Beginners Lesson 7

In this lesson we will learn the basic chords. These should be your very first chord lessons, as they lay the foundations you will later build on as your chord playing develops. We're going to be looking at open guitar chords, sometimes referred to as open position chords.


Why open? Well, when we play a string open, it means we don't fret/finger it and just play it as it is. Open position chords use fretted strings mixed with open strings. As a result, they have a vibrant, full sound, which is why you'll probably use these chords for all your guitar playing life. Some of the most loved music out there exclusively uses the simple chords you're about to learn.

Note: Make sure you know how to finger chords correctly!

Intro:

Firstly you are going to learn two types of chords. first type is major chords. which i'll introduce you in few moments. The second type is minor chords.
So major = happy sounding chords and minor = sad sounding chords. Now, that's a hugely oversimplified generalisation, but at this stage that's the main distinction you'll hear.
So lets start with Major chords...

The 5 major open position chords
When looking at how these chords are fingered, it's best to think of them as "shapes". Your fingers will create a specific shape as they form the chord. You'll see why this is useful in later lessons.
Now when i say 1 no. finger i refer to index finger.
when i say 2 no. finger i refer to middle finger.
when i say 3 no. finger i refer to ring finger.
when i say 4 no. finger i refer to little finger or pinky.

E major open position chord

  • The high E string is played open
  • The B string is played open
  • 1st finger frets the G string at the 1st fret
  • 3rd finger frets the D string at the 2nd fret
  • 2nd finger frets the A string at the 2nd fret
  • The low E string is played open

A major open position chord

Don't worry if at first your fingers seem a little crowded. This won't bother you for long! Just make sure each string sounds cleanly.
  • High E string is played open
  • 4th finger frets the B string at the 2nd fret
  • 3rd finger frets the G string at the 2nd fret
  • 2nd finger frets the D string at the 2nd fret
  • The A string is played open
  • The low E string is NOT played

D major open position chord
  • 2nd finger frets the high E string at the 2nd fret
  • 3rd finger frets the B string at the 3rd fret
  • 1st finger frets the G string at the 2nd fret
  • The D string is played open
  • The low E and A strings are NOT played

G major open position chord

There are a couple of ways to finger this chord. Learn both, as each offers its own voicing...
Option 1
  • 3rd finger frets the high E string at the 3rd fret
  • The B string is played open
  • The G string is played open
  • The D string is played open
  • 1st finger frets the A string at the 2nd fret
  • 2nd finger frets the low E string at 3rd fret
Option 2
  • 4th finger frets the high E string at the 3rd fret
  • 3rd finger frets the B string at the 3rd fret
  • The G string is played open
  • The D string is played open
  • 1st finger frets the A string at the 2nd fret
  • 2nd finger frets the low E string at the 3rd fret

C major open position chord
This is one beginner guitarists tend to have the most trouble with. Keep changing between this chord and other open chords in this lesson to develop that "muscle memory" in your fingers.
  • The high E string is played open
  • 1st finger frets the B string at the 1st fret
  • The G string is played open
  • 2nd finger frets the D string at the 2nd fret
  • 3rd finger frets the A string at the 3rd fret
  • The low E string is NOT played
At first, it might seem like your fingers just don't want to co-operate! That's perfectly normal, and all it boils down to is getting your fingers physically used to it. We call that "muscle memory", because once it sets in, changing between chords becomes something you can do in your sleep.
So what you have to do right now is keep practice switching these chord shapes randomly..