How To Learn Basic Guitar Chords Easily

(Last Updated On: May 3, 2020)

Among the initial challenges that a guitar player who is in the advancing stages faces is getting to know a core category of primary guitar chords. Why is learning the primary guitar chords so vital? Chords present many pop and rock songs backbones and offer harmonic accompaniment that instrumental solos and melody need. Guitar players who fail to commit to mind all the knowledge of the guitar chords will be unable to play any complicated guitar songs. Hence, they will forever stick in the beginner stage.

Rhythm guitar that has its basis on primary chords offers most of the commonly remembered rock riffs…think “Won’t Get Fooled Again” of the The Who’s, “Back in Black” or AC/DC’s. The amazing thing is by getting to know more than ten to fifteen primary guitar chords; you will have all that is needed to play pop and rock songs in their thousands.

What Is A Chord In Guitar?

Firstly, let us get to know what a chord is. A chord can be defined as three or even more separate musical notes that are played together. Where a guitar is concerned, it means a minimum of three strings being plucked or strummed at the same time to give a sound of 3 or even more notes. Because the guitar entails six strings, the most notes a particular chord can have is six. The guitar chords are placed into one among three groups, and this has a basis on the chord’s musical structure: Seventh, Minor or Major. Every chord group owns a ‘feel’ or “sound.” The sound given by major chords is usually complete and stable. Minor chords give out a more pensive or somber mood while Seventh chords give a somewhat incomplete sound and are jazzy.

Basic guitar chords” do not have a standard list that everyone is in agreement with. However, many people agree that a list exists in the range of eight and eighteen primary guitar chords (open string) which all guitarists need to know. All the different musical styles; classical, country and jazz, can use these chords. Regardless of the point, you are in your guitar-playing it is necessary to learn as well as master the primary chords. Understanding them well will ensure that posses the essential skills and tools to know numerous songs and increase the enjoyment you get when playing.

So what defines the primary guitar chords? Our primary stable entails the minor and major chords from 4 general musical keys A, C, D and G. Guitarists play them as “open chords” that is a minimum of one string within the chord will not be fretted (pushed down with one finger). Compared to the advanced chords like Barre chords or the complicated chords found upon the neck of the guitar, open chords are easier to learn as well play. Our minor and major chords list entails:

  • A Major (or A),
  • A Minor (or Am),
  • C,
  • D,
  • Dm,
  • E,
  • Em,
  • F,
  • G

The above chords can learn like chord “families” (by key) that one can put together and make chord sequences that sound great and make many popular songs. The use of the chord family way is more useful and interesting compared to memorizing a group of chords randomly!

Facts on Learning The Guitar Chords

Music is mathematical, and this means every note and chord in the musical scale is related to each other mathematically. Thus, if you are going to study guitar chords and you are looking at the chord diagrams, you will see visual representations of a part of the guitar neck that contains the needed information for you to learn a chord. You may think that the chords are randomly created, but upon more in-depth analysis, you will understand that each chord is relative to the previous lower chords or higher chords.

There are basically different approaches to learning the chords. Some would try to learn first the notes that run along the strings of the guitar. These learners try to memorize the notes and then, learn how each chord is constructed via the combination of different notes. This process, however, is a lengthy process, and only those who are studying classical guitars are the ones who are required to learn guitar chords in this way.

Some guitarists, however, simply memorize the positions of the fingers to create the sound of the guitar chord. They try to learn where the fingers would be positioned when playing barre chords “A,” “B,” “C,” etc. Then, they move on learning how to transition from one chord to the next chord easily. This is the way I’ve learned how to play guitar chords, and I think it is a more natural way.

The Basic Guitar Chord Family

The chords categorized using chord family (key) are:

  • A Family (A Key): A, D, E
  • D Family (D Key): D, Em, G, A
  • G Family ( G Key): G, Am, C, D, Em
  • C Family ( C Key): C, Dm, Em, F, G

Things You Must Know Before Learning The Guitar Chords

First you must get a feel of your guitar, learn what its various parts are, then how to tune a guitar. A chord is a group of three or more scales notes which brings out the melody or tune of the song when played together.

Some may think that playing guitar is easy and some may think it is difficult. However, my advice would be to approach the guitar lessons with an open mind and begin with the chords that can be learned quickly. The chords A, C, D, and G, are played with three fingers and are considered as easy to learn chords.

An acoustic guitar is advisable for the beginner. An electric guitar will be noisy if you do not have proper control.

The “fretboard” is on the neck of the guitar, which is the long slender portion of the instrument. The “sound hole” is on the body of the guitar, which is the broader portion of the instrument. A right handed person holds the guitar with the fret board to the left and the sound hole to the right and vice versa.

The left-hand presses the appropriate strings on the fret board and simultaneously the right-hand strums the string at the sound hole and the chord plays the tune. This is the basics of strumming a guitar. Once you have played one chord correctly, proceed to understand the next chord. Proceed slowly and steadily understanding each chord until you master the chord progression.

Be relaxed while playing the guitar and apply only sufficient pressure on the string at the fret board so as produce the required sound. Take care not to injure your fingers by pressing too hard. This also results in harsh and unpleasant sounds. Follow these tips, and you will turn out to be a good guitar player.

