Easy Guitar Chords For Beginners

Learning to play your first guitar chord is an experience of a lifetime. It feels beautiful, and you are going to remember this experience for the rest of your life. In this lesson, you will learn to play your first guitar chords. 

How To Play Guitar Chords For Begi...
How To Play Guitar Chords For Beginners | First Chords | Lesson 5

What are Guitar Chords?

Guitar Chords are two or more notes played together. When you play a chord, you layer several notes together and play them simultaneously. So if you play any two or more notes together, i.e., harmonically, it is a chord.  In general, most guitar chords consist of three or more notes.

 

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First Chords To Learn On Guitar?

As a beginner, the first two chords you should learn are A Minor and C Major. A Minor is the first chord to learn on guitar. Then you should learn the C major. A Minor and C Major help you build a solid foundation and get started with playing chords using three fingers.

How To Play A Minor Chord

A Minor is the first chord that one should learn to play on guitar.

A Minor is a 5 String Chord. To play A Minor Chord.

  1. Place your Index Finger on First FretSecond String.
  2. Place your Middle Finger on Second FretFourth String.
  3. Place your Ring Finger on Second FretThird String.
  4. First and Fifth Strings are played open.
  5. Sixth String is not played.
A Minor Chord Chart

How To Play C Major Chord

C Major Chord is also an easy beginner chord.

C Major is a 5 String Chord. To play C Major Chord.

  1. Place your Index Finger on First FretSecond String.
  2. Place your Middle Finger on Second FretFourth String.
  3. Place your Ring Finger on Third Fret, Fifth String.
  4. First and Third Strings are played open.
  5. Sixth String is not played.
C Major Chord Diagram

A Minor Chord Practice Exercises

Below are two exercises that you can do to practice playing A minor chord. Start at a slow tempo and play downstrokes. I suggest you watch the video lesson to get a better understanding of the A Minor chord exercises.

A Minor Chord — Exercise 1

Hold the Am Chord and play a downstroke on the first beat of every bar.

 

Aminor Chord Exercise 1
Aminor Chord Exercise 1 Image

A Minor Chord — Exercise 2

Hold the Am Chord and play downstrokes on the first beat and third beat of every bar.

Am Chord Exercise 2
Am Chord Exercise 2

C Major Chord Practice Exercise

Now, let's practice the C Major chord. Start at a slow tempo and play downstrokes. I suggest you watch the video lesson to get a better understanding of the C Major chord exercises.

C Major Chord — Exercise 3

Hold the C Major chord and play downstrokes on the first beat of every bar.

Cmaj Chord Exercise
C major chord exercise

C Major Chord — Exercise 4

Hold the C Major chord and play downstrokes on the first beat and third beat of every bar.

C major chord exercise
C major chord exercise

C Major Chord — Exercise 5

Hold the C Major chord and play downstrokes on every beat of every bar.

C major chord exercise
C major chord exercise
C major chord exercise

 

How To Switch Chords

Switching chords is challenging for a beginner. To practice switching chords, start at a slow tempo and practice downstroke on the first beat of every bar. 

I suggest you watch the video lesson to get a better understanding of the below-mentioned Chord Switching Exercises.

Chord Switching Exercise — Exercise 6

Play a particular chord for 4 bars and switch to a different chord at the 5th bar.

Chord Switching Exercise Easy
Chord Switching Exercise Easy
beginner guitart chord exercise

Chord Switching Exercise — Exercise 7

Play downstroke on the first beat of a bar and switch at 3rd bar. Watch the video lesson to get an even better understanding and play-along.

Play a particular chord for 4 bars and switch to a different chord at 5th Bar.
Play a particular chord for 4 bars and switch to a different chord at 5th Bar.

 

Proper Way To Hold chords

To play chords easily and properly on a guitar, it is advised to use the tips of your fingers. Position your thumb behind the neck, near the middle. This helps you to apply adequate pressure while fretting notes and get a clean, ringing sound.

