Now that you know the little bits of your guitar, it’s time for you to learn these 11 basic guitar chords that can enable you to play almost any song on your guitar.
There is nothing surprising to this, as these are the very fundamental guitar chords that you will be learning in 2 months of your guitar course.
These chords can be used to strum to 90% of the Easy Bollywood songs on Guitar. Even as basic as the Taylor Swift songs, these chords can do wonders.
In this beginners guide, you will learn about — the very basic 11 Chords – Open Major & Minor Chord, including – A, Am, C, E, Em, B, Bm, D, Dm, F.
If you are ready, grab hold of your guitar and let’s start learning.
11 Basic Guitar Chords
We will be learning the 8 + 3 beginner level chords for this guitar lesson.
As a prerequisite, I assume you are already familiar with the following. In case you are not, have a read, and come back:
- Basic Guitar Strings Naming
- Difference Between Major and Minor Chord
- Beginners Guide to Reading Guitar Chords
In this guitar chords tutorial, these are the 11 chords you will be learning.
If you are feeling it as difficult to learn all the 11 chords at once, You may progress by learning the 8 very basic beginner chords and then the rest of the chords.
There is nothing like beginner chords or intermediates chords. This is just my way of classification.
I am sure you will grasp them much faster this way.
So, out of the many chords, there are the 3 most important open chords that you should be knowing before anything else.
They are – C major, D major, and F major chords.
These are the very basic guitar chords that guitarists choose to learn, as they are very easy and straightforward.
Ask any guitarist, the C chord will be the most used chord of all time. It can be either called the C chord, or C major chord.
This C chord is a basic combination of C, E, and G notes.
This scale makes use of the string of B, D, A and creates a staircase-like pattern as shown in the chord diagram.
Here the fingers are to be placed in the proper position of only the first three frets.
The main thing to keep in mind is that the guitar is strummed while the low or the thick E-string is kept unplayed.
D chord is another easiest chord in this list.
In this, a triangle-like shape is formed making the use of only second and third frets.
It uses the fingers with the positioning on G, E, B strings in order as shown.
You will be pleased to hear the output sounds of – calm, and gentle tunes.
This F chord is a barre chord – which involved placing your fingers across the strings altogether as opposed to normally placing the finger on a string.
The F chord makes use of the 1st finger placed on the last two strings (thinnest) of the first fret, followed by a staircase pattern with the 2nd and 3rd finger on the other frets.
The trick here is strum just the first 4 chords (from right).
Remember that, although it’s easy to play this chord at a single instance, it will take time to get used to when switching between different chords.
The E major is an amazing chord that makes use of all the string to play.
Place your finger on the third string of the first fret, second finger on the second fret fifth string, and third finger on the second fret fourth string.
Hold and play them in a swish motion!
By the way, if you are looking for good quality guitar strings, you may check out the article published on our website.
We have talked about why is it an absolute necessity for a beginner to have an extra pair of guitar strings.
If you have mastered the E major chord, then this E minor chord would be a child play.
This is the simplest of simplest.
From the same E major chords, if you remove the first finger of the G string, you will transition to this Em chord.
Try it out. It’s just a matter of a minute.
The Am chord also called the A minor chord, is a similar variation to E major chord.
If you take a look, they do look the same, however different by just one string apart.
Keep in mind, this chord mutes the last high string (6th thick string).
A minor chord is great for moody and dull sounds — exactly if you are looking to play sad, gloomy, or breakup songs.
This is a very free-to-play chord and requires very less effort compared to the other major chords.
As simple as it looks, this chord makes use of only the second fret to play this chord.
Hold the fourth, third, and second strings of the second fret and you are all ready to strum.
B major chord is a basic, but the hardest of all other chords for a beginner to start playing.
This is one such chord that makes your fingers twist so awkwardly, and make your hands more tired on trying to play more.
It makes use of the four fingers, placed as:
- First finger on the first string of the second fret
- Second finger on the fourth string, third finger on the third string, and the fourth finger on the second string — all of the second fret
Again, there are a lot of ways you can play this B chord.
Some methods also allow you to get almost the same sound by using only 2 fingers. Read about the B Guitar Chord.
D minor chord makes use of the three fingers for on the first three frets as shown in the diagram.
The first finger is to placed on the first string of the first fret, the second finger on the third string of the second fret, and finally the third finger on the second string of the third fret.
Do note that the fifth and the sixth strings are to be unplayed while strumming.
The B minor chord is one of the trickest chords out there. There are lots of ways to play this too, and this is just one of them.
Here is how to position the fingers:
- First finger on the first string of the second fret
- Second finger on the second string of the third fret
- The third finger on the fourth string and the fourth finger on the third finger — both of the fourth fret
Note that this chord doesn’t involve playing the last two high strings.
It will be different for different methods. So don’t get confused, and better stick to one, and master it.
The G chord is also another trickiest chord that most beginners find difficult to remember.
It uses strumming on all the strings and uses only the first and second frets.
- Place your first finger on the fifth string of the second fret
- Now the second finger on the sixth string, third finger on the second string, and finally the fourth finger on the first string — all of the second fret.
You can read more and about the different variations of the G Chord.
How to Practice Chords?
Now that you have tried every basic guitar chords, it’s time for you to settle up these chord positions thoroughly in your mind.
Well, no one can learn any instruments without constant practice. Timing the rhythm and playing the chords clean is what is going to make you a professional guitarist.
4 Beats Single Chord Technique
One method I would suggest for practicing the chords is to repeatedly strum them in intervals of 4 seconds. The technique is just my way.
Practice as follows:
- Take the chord diagram of any chord you want to learn, let’s suppose the G – chord.
- Place your fingers in position, and play the down strumming 4 times.
- Now, lift your fingers off the fretboard and wait/count for 4 seconds.
- Then, put back the fingers for the same G – chord, and repeat.
4 Beats Multi-Chord Technique
This practice technique can be used when you are thorough with a few chords and needs to master the rest of the chords.
Basically, if you are finding it hard to memorize the rest of the chords, practice with this.
- Let’s suppose you want to learn G – chord. So you take the chord diagram and place your fingers in position.
- Play both the up and down strumming 4 times and then lift your fingers.
- Now, quickly place them in a position of any chord you are familiar with, suppose D – chord, and then play the strumming again 4 times.
- Switch to the other chord (G – chord), and Repeat.
When you’re ready, try playing faster.
You will be able to come in the pace with a rhythm out of those chords.
Playing Music With Basic Chords
Now, you are very well ready to start playing with the very basic chords. Make sure this gives you a motivational booster, to apply everything you have learned so far.
To start playing a rhythm on a guitar, you need to learn something called ‘Strumming Patterns‘.
Briefly, this is the sequence of the Up and Down strumming that forms a pattern. We denote the up strumming by ‘U’ and down strumming by ‘D‘.
An example would be: D D U D U D
You can learn more about it in our complete strumming patterns guide.
Here, in this video, we have 25 Hindi songs played with just 2 chords — which you had learned in this lesson.
Try playing out yourself, it uses only the two chords – Am and G chords and uses the strumming pattern – D D U U D D DU.
The guitar is a beautiful instrument to master, and of course, impress the people you want to.
I hope you found this quick lesson on basic guitar chords interesting and useful. Make sure you keep picking up your guitar much often and start practicing new strumming patterns with the above chords.
What’s your #1 takeaway or lesson from this study? Or maybe you have a question.
Feel free to leave a comment below.