Playing Guitar Chords
To master the guitar, one has to learn a few fundamental skill sets and learn them very well. One of the most important skills one has to learn is the ability to play guitar chords. In the previous lesson, we discussed chords. We discussed what a chord is, how to read chord charts, and how to properly articulate notes in chords. In this lesson we are going to take a look at three more beginner chords. Once you learn how to play and memorize these chords along with the C major chord, you will be well your way to learning to play the guitar.
What is a Chord?
To review, a chord may be defined as follows:
- A group of (typically three or more) notes sounded together, as a basis of harmony.
- Two or more notes played simultaneously.
To play a guitar chord one must 'form the notes of the chord' with the left hand (articulator), and strum the notes of the chord with the right hand or strumming hand. The difficulty for beginners usually comes from coordination problems, a lack of empirical knowledge about which notes to play, and or articulation problems.
A few beginner chords
If you haven't read the first lesson on guitar chords, make sure you review that before continuing, as that lesson will discuss how to read chord charts. If you have already read the first lesson on guitar chords, the next step is to try playing the following chords, incorporating all of the techniques previously discussed.
The first chord we are going to learn is called the G major chord. The G major chord is a chord that compliments the C major chord (which we learned in the previous lesson) extremely well. These two chords are in over 50% of all songs. So knowing them is absolutely critical to learning to master the guitar.
Below is a chord chart for the 'G'major chord. Pick up your guitar, and make sure you are holding your guitar correctly and make sure you are holding your pick correctly. Then, put your fingers on the notes corresponding to the green dots on the chord chart below and give the guitar a nice clean strum.
If you've done everything correctly, you have successfully played a G chord. Now play the G chord a couple of times, strum up and down and attempt to play in a steady rhythym. You can tap your feet if you like.
Then once you feel like you've gotten it down, try the C major chord, which we learned in the last lesson. Here is the chord chart again for the C major chord:
Try playing each chord a few times than switching back and forth from one chord to the other. It will be difficult at first to switch back and forth, but after some practice, it will become second nature.
Now try playing this chord:
The D major chord is another great tool for your repetoire. Try playing the C chord, followed by the G chord, then the D chord. If you've gotten this far, you're well on your way!
Finally, try playing the following chord, which is called the A minor chord:
The A minor chord, unlike the other three you have learned, is a 'minor' chord. Minor chords sound dark compared to their relatively bright sounding major relatives. We'll learn more about the difference between minor chords and major chords later. For now, just add this chord to the list of chords you should definitely work on memorizing.
Continue on to More Guitar Chords