How to stop your fingers from hurting when playing the guitar?

  1. If your fingers hurt, take a break. This is very normal. Many beginner guitar players experience sore fingers when learning guitar.
  2. Start again once your fingers feel normal. If it hurts a lot, take a break for a day or two and try again. There is no need to take unnecessary medication to ease the pain. The best practice is to take a break and start again. Finger pain is normal and will eventually go away as you play and practice.
  3. If you wish, you can apply numbing ointment to ease the discomfort between sessions.
  4. You can also soak your fingers in ice-cold water for a few minutes to ease out the pain.

Learn To Play Your First Guitar Songs

Now, let's learn to play your first two guitar songs on the guitar that use A Minor and C Major chords. These are easy beginner songs on guitar that use the chords A Minor and C Major. Easy Song 1, using A minor and C major, is Let It Be by The Beatles. Easy Song 2, using A minor and C Major, is With Or Without You by U2. There are more chords and the key to the original songs varies, but I have simplified the songs using just two chords. So enjoy and learn.

Let It Be By The Beatles — Easy Version

Let It Be By The Beatles follows an easy 4/4 groove and is relatively very easy to play for a beginner guitarist. Play a downstroke on the first beat of every bar, and switch between the A-Minor chord and C-Major chord. To understand strumming patterns and get a better understanding of how to play,  Watch the Video lesson.

Let it be easy version chords
Let it be easy version chords
Let it be easy version chords

With Or Without You By U2 — Easy Version

Play a downstroke on the first beat of every bar, and switch between the A-Minor chord and C-Major chord. To understand strumming patterns and get a better understanding of how to play,  Watch the Video lesson.

With or without you U2 chords easy version

Now you know your first two guitar chords and also know to play your first songs on guitar. Practice it, have fun.

To download the exercise, song's PDF, and tab sheets. Click here.

In the next lesson, Learn To Play G Major and D Major Chords on Guitar

Beginner Guitar Chord Related FAQs

What is the easiest beginner song on guitar?

Let it be by The Beatles is one of the easiest beginner songs. Another Easiest Song is With or Without You by U2. Easy beginner songs use open chords that are easy to play. In my opinion. Some of the easiest beginner songs are by the Band U2, The Beatles, Coldplay, etc.

What is the easiest way to learn guitar chords?

The easiest way to learn guitar chords is by breaking down the chords and learning the chord shapes step-by-step. Once you know a few chord shapes, you should practice switching between chords.

What are the first 5 chords to learn on guitar?

The first five chords to learn on a guitar are A-minor, C-major, G-major, D-major, and E-minor. If you learn all these chord open shapes, you can derive a lot more chords by moving these chord shapes.

Should I learn chords or strumming first?

Learn to play chords first with just downstrokes. Once you get a better hold of shifting chords using just downstroke, learn to strum.

How many chords do guitarists know?

Guitar chords are like vocabulary. Professional guitar players use hundreds of chords. One cannot determine the number of chords they know, and the number does not matter. What matters is that you know the chords  according to music and emotion.

How Do Chords Work?

You can easily derive chord formulas using intervals. Each chord type has its formula. For, e.g., a major chord formula is 1-3-5. This means that in any major key if you play the 1st, 3rd, and 5th note simultaneously, you will play a major chord.

What is the purpose of chords in music?

Chords serve as the backbone to building emotion and telling stories in music. Each chord offers a different vibe/feel and when combined with melodies, phrases, rhythm, and other elements, musicians easily tell a story or share an experience.

 

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3 comments


  • Music-michelle

    This is really helpful lesson. Trying to learn and play the chords. Thank you


  • Udeeksh Sood

    Hello Nelson!
    I am glad it helped you and thanks for your support and appreciation.


  • Nelson Prince

    Very helpful


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Udeeksh Sood on

Udeeksh is an Audio Engineer and Co-Founder of learnmusicproduction.in. He loves to produce music, research music gear, play guitar, go on treks and road trips.