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.
Basic major and minor chords
= index finger= middle finger = ring finger = little finger= don't strum
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.
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.
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.
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.
Avoid playing on the 6th string, you can mute this string with your thumb. Am is an abbreviation for Am major.
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.
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.
Avoid playing on the 6th and 5th strings. The chord on the diagram is actually a 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
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 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