11 Easy Guitar Chords for Beginners to Help You Learn the Basics

Being able to play the guitar is a very rewarding experience but it can be challenging if you don’t get the basics right. In this article, we are discovering the easy guitar chords for beginners that will help bolster your basic skills so that you can become a successful guitarist in the future. With the guitar chords we are about to show you we aim to give you a better understanding of how to play your instrument at the beginners level. We have also included the guitar tabs for you so you can see where to place your fingers. With these guitar chords you can learn easy acoustic guitar songs for beginners. Let’s get started.

1. A Major Chord

We’re starting out with the A major chord because it’s probably the easiest guitar chord out there. The whole chord is played on the second fret of the guitar which means the rest of your fingers are free to add any fancy parts you want to. All that is needed to play this chord is for you to place your first finger onto the fourth string of your guitar. From there you can place your second finger onto that third string and then your third finger sits on the second string. All of these are located on the second fret and you can see this depicted in tab below.

If you’re unfamiliar with the tabs we’re featuring here let’s give you a quick run-through. The X and O’s at the top of the chord diagram depict whether you are playing closed chords or open chords. The orange numbers symbolize your fingers and the numbers running down the side signify the fret. You can find more guidance on basic guitar chord diagrams and how to read more complicated guitar tablature on our website.

2. C Major Chord

C major is next up on our list because it is an incredibly well-used guitar chord that appears in many songs and riffs. It really is an essential chord and a basic you have to learn as a guitarist. You will use a combination of the C, G and E strings to play this C major chord. The second and third fingers of your hand will follow a sort of slanted pattern to help you achieve the right sound. It may feel a little strange and tough to begin with but as you continue to practise your fingers will start loosening up.

3. D Major Chord

D major is a fun chord because it features a unique hand shape that sort of looks like a triangle. You can achieve this chord by using tour first and second fingers on the E and G strings sitting on the second fret. Next, you will want to hold down the guitar’s B string using your third fret and the third finger. The sound is created with the D major chord is quite uplifting and positive so it can be used to make lighthearted songs if you plan on composing some yourself.

4. E Major Chord

Next up for our beginner guitar players is the E major chord. This easy guitar chord is special because you will use all of the strings on your guitar in order to play it. Let’s take a look at the finger placement on the chord diagram. Take your first finger and put it onto the third string using the first fret. Next up, take your second finger and place it onto the fifth string while pressed down onto the second fret. What do you do with your third finger? That one sits nicely on the fourth string using the second fret. Hold them all down and use a good, strong strumming technique to make every string sound out to create the chord noise.

5. G Major Chord

We’re moving on from some of the easy guitar chords to some beginner guitar chords which can be a bit more of a challenge for a new guitarist. The reason for this is because the G major chord is hard to reach quickly for a beginner guitarist after playing other chords. If you want to challenge yourself and pull away from the easy guitar chords then this is how you play G major.

Take your first finger and place it on the fourth string pressing down on the second fret. The second finger goes onto the fifth string using the guitar’s third fret. Lastly, you can take your third finger and place it on the first string and use the third fret. Strum this guitar chord carefully to begin with to make sure your finger placement is correct and that you can keep it steady while playing.

6. A Minor Chord

If you managed to nail the E major chord then the A minor should be a piece of cake. All you need to do is take that major chord and move it up one string to make an A minor chord. The chord is also close to the A major chord because you only need to move one fret to the second on the B note. A minor guitar chord will have a much sadder and more sorrowful sound to them compared to major chords. This first dip into minor guitar chord practice is a basic for every beginner that should be mastered.

7. B Minor Chord

When you start to master all of the chords above you can move onto this next set of chords which are referred to as the barre chords. The B minor chord is the perfect platform to launch yourself into this new set of easy guitar chords for guitar novices. Pay careful attention to the chord diagrams as you go to make sure your finger placement is correct on the right frets.

A barre chord may be a new phrase to you if you are new to the guitar. It basically involved putting your finger across a lot of different strings at the same time in comparison to just holding down one string using the tip of the finger to play an exact note.

The B minor chord is perfect to learn first because it helps you practice changing from playing notes with one finger to playing many notes with that finger. To play the minor chord place your finger so that it’s flat across the first to fifth strings using the second fret of the guitar. The third finger should be placed onto the fourth string using the fourth fret. Your fourth finger is used on the third string of the guitar and you will need to use the fourth fret too. The second finger has to go onto the second string and you will use the third fret here. Now you can strum all of the strings at the same time, being careful not to hit that sixth string as it will throw the whole chord off.

8. C Minor Chord

C minor is a popular guitar chord for songs that have a melancholy or sad message. It’s a chord that resonates for a long time after you’ve hit the strings. Even though it sounds so good it’s definitely going to be one of the more challenging guitar chords on our list. This is because it has an awkward placement where you have to twist your hand around.

To play the C minor chord you need to take your pointer finger and use the barre technique on the first to fifth strings while pressing down on the third fret. Your second finger will take over the second string which is the B and you will press down on the fourth fret. The last part of the chord uses your third finger onto the D string which is the fourth string of your guitar. The fourth finger goes onto the G which is the third string and both the D and the G will need to have the fifth fret utilized to get the right sound.

9. D Minor Chord

The D minor chord is lovely because it acts in much the same way as its D major partner. However, it differs slightly in that you move the highest E string from the second fret onto the first to get the minor tonality needed. You also need to use the muting technique on the fifth and sixth strings for the guitar chord to sound right. D minor is a filler chord that can help create suspense and tension during a piece. You’ll normally find these minor guitar chords in folk and country songs.

10. E Minor Chord

If easy guitar chords are what you’re looking for then E minor is also a perfect place to start. All you have to do to successfully play E minor is take your E major chord and remove the G string. It’s probably one of the easiest minor chords you can play and even a complete beginner should be able to play it within minutes of picking up their guitar.

11. G Minor Chord

Rounding up our list of guitar chords is the G minor chord. It’s actually a guitar chord that is seldom seen in modern music but it can be a nice one to learn and have in your repertoire just in case. The G minor chord should have a creepy and spooky sound to it if you play it correctly. For this one you will take your fingers, place them onto the third fret and then use the barre technique on all six of the strings. You will need to put your third finger onto the fifth string and use the fifth fret. Next, take your fourth finger and play the fourth string while holding down the fifth fret. Play the chord with confidence and strength to make sure it sounds right.

So, that’s our list of guitar chords that you can use as a beginner to nail the basics and get your guitar-playing career off the ground. We hope you found it useful and if you have any questions or comments then let us know in the section below.