Learning to play guitar is an exciting adventure. The guitar can sound single notes or chords. I want to talk to you about guitar chords for beginners today. We need to take care of a couple of things first so you understand things later.
First, a chord is made up of three or more notes that are played together. If you are playing a two note combination, that is called a diad and is different. It takes three notes to make a chord and the notes are played with the fingers of the left hand.
A chord is made up of a root note, a third above the root and a fifth above the root. If you are starting a chord at the “C” note, it is a “C” chord. Therefore the notes in a “C” chord are the root “C”, the third “E” and the fifth “G”. We get that by going up from the root alphabetically like this: “C”, “d”, “E”, “f”, “G”. You can find the notes in any chord this way.
One of the best guitar chords for beginners is the C major and is played like this:
1st string is open
2nd string, 1st fret. This is a “C” and is an octave (8 notes above) the root “C”. Played with the index (#1) finger
3rd string is open. This is the fifth, or “G”
4th string, 2nd fret. This is the third, or “E”. Played with the middle (#2) finger.
5th string, 3rd fret. This is the root “C”. Played with the ring (#3) finger.
6th string is not sounded. Although it is an “E”, it does not sound good with the chord, so is silenced.
Now draw the pick across the strings from the 5th string downward and listen to the sounds and how they blend together. The notes are what we call harmonious. They sound nice together. You have just played a C major chord. See how easy guitar chords for beginners are? A little practice and you’ll play it perfect every time.
The other two guitar chords for beginners in the key of C major are the “F” and the “G”. The F major has the notes F, A and C. The G major chord has the notes G, B, and D. Notice how all the chords contain the notes of the key of C?
Play the F chord like this:
1st string, 1st fret, index finger (F)
2nd string 1st fret, index finger (C). You can kind of lay your index finger across these strings.
3rd string, 2nd fret, middle finger (A)
4th string, 3rd fret, ring finger (F)
5th and 6th strings are not played.
Play the G chord like this:
1st string, 3rd fret, ring finger (G)
2nd string, open (B)
3rd string, open (G)
4th string, open (D)
5th string, 2nd fret (B)
6th string, 3rd fret (G)
As you see, the G chord actually spans three octaves of the G and two octaves of the B.