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 actually consist of only three to four chords. You can click on the play buttons for sound.

Basic major and minor chords


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


C chord diagram X32010

Avoid playing on the 6th string, you can mute this string with your thumb. Try to avoid muting the 4th string with your ring finger.


D chord diagram XX02323

Avoid playing on the 6th and the 5th frets. This chord can be hurtful for your fingertips, in that case you could try to bar three strings on the 2nd fret.


G chord diagram 320003

Some prefer an alternative fingering with index and long finger on the 5th and 6th strings. It's no big deal if you accidentally mute the 5th string.


Em chord diagram 022000

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


Am chord diagram X02210

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


E chord diagram 022100

Notice that the shape is similar to Am. Try to avoid mute the 3rd string with your ring finger. E is an abbreviation for E major.


A chord diagram X02220

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


F chord diagram XX3210

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


When the chord is a major, nothing except the tonic note (A is for example the tonic of an Am chord) of the chord are written out. A minor chord has a ´m´ after the chord letter. 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, see the guide to "the easiest guitar chord".

Further reading: How to switch between chords

Digital poster

The Chord Chart Poster thumbnail
The Chord Chart Poster
includes a selection of the 100+ most important chords for guitar.

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 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 - Am - 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
Midnight Special (Lead Belly): D - A - E