As a beginner, the most important thing to learn is the basic guitar chords.
But of all the chords out there, where should you start?
Here’s the deal:
This article will teach you the 10 essential chords that every beginner must learn.
Let’s start with the 8 easy open chords called first position chords.
These chords are C, D, E, G, A, Dm, Em, Am.
These are usually in the first three frets with some open strings.
Here’s the thing:
I based it on the most commonly used chords in pop songs. So, you’ll probably be using them a lot.
It’s better to start early, right?
G, C, and D Majors
If you don’t know how to read chord diagrams, you can learn more about it here.
The fastest way to memorize the chords is to practice. Here are some songs you could try with G, C, and D chord progressions.
- Leaving on a Jetplane – John Denver | Chords | Youtube
- Sweet Home Alabama – Lynard Skynard | Chords | Youtube | Spotify
- You shook Me All Night Long – AC/DC | Chords | Youtube | Spotify
A and E Major Chords
You’re getting there, just keep practicing! Here are some songs you could try having only the first five chords:
- Bad Moon Rising – Creedence Clearwater Revival | Chords | Youtube | Spotify
- Free Fallin – Tom Petty | Chords | Youtube | Spotify
The minors (Am, Em, and Dm chords)
By definition, major and minor are completely opposite things, but in music, not so much.
The main difference between major and minor is “the third” note, which is usually flat.
So, technically most notes in chords or in scales are the same.
As for the sound it makes, major is much livelier or a happier sound than a minor, which produces a sad sound.
Here are some songs you could practice having the basic major and minor chords:
- All of Me – John Legend | Chords | Youtube | Spotify
- With or Without You – U2 | Chords | Youtube | Spotify
- The Show – Lenka | Chords | Youtube | Spotify
If you’d like to learn more about strumming + songs with easy chords, click here.
Important Barre Chords (F and Bm)
These 2 chords are a little bit challenging, but they are usually used in pop songs.
The reason why they are challenging is that they are both barre chords.
You don’t necessarily need to learn it right away, but you’ll encounter them with some songs you might want to play sooner or later.
Easy F and Bm on Guitar
If you want to go the easy way, you could try the accessible version of these chords.
Later on, in your guitar journey, you’ll still run into these chords, so at least try to practice them.
Barre chords are not easy for beginners, so take your time. Anyways, here is the easy way to play the F chord and Bm chord.
Songs you could try with either F or Bm chords:
- Blank Space / Style (Taylor Swift) Mashup – Louisa Wendorff and Devin Dawson | Chords | Youtube
- Fall for You – Secondhand Serenade| Chords | Youtube | Spotify
- I Started a Joke – Bees Gees | Chords | Youtube | Spotify
- Just the Way You Are – Bruno Mars | Chords | Youtube | Spotify
Final Words of Advice
These beginner chords will be your stepping stone to becoming an excellent guitar player!
Use the tip of your fingers when pressing the strings and bend your knuckles to avoid muting other strings.
Your thumb should be resting vertically on the back of the guitar neck and should be used to mute the low E-string when necessary.
The trick in changing chords is not to be fast; instead, you should be smooth and direct so that there won’t be any wasted movement.
Your fingernails should be cut short. Otherwise, you’ll find it hard to press the strings, or your nail will probably mute the nearby strings.
Remembering the chords won’t be based on what you see, preferably on what you feel.
Thus, you are teaching your fingers muscle memory, which is why the fastest way to memorize all these chords is to keep on practicing!
Last but definitely not least: