitar and to know a couple of easy guitar chords is a great way to get started – many songs are actually consisting of only three to four chords.

Basic major and minor chords

Symbols

1= index finger2= middle finger 3= ring finger
4= little fingerx= don't strum

C

C chord diagram

Avoid playing on the 6th string, you can mute this string with your thumb. Try to avoid mute the 4th string with ring finger. C is an abbrevation for C major.

D

D chord diagram

Avoid playing on the 6th and the 5th frets. This chord can be hurtful for your finger tips, in that case you could try to bar three strings on the 2th fret. D is an abbrevation for D major.

G

G chord diagram

Some prefer an alternative fingering with index and long finger on the 5th and 6th strings. It's no big beal if you accidently mute the 5th string. G is an abbrevation for G major.

Em

Em chord diagram

Some prefer an alternative fingering with index and long finger on the 5th and 4th strings. All strings should be played. Em is an abbrevation for E minor.

Am

Am chord diagram

Avoid playing on the 6th string, you can mute this string with your thumb. Am is an abbrevation for Am major.

E

E chord diagram

Notice that the shape is similar to Am, only moved one string. Try to avoid mute the 3rd string with ring finger. E is an abbrevation for E major.

A

A chord diagram

It can be tricky to get room for all fingers, some prefer to bar the strings with the index finger. Avoid to play on the 6th string. A is an abbrevation for A major.

F

F chord diagram

Avoid playing on the 6th and the 5th frets. The chord on the diagram is actually a Fmaj7, but it's presented here as an easier version of the normal F chord.

Comments

When the chord is a major, nothing except the tonic note (A is for exemple the tonic of an Am chord) of the chord are written out. A minor chord has a ´m´ after the chord letter. The symbols with numbers give more information how to read the chord charts. If you still are uncertain how to read the diagrams see How to read the chord charts.

If you find the chords presented here still too hard try the guide to "the easiest guitar chord".

Further reading: How to switch between chords
Video lesson: Learn your first open chords

Songs to play on guitar with easy chords

As mention in the text above you could find lots of songs that only have a few chords in them - and the same chords you learn as a beginner is still often used by experienced guitarists. This doesn’t make the tune primitive, it’s just that the writer of the song discovered it before somebody else, or at least put words to it in a unique way. Here are some well-known songs along with chords – it can be just an intro or a fragment; it’s just to give you something to bite into.


The River (B. Springsteen): Em - G - D - C
Knocking On Heavens Door (B. Dylan): G - D - Am7 - G - D - C
Mr. Tambourine Man (B. Dylan): G - A - D - G - D - G - A
Heart of Gold (N. Young): Em - C - D - G
Let It Be (The Beatles): G - D - Em - C -- G - D - C - G
Bad Moon Rising (J. Fogerty): D - A - G - D (4x) -- G - D - A - G – D
Bye Bye Love (The Everly Brothers): D - A - D - A - D - A - E - A (verse)

La Bamba (Richie Valens): C - F - G (chorus)
To Have And To Have Not (Billy Bragg): G - C - G - Em - D - G
Clocks (Coldplay): D - Am - Em

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