Helpful Tips to Learn the Primary Chords

1) Choose one Chord Family and Commit it to mind. This will offer you fast success as well as ensure you play progressions that are sweet sounding immediately.

2) Make a Chart for Guitar Chords your reference tool. A chart for chords shows every chord to be an easily readable “chord diagram” bearing exact positions for fingers.

3) Look for lyrics and chords for a simple song with the family of chords basis so that you can be able to put your skills into the application. Most great songs have their basis on only three chords.

4) Make sure every string has the right sound. Ensure that every string is clear in sound and only the right strings are being played.

5) Practice and more practice! With each day practice should continually change from chord to chord until you can be bale to do it in a fast way. Learn the families of chords one by one.

6) Commit to mind all the primary chords first. It is only after that you should move to Barre chords as well as other complicated chords. Things should be done in order of priority.

7) Expand using the 7th chords. As the following step, you can be able to simply expand on the knowledge you have on basic chords by adding the seventh as well as minor seventh chords with basis on the 9 primary minor and major chords.

8) Enjoy yourself while using your newly-developed skills! Have fun with your musical capability by putting into practice and learning a set entailing 5-10 songs that you know very well and have the ability to play confidently when required to.

Nevertheless, we are not only talking about different chord qualities together with their extensions, however, but the various chords voicing are also included. Getting to know more playing ways of the identical chord is ideal for lead playing and rhythm.

Useful Tips To Learn The Guitar Chord Fast

Everyone wants to learn to play the guitar the fastest way possible, and I think this is a natural phenomenon amongst most students. I mean, it is usual for people to want to learn something and show off their prowess. This is quite possible on guitar since it IS one of the instruments which can be learned fast. In a couple of weeks, you can play some songs which are recognizable as songs and are good to hear. Anyways, let me give you some tips to get you there.

There are correct ways to learn the guitars in as much as there are wrong ways to start your guitar lessons. To help you learn guitar chords the right way, we have outlined here several tips on how you should learn guitar chords fast.

  • Practice Strumming: Before you learn chords, start practicing strumming. This is done by pressing the frets with your left fingers and strumming on the string rhythmically, so that you get a feel of the guitar, how to hold it and strum. Maintaining the rhythm of a song is highly important, and hence this should be your first lesson.
  • Learn the basic chords: Some basic chords are common to most songs. So, make it a point to learn these basic chords before you advance to songs. These chords are D, G, C and A in its order of importance. If you master these chords first, it will go a long way in playing songs faster. Also, learn to move from chord to chord in varying sequences.
  • Know the “cheater chords”: There are some chords which produce sounds very similar to the bar chords. They are called cheater chords, and you will do well to learn this. It helps in playing the guitar faster. You can relieve yourself of some frustrating moments by only learning the one finger G and B.
  • Understand the Chord Diagrams: Learning the chord charts or chord diagrams is essential to playing the guitar. As mentioned above, the chord diagrams refer to the visual representations of the guitar neck that contains the information about a chord. You should learn to read and memorize these chord diagrams so that you will know where to position your fingers when playing a chord. 
  • Learn How to Practice Correctly: Some beginners in guitar playing, for lack of good guitar tutors, learn to play guitar chords the wrong way. Many beginners fall into this trap and soon develop the bad habit of finger placements. Hence, at the onset, you should know the proper finger placements so that you can develop the correct habits. If you do it the wrong way, you may end up producing muffled sound or muted notes. A good guitar tutor can help you position your fingers on the fretboard. He would be able to guide you by giving good pointers and help you develop the correct ways of playing the chords. He would also teach you how to hold the guitar the proper way and at the right angles.
  • Learn How to Play Rhythm First: Learning how to play the rhythm is like getting into the groove. Grooves are repeating and recurring harmonic and rhythmic patterns that lead you down the music path. So, when playing the guitar, you need to get into the groove. The groove’s components include the rhythm guitar, drums, and the bass. The lead guitar simply rides on the rhythm, without which, the lead guitar will be useless. Always remember that without rhythm, a song can never exist, but without lead, you can still play a song. Learning how to play the rhythm is vital to the skill development of a guitarist. One essential tool that you should have when learning rhythm is that of the drum machine. This drum machine can help you develop that subconscious sense of rhythm, enabling you to be one with the beat.
  • Learn How to Play Barre Chords: If you want to be a rock guitarist, you should learn how to play barre chords because they are the very soul and heart of rock music. If you don’t yet have an electric guitar, you can use an acoustic guitar to learn how to play barre chords. However, using an acoustic guitar to play barre chords inevitably entails a lot of hard works because most acoustic guitars have a wider neck. Yet, if you learn how to play barre chords using an acoustic guitar, you will surely find playing the barre chords using electric guitar easy. A barre chord (bar chord) is a chord type that you play on your guitar that makes use of one or more of your fingers to press down, across a single fret, multiple strings. At the onset, it would be difficult for you to play barre chords, but as your fingers and hand get used to playing barre chords, you will soon surely enjoy playing guitars.
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