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Guitar Chords for Beginners

15 essential chords

We start with the easiest beginner chords and proceed through each Natural Key with no sharps or flats. We also include some variations including minor and 7th chords.

These chords are all very easy to play, with some requiring a little more practice than others, e.g., F and B7

Make sure you play each chord so that each string when played is clear with no muffled sounds. Place your finger on the required fret behind the fret wire and make sure you don't touch other strings with that finger which can cause unwanted sounds like buzzing.

There are certain rules to follow when reading the charts so that your chords will sound the way they should.
The following relates to 6-string guitars with standard tuning E-A-D-G-B-e:

  • What are the names of each string from the lowest to the highest?
  • Which of the strings is the lowest and which is the highest?
  • Which string is the 1st and which is the 6th?
  • Which strings do I play and which do I avoid?
Right Handers:
Fretboard & Guitar Strings
  • Numbered Circles: Fingers used to play each note - 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th
  • White Circles: Optional Notes - up to discretion of each individual player
  • X: Don't play string       x / x  If you don't play optional note, don't play string
  • Unmarked strings: Play open     R: Root Note 
  • Barre Line: One finger holds down multiple strings.
  • B: Bass Note (not pictured here but included in charts where bass notes are used)
Left Handers:
Fretboard & Guitar Strings

15 Right and Left Handed Charts for Beginners

  • We generally lead with the root note (R) e.g., if we are playing an E chord (E Major) we would lead with the note E which gives the chord its tonal characteristics.
  • The notes that make up each chord can be found at the the top of each chart along with the chord name.
  • Frets are marked clearly at the bottom of each chart.
  • The charts are very easy to read... play them as you see them.

R-H Charts

E Major E7 Em
A Major A7 Am
D Major D7 Dm
C Major C7 B7
G Major G7 Fm

E Major E7 Em
A Major A7 Am
D Major D7 Dm
C Major C7 B7
G Major G7 Fm

Notes:

Your fingers will take a beating at first depending on the type of guitar you play. Nylon string guitars are far easer on your fingers than steel string guitars.

Although it hurts at first, stick with it because you will start to build callouses (harder skin) on your fingers over time making it much easier and more comfortable to play on any guitar you like.

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